Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes yesterday encouraged stakeholders and entrepreneurs to stop depending on traditional productive sectors and establish new Information and Communications Technology businesses and get online. The Minister was at the time addressing participants at a Digital Wealth Summit held at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown.
The summit was hosted by the Master Class Institute which is a business education and training organisation. Minister Hughes explained that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is very important in today’s every changing world. The Minister said that it is impossible to persons to start digital business without internet connections, or ICT. Therefore, she added, it is the goal of her Ministry to ensure that the level of connectivity for every citizen is improved.
“Our vision is built on the ICT must significantly improve the availability, efficiency and delivery of government related products and services and this is expected to employment for the thousands of our youths who graduate from tertiary and secondary education every year,” Minister Hughes emphasised.
According to a GINA report, Minister Hughes further explained that since last year her Ministry has installed internet ready computers and peripherals in some community centres and towns in the hinterland as well as internet access in computer rooms of over 100 secondary schools, the University of Guyana and Technical and Vocational Institutes,”
The Minister added that since its establishment her Ministry was able to satisfy part of its mandate to create a knowledge base ICT proficient society. The Public Telecommunications Minister promised that every Guyanese will have access to the internet anywhere in Guyana.
Expressing her gratitude for the summit, Minister Hughes encouraged the participants to reach out and establish new digital businesses, noting that already in the hinterland a few digital businesses have foreign support. The Minister also noted that there is tremendous space for collaboration between the public and private sector, “We should be able to grow together share resources and experiences. I know we will, I know we can.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin indicated that he would like to see more young Guyanese integrating more into the global network, “that is using digital connectivity as a platform for doing business.” The Minister said the ability to communicate online is the new reality. He further explained, “For over two decades businesses have been transposing to make better use of technology and new businesses have emerged and operate online….Digital technology is driving the economy and is bringing prosperity to businesses, countries and the entire region.”
Minister Gaskin noted that Guyanese must also ensure that their entrepreneurs are valued and treated as national assets, cultivated and motivated. He said that successful entrepreneurs can improve living standards through job creation and by making new products. Participants were also encouraged to look beyond the shores of Guyana not just for technologies but for markets for their products or services especially since Guyana needs more businesses bringing in foreign income.
“I know it is easier to do the opposite…but our Mission as a nation must be to develop the local industries. Guyana is yet to make its mark as a regional power house but must be the number one source for agro and agro products, gold and gold products, wood and wood products,” Minister Gaskin explained. The Minister applauded the summit noting that it can be defined as the cultivation and motivation of a new breed of enterprise in Guyana.
Advisor of the United States Embassy Amanda Codwell, in brief remarks encouraged the participants to have hope in their ideas, belief and persevere to make them realities.
The Digital Wealth Summit was facilitated by the Master Class Institute. This facility is a business education and training organisation that aims to transform Guyana’s economic landscape.
Owner of Social Rank Media, Dr. Rosh Khan, said this summit was hosted to help Guyana’s entrepreneurs, “participate in the ICT revolution.” “This summit is to help Guyanese add more income to their income and the technology is here it has always been here but now it is time to apply strategic knowledge,” Khan added.