Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, today, told members of the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations (CANTO) that his Government would be investing US$17.4M to improve the ICT capabilities of more than 200 communities in Guyana.
The Prime Minister, who delivered the feature address at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Mini Exhibition, underscored the importance of technology in overhauling the traditional ways in which the Region has conducted business.
“Prior to 2020, the possibilities of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for transforming our economies were already evident. Now, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a pressing imperative to ensure the widespread rollout and adoption of ICTs. Undisputedly, such technologies are instrumental to our ability to respond to the pandemic.”
He emphasised that ICTs are enabling remote access to work and school for citizens and have also forced the country to break through barriers that have previously prevented the delivery of more Government services online.
“Our Government has continuously given our commitment to ensuring equitable development for residents in hinterland communities and chief among those priorities include access to ICTs. US$17.4M has been earmarked for improving internet connectivity to 200 communities throughout Guyana, which will be rolled out this year. 35,000 households in those communities will also be presented with an upgrade in solar panels to power their homes.”
The Prime Minister said Guyana is not lost on the benefits of ICTs, and recognises their immense capabilities. As a result, the country welcomes the available opportunities as it relates to advancing telecommunications, especially in the business sector.
It was along this thrust, he explained, that Guyana sought to deliver on the key promise of liberalisation of the telecommunications sector within a mere 64 days of assuming office. As a result, vast prospects for business investments within multiple industries have been created.
Liberalisation of the sector, Brigadier (ret’d) Phillips explained, brings the country’s telecommunications industry in line with regional and global standards. He stressed that the government is willing to work with all stakeholders to ensure that citizens have access to innovative and modern services.