Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes expressed confidence that a project designed for ICT Access and eServices for Hinterland, Poor and Remote Communities, that will the bridge the Information Communications Technology (ICT) gap between the Hinterland and the Coastland and ensure guarantee equitable provision of services, will be granted and funded under the Guyana-Norway Agreement.
In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister Hughes said that under the Rural Poor and Hinterland Communities Project, the Ministry applied for funds through the Guyana REDD‐plus Investment Fund (GRIF). She noted that the Ministry has been going through the process and has completed the necessary ground work.
According to DPI, the project proposal requesting US$17 million, is a five- year intervention programme and was formally submitted to the GRIF Secretariat. It is expected to bolster the existing connectivity drive.
Minister Hughes expressed excitement because the project has a number of components. She noted that there are many “far flung parts of the hinterland like the Rupununi in the interior where we need special approaches”. The Minister explained that there is a cost to providing internet access and projects will need to be developed that will generate income into the communities, DPI said.
Another important component of the project, Minister Hughes identified is training of individuals. She explained that training of persons in the communities that are to be connected is imperative.
Minister Hughes noted that the Ministry has been able to connect communities in Masakenari, Bartica, Linden and Mabaruma.