Facilitating business growth and new investments in the city of the northern region may be the answers to reduce unemployment, boost tourism, and the local economy.
This weekend was particularly amazing; started with a power mixer idea by L’union Suite and Maritza Boudoir to lead to something unique that only people who attended can feel, but I think I can try my best to put you in our shoes. Young professional Capois from different parts of the world, got together to discuss once again the future of the city. Not how to reinforce the charity perception, or to save the next family in need with our generosity, but getting together to talk about things that affect all of us, and proposing real solutions that can impact the city in a way like never before. It was not a political getaway, just some concerned young citizens seizing a unique opportunity to be part of something bigger than them. Turning Cap-Haitien into a model of development, a prototype that the rest of the country can follow. But how do we make this happen?
I met this young lady, I believe she is the youngest hotel owner in Haiti, passionate about hospitality, educated in Haiti and Canada. She returned to the city after her studies and took over the family business after her mom passed away. She has something fascinating about her, but her passion for Cap-Haitien can be perceived as she was trying to talk about her experience as a young businesswoman in Haiti. I have to tell she is on point.
The young lady and many like her want to see a change in Okap, a city with many potentials yet we only have a small group of leaders without a plan and vision for the development process. I met with one of the most influential business minded individual in the city, and I was surprised about his will to join forces with the local government to change the reality of the city. I also understand his approach when it comes to the kind of collaboration he and other businessmen in the city want to have with the local government, but not much has been done to convince this small group of mostly Haitian investors and business owners. It was an opportunity for me to address some of the issues publicly; tourism is great for the city, but it is only part of our leverage. The issues we are facing, also represent great opportunities for current and future investors, and for the development of the city.
We have a city of more than 300,000 people, because of the lack of job opportunities or lack of vision from our community leaders; 70% of the Cap-Haitien population is forced to do business informally. The sector is greatly fuelled by diaspora investments and the supposed bilateral open market with the Dominican Republic from which country we buy over 70% of what we consume in the city and probably in the rest of the country.
Facilitating business growth and new investments in the city of the northern region may be the answers to reduce unemployment, boost tourism, and the local economy. Creating new jobs out of trash management, tourism innovation, and making sure we get our share of the tech revolution by transforming the city of Cap-Haitien into a smart city.