The Government of Guyana (GoG) has budgeted $5.2B for the development of the country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capability.
This announcement was made today by the Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill as he presents the Budget for 2020.
The minister relayed the government’s committment to the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector and increase access to cheap data and bandwidth to ensure improved access to the internet, increased ICT literacy, and expanded e-Government.
Schools, he said, will be outfitted with adequate equipment and software, and curricula will be reformed so that ICT proficiencies can be developed nationwide.
Additionally, the government will continue to provide internet access through the e-Government network to ensure government ministries and agencies, schools and other educational institutions are connected, and will also continue to invest in ICT hotspots and hubs, particularly in our hinterland communities.
To this end, the National Data Management Authority will receive an increased subvention of $2 billion to ensure the bandwidth expansion and continued connectivity.
Further, funds will be made to expand the Guyana Learning Channel as schools remain inaccessible by the pandemic.
“Mr. Speaker, an additional $200 million will be invested to expand the Learning Channel to ensure our children continue to have access to academic resources as we prepare for the safe reopening of schools,” he said.
Edghill told the House that Government views ICT as an enabler for job creation and development. In this regard, the administration will continue to support the sector with capital inputs for its infrastructure and, through policy initiatives, will ensure structured training and increased employment opportunities for all.
To realise this, the Government has also allocated $65.6M for the completion of a call centre in Linden, which will then be operated by a private company, generating more than 200 jobs for our people.