By Alexander Britell
Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe recently concluded a weeklong trip to the United States that featured meetings with officials from the World Bank, the IDB, the UN, donor countries (including Canada) and visits to northeastern universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In a wide-ranging interview, Caribbean Journal talked to Lamothe about his recent trip, the progress of aid talks with Canada and Haiti’s decision to rename Cap-Haitien airport after the late Hugo Chavez.
Lamothe answers 10 questions:
1. What were the major takeaways from your US trip?
2. In January, Canada announced it would be reviewing its long-term aid strategy to Haiti. When you met with Canadian International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino in Washington last week, was there any progress or any sign that Canada would resume funding new projects?
3. During the MIT visit, Haiti signed an agreement on a pilot project on Creole-language education. Do you see Creole as a major priority in Haiti’s education system?
4. MIT has specifically been working on Creole language science education. What do you see as the role of science education in Haiti’s development?
5. The government last week announced the formation of a transitional college of the Permanent Electoral Council. Does the government have a timetable to hold elections?
6. Haiti has been making a continued tourism push. Was tourism investment something that came up in your talks with the World Bank and other multilaterals?
7. You mentioned investment from the Diaspora. What’s the best way to attract investment from Haitians abroad?
8. When I spoke with Secretary of State for Public Security Reginald Delva earlier this year, he mentioned Haiti’s ultimate goal to increase the size of the Haitian National Police to 15,000 by 2016. Do you have a timetable for additions in the short term?
9. Last week, you announced that Haiti would be renaming the Cap-Haitien national airport to honour the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. What was the reasoning behind that?
10. The UN’s Nigel Fisher recently questioned the slogan of “Haiti is open for business,” suggesting it was not yet ready for investment. If you could change one thing about Haiti that would make it open for business, what would it be?
Read Lamothe’s responses here: http://www.caribjournal.com/2013/04/23/lamothe-we-would-change-the-approach-that-people-have-to-haiti/