ICT GRIF Project closer to bridging Hinterland and Coastland

Director of the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), Floyd Levi says the US$17M ICT – Information and Communication Technology Access and E-Services for Hinterland, Poor and Remote Communities Project catered for under the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), when fully implemented, will bring the government closer to its goal of bridging the gap between hinterland and coastland.

Levi, speaking recently with the Department of Public Information (DPI), said the project aims to provide government services to residents in these communities lacking the requisite infrastructure to access the services.

He noted that it was recognised that while services are being placed online, many residents may not be able to access them because of location and other limitations.

The project, therefore, provides access, the means of accessing the government services and especially for residents who do not have the capacity to navigate online.

According to the NDMA Director, “we are trying to bring all our residents to a point where they can actually access government services online in the comfort of their homes and do it more efficiently.”

Provision of funding for the expansion of existing e-services into a much broader offering that will include agricultural services, tax information and certificates, bill and pension payments, and community fault reporting is included.

Levi clarified that other persons will also benefit, “even if they live in Georgetown or along the Coast and their financial situation may not allow them to either pay for the internet plan or to buy the device to access the internet,” as he explained that not only residents in the hinterland, remote and poor communities will benefit.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on November 30, 2017, signed the approved Project Document for the project which is being executed by the NDMA.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan and Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes signed on behalf of the Government of Guyana.

As a precursor to this project, the Ministry of Public Telecommunications in collaboration with UNDP completed a comprehensive Baseline and Needs Assessment which identified the communities.

Source: Stacy Carmichael – DPI



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