ABC Color, Paraguay’s first color newspaper covered a significant cooperative agreement that was reached with the School of Engineering of the National University of Asuncion (UNA), the State Government of Alto Paraguay, and think-tank Instituto de Desarrollo del Pensamiento Patria Soñada (IDPPS) on April 15. The newly formed partnership will direct and implement infrastructure projects in four regions in Alto Paraguay: Bahia Negra, Puerto Casado and Fuerte Olimpo.
According to the ABC Color report, the agreement outlines three priority areas of focus:
- Planning and designing hospital and education centers
- Designing ports
- Designing airstrip hangers
- Additional areas of development include systems for water treatment, territorial planning for the state, and designing landfills.
These areas have profound implications on the future advancement of Alto Paraguay. Alto Paraguay is the largest, but most underdeveloped region in Paraguay. Mismanagement of funds and a lack of accountability have impeded the region’s growth. Social services like education and health care are severely lacking and an absence of basic transportation infrastructure has hindered trade and industry.
A quick glance at a highway map of Paraguay is telling. No major thoroughfares run through the region. The Paraguay River runs along the eastern border next to Brazil, but Alto Paraguay has only two major port cities: Fuerto Olympo and Puerto Casado. Only recently have regular flights between Paraguay’s capital city Asuncion and Fuerto Olympo become available. Yet, geographically, Alto Paraguay could become a hub for traffic between Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.
The School of Engineering from The National University of Asuncion (UNA), the oldest university in Paraguay, was represented by Profesor Isacio Vallejos Aquino. The school has committed to provide its expertise during the planning, adaptation, and implementation of the projects. The school has also agreed to involve students in areas that match each student’s discipline.
Governor of Alto Paraguay, Marlene Ocampos commented, “It is an opportunity to receive top level technical assistance to push forward our development.” Governor Ocampos is Paraguay’s first woman governor. She began her term with a firm commitment to run her office with transparency and ethics.
The director of the IDPPS think-tank, and Former Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice Dr. Jose Altamirano, emphasized the potential social impact of the plan when it is put into effect. The think-tank, Instituto de Desarrollo del Pensamiento Patria Soñada (IDPPS) brings together heads of state, academics, social scientists and civil society leaders to address pressing issues of governance and economic development with innovative solutions guided by principles and values. It is an initiative supported by the Global Peace Foundation.