MoU signed to bolster ICT in hinterland

THE issue of cyber security and supporting legislation for the ICT sector will be explored with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministries of Public Telecommunications and Finance and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The agreement was signed Thursday at the Ministry of Finance Boardroom and it follows a project proposal requesting US$17M to boost connectivity in the hinterland regions.

Public Telecommunications Minister, Catherine Hughes, said consultation with stakeholders resulted in the MoU being signed for ICT access and e-services for the hinterland, poor and remote communities project.
She expressed excitement that the new project will offer Guyanese in these vulnerable communities access to the benefits of ICT in the areas of health, education, public security, telecommunications and related possibilities.

“For far too long the digital divide in these areas has been real, the project we are about to start will change and start a transformation,” she said.
The minister added: “This project will be looking at policy developmental issues, including cyber security, new supporting legislation for the sector, improved access to Government services through the use of ICT, and the use of renewable and green technology in realising our mandate.”

She said there will be establishment of more ICT hubs, the connection of more schools, support services and the ability to provide more Government facilities and services online. Minister Hughes noted that the event is a milestone in the development of a new and digital Guyana.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator, Mikiko Tanaka, said the partnership with the Ministry of Public Telecommunication, the e-Governance Unit and the Finance Ministry will deliver positively on the Guyana REDD+plus Investment Fund (GRIF) Programme.

She said the programme will deal with the issue of access and communication with the aforementioned communities, which will enable developmental objectives. Knowledge is power and information is liberating, she said.

Under the Rural Poor and Hinterland Communities Project, the Public Telecommunications Ministry applied for funds through the Guyana REDD+plus Investment Fund (GRIF) and has been able to connect communities in Masakenari, Bartica, Linden and Mabaruma.

Source: Guyana Chronicle