Friday, April 19, 2024

Digital Connect Center launched in San Pedro

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On Wednesday, August 30th, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), BELTRAIDE, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) gathered at the public library to officially unveil a project to assist island entrepreneurs with digital tools to improve their online presence.

The new Digital Connect Center located on the second floor of the public library building is equipped with computers, and it will soon be opened to those needing this resource to enhance their business strategies and better promote their products and services.
The unveiling of the digital center included a short ceremony presided over by BELTRAIDE. Executive Director at BELTRAIDE, Dr. Leroy Almendarez, said that the facility is a knowledge center that will create an environment for people to do business in Belize. He said this resource center provides an opportunity for those needing more equipment and reduces business costs.
Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez thanked their partners, BELTRAIDE and UNDP, for their cooperation in accelerating the digitization on the island. He said that as the mecca of tourism in Belize, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye’s economy is also one of the fastest growing in the country, and resources such as this center benefit the island’s rapid economic growth. “Our local economy thrives with micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). However, we recognize the gap between the emerging MSMEs and the digital aspects essential to modernizing business strategies,” said Nuñez. “The Digital Connect Center in San Pedro is an exciting new initiative providing valuable training resources to our local entrepreneurs.” The Mayor added that through the center, MSMEs will have access to digital tools and strategies to help them improve their online presence and reach new customers.
Nuñez said the center will also offer opportunities for young women to develop valuable digital skills. He said that the SPTC will foster an expansion of the center and uphold its mission to provide comprehensive and inclusive access to technology to all community members. “Particularly those underserved, like women, girls, and the disabled,” he ended.
The Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP, Ian King, commended the efforts of everyone involved in this project. King said that these centers have been opened throughout the country to uplift and improve the skills of community members. King said this project started after observing what the COVID-19 pandemic did to the country. He noted that many people had no internet access during this time. “We now understand what access to the internet means in terms of education and sharing information,” he said. King stated that with access to these resources, emerging entrepreneurs could remain visible to their customers and conduct research to improve their products or services.
The ceremony ended with Councilor Marina Kay delivering the closing remarks. The center is now in the hands of the SPTC, who are hiring someone to look after the facility. An official announcement will be made in the upcoming weeks with the center’s opening hours.

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