Inaugurating the GIS Platform of Tripoli
Statement by UNDP Country Director
Mr. Luca Renda
Inaugurating the GIS Platform of Tripoli
& Launching the Workshop on ICT use for Local Development
Wed, 30th May 2012
Radisson Blue Martinez Hotel
Beirut – Lebanon
Head of the Delegation for External Action of Local and Regional Authorities (DAECT), Mr. Jean-Michel Despax,
Deputy Director of UNDP office in Geneva, Ms. Najat Rochdi,
Mayor of Tripoli, Mr. Nader Ghazal,
Representing the Council for Development and Reconstruction, Ms. Amal Karaki,
Heads of Unions of Municipalities and Mayors,
Representing Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Ms. Najet Tenoutit,
Representing Malaga City, Mr. Arturo Rodriguez,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to join you today to inaugurate the GIS platform of Tripoli. I would like here to commend the active participation, enthusiasm and leadership of Tripoli Municipality and the Al Fayhaa Union of Municipalities, without which this initiative could not have been implemented.
The set up of a GIS platform for managing street names and postal addresses has provided the City of Tripoli with a powerful, customizable and technologically advanced system for creating and maintaining a directory of the municipality’s streets and postal addresses. Evidently, this is the cornerstone to enable better strategic planning of the municipal services delivered to citizens.
The project we are about to launch today falls within a set of other Information and Communication Technologies interventions that UNDP has been supporting in North Lebanon since 2005 in pursuit of fostering development in the region. These interventions focus on strengthening capacities and knowledge of local communities as well as local authorities on ICTs.
The impact of ICTs in the social, economic, cultural, and individual realms have significantly transformed people’s lives and socio economic conditions of communities in the recent few years.
Given the needs and gaps in Northern Lebanon, this intervention as well as other similar ones might be an effective agent contributing to development, and pulling out more communities from the social and economic margins of the country.
In recognition of the evident challenges of North Lebanon development in general, and of education and employment in particular , UNDP supported the establishment and equipment of 13 IT centers in the region in close partnerships with local authorities and a large network of local partners and the communities. The majority of those centers were established in remote villages such as Wadi Khaled, Fneidek and Deir Nbouh. These centers offer a range of IT services as well as trainings and outreach to large segments of the communities including youth, women, and farmers. Around 5000 beneficiaries have so far received trainings at these centers, improved their IT knowledge and skills and increased their employment potentials.
The lack of access to ICT is also reported to be common among the majority of the municipalities of North Lebanon. ICT can positively affect the quality of local service delivery in the region, recognized to accommodate some of the poorest urban and rural communities of the country. With the set up of the GIS platform in Tripoli, we hope that other municipalities especially those present with us today are encouraged to integrate ICT into their planning and administration. On this note, I also hope you find useful insights for improving service delivery within the handbook - a joint knowledge product between UNDP Geneva and CMI – included in the training material for today and tomorrow.
I would like to re-extend my gratitude to the Municipality of Tripoli, a close partner to UNDP that has demonstrated a strong commitment to improve the living conditions of the city dwellers. The Municipality led by its Mayor Mr. Nader Ghazal has also demonstrated a significant capacity and openness to acquire innovative modern technologies. We are proud to be partners of the Tripoli municipality in serving the citizens of this historical city.
I would also like to thank our partner, the Council of Development and Reconstruction, for the continued cooperation and readiness to support regional and local initiatives.
Finally, I would like to extend my appreciation to all partners in this initiative, namely, UNDP Geneva and ART- ISI@MED initiative, Malaga city, Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration and the French delegation for external action of local and regional authorities (DAECT).