The “time is now” to capitalise on technology – Minister Hughes

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes speaking at the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) Innov8 Business Forum, hosted today at the Marriott Hotel, said the Government and its telecommunications partners’ collective objectives and trajectories are to ensure that modern technology in all its formats, impacts every sphere of Guyanese life.

GTT was applauded for their initiative in moving Guyana further along the technological highway. The Innov8 Summit and the plethora of activities hosted last weekend by the company, the minister noted demonstrates that Guyana is now pushing full steam ahead in terms of technology.

“Secondly that GTT is a true partner with the Government of Guyana ploughing ahead with similar goals and pathways towards a fully digitised nation.”

According to the minister, the Government’s investment portfolio has expanded tremendously in recent years, specifically since the announcement of the major oil find, hence the “time is now” to begin capitalising on technology.

“Some people believe that since there are approximately two years to first oil, that is 2020, that is how much time we have to bring Guyana up to speed…those two years, but I want to say they could not be more wrong”, she advised.

From the drafting of new legislation for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the energy sector, Minister Hughes pointed out that everything is being done simultaneously.

A section of the gathering at the GTT Innov8 Business Forum.
A section of the gathering at the GTT Innov8 Business Forum.

In light of this, a call was made for entrepreneurs to take advantage of the broad spectrum of business opportunities that abound, particularly in the new oil and gas sector, noting that only they can limit themselves.

Reference was made to a number of start-up groups which were working silently on creative apps, but prior to 2015, did not have a national platform or enough governmental support to showcase their talents and expertise.

Minister Hughes said when her Ministry was established in 2016, she met with these groups including Intellect Storm, Vision 75 and Innovative Systems, who now have a platform to showcase their creative abilities.

“We are very pleased indeed with GTT in developing its own data services landscape, taking a similar path as we currently have large sections of our population still with unmet telecommunications services.”

The Government, the Public Telecommunications Minister assured, is committed to creating an enabling environment with modern legislation for e-commerce and e-payments and ICT-enabled education in agriculture, manufacturing and several other areas.

Chief Executive Officer of GTT, Justin Nedd.
Chief Executive Officer of GTT, Justin Nedd.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTT, Justin Nedd said the company’s vision is to create a country that is not only connected but one where citizens can think critically and creatively.

“Our vision really is to give our children the confidence through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. We want to give them the confidence to stand as equals to any man, woman, child across the world.”

The GTT CEO said, “ambition without action, is a waste of cerebral capacity”, hence his company is taking bold steps, such as the fibre to homes project, which started in the third quarter of 2017, that recorded resounding success within six months.

Reliable, high-speed connectivity, Nedd believes is the foundation of the country’s growth, hence GTT will ensure that everything is done to bring connectivity to homes throughout Guyana.

The Innov8 Business Forum featured various plenary sessions focusing on topics such as e-commerce, finance, the oil and gas industry and more.

Source: Stacy Carmichael – DPI