Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes has expressed happiness that her Ministry and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) have delivered on the promise to provide faster internet connectivity to residents in Essequibo.
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes
The Minister, during the launch of GTT’s 4G and 4G mobile communications standard (LTE) network, and the Ministry’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) hub, said the project was long overdue, “but finally Essequibo is now full of new possibilities.”
Minister Hughes encouraged the Good Hope residents to develop their entrepreneurial skills which she noted will not only benefit Essequibo, but the country as well.
Minister Hughes told the gathering at the launch that, the government was very aware that Guyana was lagging far behind its Caribbean neighbours, and much farther behind the developed countries, in terms of the country’s inability to provide better internet connectivity.
“This (internet) has limited our progress, dampened every possibility for our citizens to get involved in and benefit from all that this technology-driven world has to offer,” Minister Hughes said.
Pointing out some of the benefits that Essequibians will have because of the internet, the minister said that, in e-commerce and international trade, residents can produce a product and sell it via the internet on the world market. They will also see improved educational opportunities such as the introduction of eLearning that should equip classrooms in rural communities with video conferencing facilities which would allow a student in Suddie or Dartmouth to be part of the same Biology class as a Queen’s College student.
There will also be improved research opportunities, access to online libraries, which means advancement in telemedicine, giving nurses and doctors in regional hospitals and health centres the ability to speak to a doctor in Georgetown in real time about complex health issues, the Minister explained.
With vastly improved internet capacity and speed, rice farmers in the region can now search online for spare parts for their combines and tractors; beauticians can source their hair and nail supplies and have it shipped to Guyana, and supermarket owners will enjoy being able to buy new products online and have them on their shelves in no time, Minister Hughes said.
“Most importantly, our entrepreneurs will have a readymade export shipping route for our indigenous products – hammocks, high quality coconut oil, and tamarind balls – to a massive diaspora market. Technology is the greatest equaliser. No more will we in Guyana be at a disadvantage trying to do business with the rest of the world. It’s happening now. To you I say: ‘Remember that the only limitations in your life are the ones you put on yourself. It is time to get up and go … see what I am going to create today!’”the Minister urged.
Referencing GTT’s input, Minister Hughes noted that the nation will only move forward if the private sector continues to invest in the economy. She noted that her Ministry and the government appreciate the expansion by the company into Essequibo.
The Minister expressed the hope that GTT will continue to fulfill the promises it made to expand and strengthen the range of telephone and digital services. “We see your participation as vital to the transformation of our nation,” the Minister said.
Additionally, Presidential Advisor on eGovernment, Floyd Levi said that the location of the ICT hub was perfect. Levi also encouraged the residents to develop their computer skills and utilise the hub for business purposes, especially for accessing government services.