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Belize

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About Belize

Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community and is the only English speaking nation in Central America. The country borders with Guatemala and Mexico and has nine municipalities. The local government of Belize is quite stable, with local elections last occurring in March, 2015.

 

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Local Government Structure

(Description courtesy Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development)

There is currently no constitutional provision for local government and the main governing acts are the Belize and Belmopan City Council Acts 1999, the Village Councils Act 1999 and the Inferior Courts Act 2003. The Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development is charged with overseeing the administration of three systems of local government in Belize. There are seven town and two city municipalities, 181 village councils, and 12 community councils. There are also 84 alcaldes (a legally constituted form of traditional governance predominantly practised among the indigenous communities of the Toledo district)

 

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Local Economic Development in Belize

While there is no formal legislation for local economic development at the national level, three communities Belize City, Belmopan and the San Ignacio/ Santa Elena (SISE) region each created their own regional development plan that informs local economic development.

The Belize City Master Plan Project, a Technical Cooperation between the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank, was set out in September 2010 to provide controlled development, revitalize the city, and preserve important cultural heritage to the benefit of city residents and visitors.

The SISE Municipal Development Plan, funded by the World Bank through the Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF), was a response to the expected population increase of 4.1% per annum until 2020 and then 2.5% per annum in 2020-2030 and outlines policies and interventions to manage the municipality under these population growth expectations.

The Belmopan Municipal Development Plan was carried out as an initiative by the World Bank. It was formulated as a long-term planning strategy to assist the City Council in carrying out its municipal management responsibilities, respond to population growth and economic change, managing existing infrastructure as well as urban expansion, and provide the services required to ensure social, economic, functional, and environmental cohesion and a good quality of life for the residents of the community.

As a result, the CARILED project was able to introduce local economic development to its local government structure in November 2012 as a pilot project under the CARILED project.  This  process involved the financing of LED Officers in 3 communities (Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio Santa Elena) and the creation of LED Strategic Plans for Belmopan and San Ignacio Santa Elena.

This took place with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities of Canada on 7th November, 2012.

Since the launch of the LED pilot, Belize has:

- Developed and launched a National Advisory Committee on Local Economic Development with representatives from:

Belize

The Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE)
Mayors’ Association
National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO)
Belize Chamber of Commerce
Ministry of Labor, Local Government & Rural Development

 

- Partnered with local stakeholders and CARILED to develop and launch Local Economic Development Planning and Advisory Committees (LED-PACs) in several communities

Belize Belmopan Belmopan City Council
Young Womens’ Christian Association (YWCA)
Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology
Belmopan Active Youths
Government of Belize Press Office
Belmopan International Women’s Group
La Immaculada Credit Union
George Price Centre for Peace & Development
Belize River Valley District Association of Belize River Valley Village Council
Belize River Valley Sub-committee
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Rural Development
Area Development Group
Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group
Evangel Credit Union Ltd.
Belize City BELTRAIDE
Department of Human Services, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation
Small Entrepreneur Business Group
YWCA
Belize Tourism Board
Belize City Council
Councillor for Parks & Markets
BTL Park Enterprise
Finance Department, PACT
San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Town Council
St. Martin’s Credit Union
Mary Open Doors (NGO)
Tour Guide Association
Youth Development representative
Cornerstone Foundation
Vendor’s Association

 

- Held several training programs, workshops and forums to support micro and small enterprises in business development and sector skills.

Supported the adaptation of municipal plans into local economic development plans.  The LED Strategic Plan for Belmopan can be found on the City Council’s website, while the communications brochure can be viewed here.

- Partnered with CARILED to launch and implement local development projects in:

MUNICIPALITY, COUNTRY
Belize City, Belize

SECTOR 
Business Development Services, Tourism

PROJECT STATUS 
CARILED support for this project has ended

PROJECT NAME 
BTL Park Renovation Project (Phase 3)

 

DESCRIPTION
CARILED is supporting the renovation of BTL Park in Belize City, Belize.  The Belize City Council is renovating this park as part of its Master Plan for economic development. CARILED and the Belize City Council supported the training of 42 vendors which was administered by the Small Business Development Centre, BELTRAIDE. The training is a part of the overall development of the BTL Park facility.

The Park will cater to local and international tourists and create opportunities for small vendors and tourism service providers to expand their businesses. This is a joint venture of the Belize City Council and the BTL Park Vendors Association.

