President David Granger has expressed confidence in the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to ease the suffering of Guyanese who are disadvantaged because of geography and a lack of adequate infrastructure.
He made the remarks this morning at the opening of a six-day Caribbean ICT Conference and Roadshow here in Guyana.
He said he supports the advancement of ICT throughout all regions of Guyana even as he promised more budgetary allocations to the sector and welcomed the support of local and foreign donors to the cause.
The President also told the gathering that he believes that with ICT services in all regions, the quality and efficiency of public services will be improved.
This, he said, will in turn reduce the need for persons to leave their communities and travel to the capital city, Georgetown to access public services while revolutionizing other government services such as education delivery.
Guyana has received the support of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union to host the trade show and conference, which since its launch in 2009, has been held some 23 times in 18 regional territories.
“Guyana’s push to transform the economy to a digital state had received the support of the CTU and I am happy about this,” the President said.
Public Telecommunication Minister Catherine Hughes noted the need for greater stakeholder buy in and acceptance of the government vision and plan for advancing ICT.
She considered it imprudent for private sector companies to hire foreigners to do work in ICT that can be done right here by locals who are competent enough to get the job done.
Hughes also spoke of putting better legislation and regulations in place to support the advancement of ICT.
Over the next five days, there will be presentations on E-Governance in the 21st century for persons challenged by their hearing and sight abilities and for persons in the agriculture sector.
CTU’s Bernadette Lewis also encouraged Guyanese to take full advantage of the opportunities over the next week as the collaborative effort seeks to dispel several fears people have about I CT.
She said it was also important to teach people not to lose their ability to communicate face to face or allow ICT to isolate them from their fellow humankind.