Taiwan agrees to assist in refurbishing ITC

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By Ketricia Finch

St. Kitts Reporter

The Information Technology and Communications (ICT) Centre’s refurbishment project has been boosted financially thanks to the government of the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) significant donation of EC$500,000.

The centre, located opposite the Basseterre Fisheries on the Bay Road, is expected to be functional by August.

Minister of Science and Technology Nigel Carty and the Ambassador of Taiwan, John Lui signed the agreement of ICT cooperation. The official handing over and signing ceremonies took place at the Taiwanese Embassy.

Lui mentioned during his remarks that the Taiwanese Technical Mission has worked diligently with the government in many areas such as agriculture, health, education, social development, training and infrastructure projects from since 1984.

“Recently my government funded the construction of the Warner Park Cricket Stadium which was completed on schedule. We share your pride and joy for successfully hosting the Cricket World Cup at the stadium. My government is also happy to finance the RLB Airport Expansion Project and again the construction of Bird Rock Athletic Stadium. Last week I had the honour to attend the ground breaking ceremony of the Bird Rock Athletic Stadium and to turn the soil with the Honourable Prime Minister.”

Lui congratulated the federation for its achievements so far in the shifting from a sugar-based economy to a service-oriented one.

He also said the agreement to establish an ICT centre in St. Kitts this year was officially signed since November last year during the Prime Minister’s visit to Taiwan.

“The ICT will serve two purposes, one is to conduct e-Government projects to improve efficient operation of government departments and the other is to provide training to help your country achieve a computer literate society.”

“In order to implement the agreement, last week my government dispatched Titan Lee, an ICT specialist. He will work closely with staff of the Ministry of Science and Technology to implement the ICT project. After the renovation of the building is complete, all necessary computer equipment including hardware and software will be installed and tested.”

Minister Carty said he discussed in meetings last year December with Lui that technology stands as an alternative in our federation now that the sugar industry has been abolished.

“We acknowledged that agricultural financial services and tourism to help create the betterment of environment in the country. Last year April, I sat down with the Ambassador and we began to talk of how we can improve the country. At that time, we had an arrangement between the government of St. Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan where every year the government of China (Taiwan) would donate a number of computers to the government.”

“Initially when we started talking about the assistance from the government of Taiwan, we talked about a soft loan. Today I am pleased that this gesture has been converted from a soft loan to a donation.”

Carty said the ICT centre would host a training unit and the training unit would not only be accessible for government services, but also for the training of individuals in the private sector and also the general public.

“We want to make the facility available to private sector organisations and non-government organisations in order to make the operation much more efficient.”

Sam Condor, Minister of Education said ICT has become essential in not only the development of technology, but also educational aspects.

“In the past, people have thought of education as only literacy. Now you can’t speak about education without speaking of computer literacy. We are pleased with the assistance we are getting to develop our ITC project.”

Condor said the location of the centre makes for easy access of the workers at the industrial sites.

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