On Friday, The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) launched its Innovation Programme Belize, under which it will hold an annual competition for young aspiring Belizean entrepreneurs and innovators. This year’s competition touches on mobile application development. A workshop for 45 selected participants from around the country to be held in August in Belize City will help prepare and guide participants into making an app worthy of the developing technological world, according to PUC Chairman John Avery.
“Our long term goal is for Belizeans to be producers, to be job creators. In this growing internet-connected world that [we’re] living [in] now, each country will have to keep investing in more capacity, more bandwidth, have better access to the services and applications. What we are hoping basically is to scour Belizeans particularly young people to think outside the traditional boundaries that are placed on young people growing up in Belize, but we are simply to go to school and hope to land a good job after we finished school. Really the purpose of this thing is to engage our young people particularly those who have the drive, who have the wherewithal and who wants to innovate and be creative and to contribute to the long term development of our country and our people.”
Carla Maheia-Hart, PUC Commissioner working with the program, says there is a bright future for winners.
Carla Maheia-Hart, Commissioner – PUC
“The idea is to promote innovation that will assist our economy and we are hoping to pull out the talent that’s throughout, Belize from north to south, by engaging the young people in the program and tying that competitive element to get them out in force.”
The competition is open to students from 12 to 18 years and for future installments will address any issue of concern to Belize for which a solution can be found. Winners will receive a tablet and a year’s worth of internet service and get a chance to enter their product in the Young Innovators’ Programme of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at their annual Telecom World conference in November.