MUNICIPALITY, COUNTRY
San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Belize

SECTOR
Cottage Industries

PROJECT STATUS
CARILED support for this project has ended

PROJECT NAME
Kontiki Crocheting Project

DESCRIPTION
The Kontiki Crocheting Project provided assistance to nine (9) female entrepreneurs in the Kontiki Area in San Ignacio Town, Belize.   The entrepreneurs, as members of a registered start-up, engaged in trainings for skill development in sewing, advanced crocheting, and designing and business management that led to increased productivity and sales.

This initiative was supported by the San Ignacio / Santa Elena LED-PAC, the San Ignacio / Santa Elena Council, the Small Business Development Centre (unit of BELTRAIDE), the St. Martin’s Credit Union and CARILED.  Click here to learn more about this project.

MUNICIPALITY, COUNTRY 
San Ignacio / Santa Elena, Belize

SECTOR 
Agro-Processing / Agro-Business

PROJECT STATUS 
CARILED support for this project has ended

PROJECT NAME
San Ignacio Farmers Market Improvement Project

DESCRIPTION
The San Ignacio Market Improvement Project (MIP) was approved for implementation in March 2014. The MIP LDP entailed 5 main components, the construction of awnings for the market, creation of display stands, the construction of two outdoor food kiosks, as well as technical assistance for the creation of an Operations Manual and training for vendors.

The MIP was supported by the Ministry of Health, San Ignacio / Santa Elena Town Council, Cayo Farmers Market Vendors Association, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Small Business Development Centre (unit of BELTRAIDE), and CARILED.

MUNICIPALITY, COUNTRY
Belmopan, Belize

SECTOR
Business Support & Other Services

PROJECT STATUS
CARILED support for this project has ended

PROJECT NAME
Young Barbers Training Program, Belmopan, Belize

DESCRIPTION
The Young Barbers’ Training program was approved for implementation from January 20, 2014 for 3 semesters.  At the end of each 12 week semester, the program should train at least 42 males and females in entrepreneurship, cosmetology, business management, marketing, accounting and bookkeeping.   The first semester began on February 4, 2014 with an intake of 16 students.

The Young Barbers’ Training Program is a partnership between the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), La Immaculada Credit Union, the Small Business Development Centre, and CARILED.

MUNICIPALITY, COUNTRY 
Belmopan, Belize

SECTOR

Urban Revitalization/Retail Enhancement

PROJECT STATUS
CARILED support for this project has ended

PROJECT NAME
Independence Park Enhancement Project

DESCRIPTION 
The purpose of this project is for Independence Park to become a business and entertainment hub encouraging leisure, cultural presentations, art appreciation, etc. It is hoped that the increased traffic in the Park will offer entrepreneurs a space to operate and thrive in Belmopan. The project will provide the design and construction of stalls and remodelling of the existing bandstand. Business management training will be provided and a Park Operations Guide will be developed.

This project is supported by the Belmopan City Council, the Belmopan LED Core Team, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, a local credit union, private and corporate sponsors, embassies located in Belmopan and CARILED.

MUNICIPALITY, COUNTRY 

Belize City, Belize

SECTOR
Urban Revitalization/Retail Enhancement

PROJECT STATUS
CARILED support for this project has ended.

PROJECT NAME

Fort Street Arts & Craft Market

DESCRIPTION
This project will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations of the Fort George Tourism Zone, located in Belize City, with a view towards enhancing the experience of vendors and patrons of the Tourism Zone. The project will also aim to increase the number of MSMEs operating within the area, and the number of visitors, thereby increasing the revenue stream of the Belize City Council. The project will provide training in business management, marketing and branding, as well as physical improvements such as kiosks and stalls.

The project is being supported by the Belize City Council, the Fort George Tourism Zone Committee, the Belize Tourism Board, SBDC/Beltraide, the management of the Fort George Tourism Village and CARILED.

 

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 Country Representatives

Ms. Barbara Elrington, LED Manager, Belize City

Ms. Jasmine Swan, LEDO, Belize City

Ms. Keyla Magaña, LEDO, Belmopan

Mr. Kenny Chan, LEDO, San Ignacio Santa Elena

Mr. Jorge Aldaña, LEDO, San Pedro