The National Data Management Authority expressed its intention to work with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in order to be able to open more eGovernment ICT Hubs across the country.
Chairman of the NDMA, Mr Floyd Levi made this announcement at a One Stop Business Conference held in Queenstown, Essequibo, Region Two on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. Mr. Levi stated that in addition to establishing hubs in Government buildings located in various communities, the involvement of NGOs would allow more Hubs to be open, thereby increasing the chances for more citizens to access free internet.
“We are prepared to work with NGOs to establish community ICT Hub on their premises. We will provide equipment, free internet access, computers – all we ask is that the organisation does not discriminate against any potential user of the system. Once we work with you we are ensuring that his free internet access is available to all Guyanese regardless of their race, their religious persuasion or where they are from,” the NDMA Chairman said.
A section of the gathering at the event
The event, which was hosted to provide entrepreneurs and residents the chance to interact with various businesses to find out about financing and other business-related activities was facilitated by the International Decade for People of African Descent Secretariat Guyana at the Queenstown Primary School.
“We believe that internet access for communities such as Queenstown also provides opportunities for small business people. It allows them the opportunity to not only to communicate on a major level – through email and social media etc- but allows you to do research on how to get a better product; market your product better and package a better product,” Mr. Levi said
More Hubs would add to an already growing number of government buildings where free internet access is already provided. To date, the NDMA has established 127 ICT Hubs and has connected 175 primary schools, 105 Secondary Schools, 33 Tertiary, technical and vocational institutions and 116 government ministries and agencies.
Mr Levi outlined during his remarks at the business conference that this is all in keeping with a promise made by President David Granger. During his address to the National Assembly in October 2016, the Presidency said, “Every government building – including airports, hospitals, markets, police stations, post offices and schools – will have access to the internet in coming years.” This promise has been reiterated by the President on several occasions and the work of the NDMA through the Ministry of Public Telecommunications has mirrored the President’s declaration.