The contract for the advancement of the Guyana National Broadband Project is to be performed by Chinese firm, Huawei.
This is according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon during a post-Cabinet press briefing on Monday.
Over the weekend, China and Guyana inked a US$37.6 million agreement geared towards boosting Guyana’s broadband capabilities covering several sectors. “This is actually the continuation of the work being done by Huawei,” Minister Harmon said, noting that the signing of the documents represented the final part in the process in gaining approval of the loan through the Chinese banking system. He said the company will soon start work which is to be done under the programme.
Huawei, in the past, constructed the US$32M E-Government network on the coast of Guyana. This network consists of a fibre optic system in Georgetown, and a 4G LTE network that covers the coastland from Skeldon to Charity. Last November, Cabinet granted a no-objection to the US$37.6 million contract with Huawei.
On Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge and China’s State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, signed the agreements at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, at Liliendaal.
Minister Greenidge said that the project will see the upgrading of the network to enable equitable delivery of service in education through e-classrooms, health and security through the provision of CCTV cameras to businesses and other sectors. The construction of another data centre as a backup to the primary data centre and improvements in the capacity of the government’s network will be undertaken under the project.
In July, Guyana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) thereby creating a window of opportunity for both parties. The agreement was signed within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative. It will see Guyana benefitting significantly in the areas infrastructural development, trade and investment and other critical areas of mutual interest.
On Monday, Minister Harmon dispelled any assertions of any secrecy in the MoU. He said if there is a call for every MoU signed between government and a bilateral or multilateral agency to be made public, government will have to make a determination in that regard.
”MoUs are signed between governments worldwide,” he said. He said there was much publicity regarding the MoU signed between the Government of Guyana and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago recently, but according to him, President David Granger said that it would be made public and the next day it was available to the public.