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Ecuador building “City of Knowledge” to raise high-tech profile

Earlier this year, Ecuador President Rafael Correa opened the university that is to be the hub of a new city 90 minutes from Quito. (Eduardo Santillán Turjillo/Presidencia de la República/flickr/cc)

Tiny Ecuador is thinking big about its role in the world of high technology and innovation.

Duncan Tucker reports for Nearshore Americas that President Rafael Correa is spearheading the construction of the Yachay City of Knowledge. The $1 billion project is touted as the most ambitious that Ecuador has pursued in more than a century and dubbed the “Singapore of the Andes.”

The campus-like, self-contained city would be located about 90 minutes from the capital, Quito. Yachay is designed to help Ecuador shift from an economy dependent on oil, mining, agriculture and fishing to a knowledge-based model. “President Correa hopes to create an advanced manufacturing sector that can produce and export high-value goods worldwide,” Tucker writes.

Yachay means “the wise use of knowledge” in the native Quechua language, according to the publication, which focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean. The city is being built in three phases, with the first devoted to construction of a university, which opened earlier this year, and research and development center. The second would add business districts along with schools, hospitals and cultural venues. The third would emphasize homes, commerce and more educational facilities. 

Nearshore Americas

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