ICT transforming Guyana

THERE is no country in what is now definitely a global village that can ever hope to advance in its growth and development without it embracing fully, the wonders of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Even in those countries that still have restrictions on communication and information flow, because of particular political/ideological restrictions are gradually lifting restrictions on internet access. For not to do so can only be to the total disadvantage of the particular state, since ICT is about using technology for the betterment of lives.

It would be the understatement of the century, if it is denied how much the world has changed, in the process of becoming revolutionised by the wonders of ICT. With its advent, and evolution in so many different forms of communication, whether by Tweeting, Facebook, WhatsApp or Message – the entire world has since become smaller, in fact being able to share space in our living rooms, as we surf the fast-paced world, facilitated by ICT.

At the press of a key, we are now able to communicate with family and friends, and even make new acquaintances, from any corner of the world; acquire information and knowledge on any historical or contemporary event that had ever occurred, while tracking current events of any kind, as they unfold. Just about anything and everything that pertains to humanity, nature, and its existence is available on the Internet, made possible because of the wonderful innovation of the Highway Technology, compliments of ICT.

Since ascending to government, in 2015, the coalition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change, has recognised the urgent necessity of the need to ensure that Guyana is not excluded from the fast-moving pace of Information and Communication Technology. Therefore, cognisant of the urgent need to expand its use by way of educating citizens, and proliferate its use throughout the country’s regions for such a process, and moreover, making this technological vital the engine that will influence the country’s socio-economic development, Guyana’s own ICT revolution has been quickened.

Led by the e-government process, an elaborate mechanism of ICT HUBS has been introduced to many our coastal areas, geared to arm citizens with the knowledge of the internet through the acquisition of ICT knowledge and skills for use of the former. As far as the hinterland regions, there are now ICT HUBS, which is part of a wider hinterland ICT project of establishing in excess of 200 such stations over the next five years.

Many schools within this geographic area now have WIFI services for easier internet access. This is both a boon and a blessing to students in this particular locale, as it will enable for proper scholastic research for timely submission of assignments; and for the general citizenry, communicating for social purposes. Also, because of e-government, citizens in those areas and even along the coastland, many public services can now be accessed. This has removed the need for what used to be the traditional journey to the city of Georgetown.

The visiting Caribbean Telecommunication Union(CTU), ICT Roadshow was as timely, as it was also vital for the seminal knowledge and advance information that has surely benefited all those who have attended its many informative workshops in the city, as well as at its two out-of-town workshops at Annai and Berbice. Its varied components that included ICT processes for the disabled; the entrepreneurial, business, and financial sectors; and the key economic activity of agriculture, would have imparted to all those present that there are benefits to be derived by applying the transformative use of ICT to their particular sphere of activity.

We are certain that the Roadshow’s visit to the predominantly agricultural area of East Berbice –Corentyne, would have resulted in transformative information to farmers, on how to make their farms and produce more productive, and to the needs of the market. It is certain that e-agriculture, will now become an increased activity as farmers seek to apply the necessary ICT applications for increased productivity. As an example, farmers must have been amazed as to what the use of drones can do for their crops.

There is a growing reality – accepted — that ICT and its acquired skills-based knowledge are an absolute for living in our modern world of the 21st century; and that it is incumbent on every Guyanese to become acquainted with its use for everyday living, if we intend to still remain in modern life. It has already begun to touch all of our lives, in ways not thought of, at least 10 years ago.

And we are reminded as to the revolution that is ICT, as underlined by President David Arthur Granger, during his feature address to the opening of the roadshow at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, when he said: “ICT must drive the establishment of paperless agencies, departments and ministries. It must promote greater use of non-cash financial instruments. E-Government must make public services more accessible; e-business must facilitate commerce, investment and trade.”

This is a reminder as to the galloping pace of ICT that will be quickening Guyana’s socio-economic development, and how far-reaching are its implications for citizens to become au fait with its skills. The CTU ICT Roadshow would have taken Guyana further along this exciting highway with its transformative information and knowledge.

Source: Guyana Chronicle