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Belize joins Central American Bicentennial Scholarships Program during visit of CABEI president

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Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2022. 4:19 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize is joining its Central American counterparts in the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) Bicentennial Scholarship Program after signing on at the start of the visit of its president, Dr Dante Mossi.

Prime Minister John Briceño and Dr. Mossi signed a Non-Reimbursable Financial Cooperation Agreement establishing the program among CABEI’s member states which also include Dominican Republic and Cuba. Belize’s share is an amount up to $1.25 million, used exclusively to finance 225 new scholarships for five years for children and adolescents who meet the criteria established in the Bicentennial Scholarships Program approved by CABEI.

A Scholarship Recipient Selection Committee to select scholarship recipients will be formed by the CABEI-ASF Fund Representative, CABEI’s Sovereign Public Sector Manager or his/her designee, and the Regional Projects Office (PROREG), with the support of members designated by the coordinating agency, which will be governed in accordance with the provisions established by CABEI. Accompanying the Prime Minister for the agreement signing were Dr. Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Technology and E-Governance; Dian Castillo-Maheia, CEO in the ministry; and Yolanda Gongora, Chief Education Officer.

During the January 17 to 21 tour, Dr Mossi and his delegations met with the Prime Minister and the CEOs in the Ministries of Finance and Investment Narda Garcia and Economic Development Dr Osmond Martinez as well as Minister of State Christopher Coye, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight and Carlos Pol, Director, Climate Finance Unit and Technical Focal Point to CABEI.

The Bank is interested in assisting with public/private investment in terms of infrastructure projects, according to Dr. Mossi, and offered the use of various financial instruments such as the Taiwan Trust Fund and the CABEI/GCF. It also plans to open an office here by 2023.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister discussed new initiatives that his administration would like to pursue through financing from CABEI including agriculture, health, transportation, education, business process outsourcing, micro, small and medium enterprises, and infrastructure.

During their mission, Dr. Mossi and his delegation will be holding high-level meetings with the ministers and CEOs of the ministries of Health, Education, Infrastructure Development, Home Affairs, National Defence, Agriculture, Youth, Blue Economy, Sustainable Development, Public Utilities and Tourism. The delegation will meet with private sector entities such as the Banana Growers Association, Citrus Growers Association, Belize Sugar Industry as well as the management of the Corozal Free Zone. Meetings will also be held with representatives from Belize Electricity Limited, Digi and the Development Finance Corporation. The objectives of these meetings are to provide an update on ongoing projects, discuss potential projects for financing, and present CABEI’s lines of products.

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