GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Friday January 12, 2018 – Guyana’s journey to becoming a technologically advanced nation will be mainstreamed this year, Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes says.
She explained that since the ministry’s establishment in 2016, it has been preparing the technological environment, assessing the landscape and engaging with people and ascertaining what the needs of the citizens were. And Hughes said that although much developmental work has been conducted throughout the country since, this is the year “we can actually start to run the 100-meter dash”.
Among projects slated for this year, the Telecommunications Minister said her office is working closely with the Ministry of Education to get free Internet in primary schools, but stressed that cyber-security was paramount. A Business Unit has also been developed, under the ICT hubs project, that allows persons identified for training to be connected so they can access funding to develop their businesses and offer their services to the public.
Approximately GY$4.696 billion (US$22.7 million) has been approved for the development of Guyana’s telecommunication sector this year.
Meantime, Minister Hughes said an advanced ICT training school, The Center of Excellence in Information Technology, is expected to be commissioned March 2018 at the University of Guyana.
The centre will provide training that “bridges the gap between the public and private sector,” she said.
“We have several individuals in the public sector that need retraining and constant upgrading to skills but also it provides training that the private sector needs,” Hughes explained.
The project is being established with assistance from the Government of India and the eGovernment Agency.
Minister Hughes disclosed that there will be two, one-year contract trainers from India who will instruct the students and share their knowledge with local trainers.
The objective is to “prepare citizens and the public sector for training that is relevant to the services that we are talking about providing,” she explained.