Guyana being transformed into knowledge-based digital society
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy speaking at the conference in Romania
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy speaking at the conference in Romania

— Minister McCoy tells ITU conference in Romania

THE government is fully committed to transforming the information and communications technological landscape of Guyana into a knowledge-based digital society.
This is according to Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, who was at the time speaking at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference in Bucharest, Romania.

Minster McCoy said while the government has persevered at home with localised programmes and projects that will impact its national transformation outlook, it is concomitantly engaged in bilateral cooperation and collective global efforts to build and promote common digital platforms for the benefit of all humanity.

“The social restrictions that became necessary over the past two years as a result of the COCID-19 pandemic provided Guyana with an opportunity for us to introspect and determine the gap areas which needed to be addressed towards the achievement of universal, secure, inclusive and affordable access to the Internet for all citizens, residents and visitors alike,” he said.

The minister added: “In this regard, we have developed and launched a Digital Master Plan which strengthens the design and implementation of future-oriented digital programmes, with built-in ecosystems to achieve and maintain innovative pathways for better social inclusion and employment across the industry continuum, as a means of aiding the sustainable development of our country.”

He noted that as part of the master plan, efforts at building a knowledge-based society are already well underway with the roll out of free Wi-Fi access and youth-innovation campaigns across the country; establishment of ICT hubs in both urban and hinterland communities; piloting of smart classrooms in schools across every region; national expansion of dedicated learning television channel, and the launch of a world-class academic and skill-based online scholarships academy with 20,000 scholarships from certificate to doctoral levels in the first phase.

Digital social services platforms that support women and youth entrepreneurship and capacity building for enhanced cross-sector business and employment readiness growth; pension and other access for seniors; telemedicine services for indigenous communities across the hinterland; legal services; children and domestic violence protection services; legislative and law-enforcement information and services, and critical flood control and transport infrastructure systems have all gone digital within the last year.

This week, it became possible for the first time for citizens to book their travel on river ferry services, online.
Minister McCoy also noted that the establishment of an ICT and Innovation Department within the office of the Prime Minister, the commissioning of a National Youth Advisory Council under the auspices of the Office of the President recently, and the building of a Satellite Ground Centre represent a demonstrable commitment on the part of Guyana to foster an enabling environment for its digital transformation.

“As we redouble our efforts on the home front to emerge more digitally synced with the rest of the world while empowering our own citizens, we remain fully committed to regional and global solidarity in keeping with our legal and moral obligations to build frameworks that support an inclusive and sustainable digital future for all humanity. The Government of Guyana stands squarely with efforts to contribute universally for developing the ITU Connect 2030 Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda,” the release said.


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