The residents of the Roseau South Constituency and Dominicans by extension will soon benefit from the construction of a digital hub as part of the Digital Innovation Hub Project.
Project Manager for the Digital Transformation Project, Dr. Jermaine Jean –Pierre says that when complete the innovation hub will serve many purposes in the community.
“We are building our main Innovation Hub that will serve as a training center, a co-working space and also a pitch idea meaning that if somebody has an idea that they wish to pitch to a local investor, or even an overseas investor, and they don’t have the resources to be able to do that, we are creating the space for us to do so,” Dr. Jean-Pierre stated.
Dr. Jeanpierre says the cost of rehabilitations works was to the tune of four hundred and fifty thousand EC dollars.
“Well with this being the old Newtown Primary School, we had quite a bit of renovations to do including removing, old doors and even the whole classroom fitting to bring to what we would want, which is really a state of the art innovation hub. So the cost of doing that is 450 thousand EC dollars and we expect that at the end of it all there will be three sections. The classroom setting will be outfirtted with computers and screens, the conference center will serve as our pitch idea and then the co-working space, so if you do not have a space for you to build your applications then we are going to provide that space with computers, screens monitors and everything else that you will need,” she explained.
Minister of State within the Ministry of Public Works, Public Utilities and Digital Economy, with specific responsibility for Public Utilities, Telecoms and Broadcasting and Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau South Constituency Hon. Chekira Lockhart- Hypolite says construction work began in October and is ninety percent complete.
“Works began in October. The contract was signed in September and today we see the renovation of works on the digital hub. What I have seen so far is the work is coming on quite nicely. It is ninety percent complete. There are sme more finishing touches to be made and you know finishing touches takes time,” Hon. Lockhart-Hypolite stated.
Minister Lockhart-Hypolite says though the hub will provide multiple services, her emphasis will be placed on ensuring more matured individuals within the constituency are taught basic digital knowledge.
“We in the constituency are very pleased that the main hub is at Newtown, and what that means for us is that a lot of training will be taking place here, especially in digital literacy. Sometime ago, I held a consultation at the Newtown Primary School with our adults and our senior citizens, speaking to them about the digital economy and our online presence and any of them were captivated and they were very interested in the discussion of the digital economy. And so I expect that many of our senior citizens will get the much needed training that they need. As you know we are in the age of technology, the age where we use the online platforms more frequently than before so it is important that our people take advantage of the training that we will be having here,” the MP noted.
The Parliamentary Representative outlined a few training services which will be offered at the hub.
“Training will be done in website design; training will also be done for small business owners who want to put some of their data online, training will be done in QuickBooks, website development; so there is going to be a lot of activity here. And what is very interesting and what I am very happy about I that the digital hub will be opened from 8 to 7. A proposal is before us so that between 8 to 4, if you have any transactions to do, especially government transactions like the payment of your passport, it can be done right here at the digital hub. Someone will be there to assist you during the course of the day and in the evening training will take place,” the Minister explained.
Minister Lockhart-Hypolite called on her constituents to take full advantage of the training opportunities when they become available.
“I think that is a forward move. It is a good move by the Government of Dominica and as the Pal Rep of the Roseau South constituency; I want to encourage all my constituents to take e advantage of the digital hub and the trainings that will happen there.” Hon. Lockhart-Hypolite added.