GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes says that there is tremendous space for collaboration and partnership between the public and private sectors. The Minister said that the two sectors will be able to grow together, share skills, resources, insights and experiences.
The Minister was at the time addressing participants at the Masterclass Institute’s Digital Wealth Creation Summit held at the Marriot Hotel recently.
Minister Hughes said that the government does not have half the ideas required for the dramatic change in the Information Technology Sector (ICT). The Minister made reference to the first Hackathon that was staged last November. Noting that, this displayed clearly that Guyana does not necessarily have a skill shortage in the ICT sector, “In fact, I strongly recommend that the private sector establishes an ICT Skill Registry. There is an available skill pool out there, and we will need it to take our businesses fully digital”, Minister Hughes pointed out.
Minister Hughes revealed that there will be at least three other Hackathons throughout the year as the Ministry continues the quest to develop and nurture local talent. Rapid nationwide training programmes will be provided to help prepare citizens, especially youth, to participate in a twenty first century economy. “We plan to partner with the Private Sector and other agencies to develop ICT-specific incubators and accelerator initiatives”, the Minister said.
Minister Hughes told the participants that the government and the Ministry have jumped over some challenging hurdles in the past eight months, and the Ministry has begun to achieve what they set out to do. Minister Hughes said that looking ahead to the short to medium terms the Ministry expects that, citizens will have easy access to the internet anywhere in Guyana, when the Ministry completes installing internet-ready equipment in the far inland and interior areas, putting in many free wifi “Hotspots” in and outside of the city among others.
The Minister noted that she expects that these initiatives will create employment for the thousands of youths who graduate from secondary and tertiary institutions every year, while generating increased business revenue, as well as personal wealth that will definitely improve our lives and livelihoods.
The Minister said that the Ministry will use ICT to foster innovation. She noted that one of the problems Guyana faces is youth unemployment and the government has an obligation to help young people tap into their creativity and channel it into creating businesses. “There are lots of young people with great ideas who are unable to convert those into sustainable income-generating operations. The competitive advantage of any economy is increasingly dependent on innovative ideas and services”, Minister Hughes pointed out.
By: Gabreila Patram