The reintroduction of the Government’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) programme will see some 200 hinterland and riverine communities benefiting from fully-equipped ICT hubs over the next two years.
The ICT programme will be executed by the Office of the Prime Minister Project Management Unit under the ICT Access and eServices for Hinterland, Poor and Remote Communities Project.
Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai said the Ministry would be providing support to the Project Management Unit in terms of identifying the areas to be served, among other matters.
“We have already procured computers, the dish, Internet connectivity units. We have procured the security stations that will be installed for surveillance and so on, for the protection of the various equipment, because they are costly, and we will also procure solar panels to power the facilities,” she said, during a recent community outreach in the Pomeroon River, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).
The programme will start to rollout in early 2021.
Funds will be provided for villages with existing hubs to refurbish and equip those facilities. Village Councils will be tasked with identifying areas or buildings to establish hubs in villages that do not have those facilities.
Minister Sukhai said 20 Internet-ready computers would be installed in the hubs and be accessible to all residents. “We are training the CSOs (Community Support Officers) so that they can be able to come back and teach persons in the village how to use the computers,” she added.
The Minister said the overall aim of the programme is to accelerate economic and social development across the hinterland. Before 2015, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government had started a programme aimed at modernising Guyana through ICT which saw ICT labs being constructed and equipped in several communities and schools in the hinterland. This programme was altered under the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration.