Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes and a team comprising officials from her ministry and the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) are in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) meeting with residents and regional executives to address concerns relating to internet connectivity.
Minister Hughes, during her first engagement on Thursday February 15, with officials from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Regional Executive Officer Kerwin Warde and other sector representatives at Lethem, informed that the team will be conducting a needs assessment there, in an effort to determine what is required to strengthen the e-Government service.
She explained that the administration ‘s overall thrust is to create access to more online government services in the Hinterland and to ensure that educational facilities and other agencies are equipped with Wi-Fi.
The meeting, the minister said, offers an opportunity for the representatives to interface and discuss ways in which the residents of the region can capitalise on internet connectivity for enhancing their lives.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Chairman of the NDMA, Floyd Levi who said this visit is the first for 2018 in the region and marks the beginning of the initiative to extend e-Government services to remote communities.
He disclosed that the NDMA will soon be establishing an office in the town with at least one administrative staff to assist the region with technical issues that may arise.
Levi said the vision is to foster a close relationship with the regional administration to ensure the efficient execution of the Authority’s mandate.
Later in the day, Minister Hughes and team along with Region Nine Mayor Carlton Beckles held a Town Hall style meeting where residents, teachers, and students of St. Ignatius Secondary School and other representatives were able to raise concerns and offer suggestions for the improvement of Internet access.
The minister handed over five computers to the students of St. Ignatius and committed to having an assessment of the other computers in the science laboratory that have software and other technical issues.
According to a release from DPI, a smart classroom equipped with teleconferencing facilities is soon to be launched as well.