2000 young Guyanese to benefit from One Guyana Digital Initiative

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Sunday launched the One Guyana Digital Initiative that will benefit some 2000 young Guyanese from across all 10 administrative regions.

The programme aims to empower and enrich the skill set of youths who have completed post-secondary education in information technology and equips them with promising careers within the technology sector.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali addresses the gathering at the launch ceremony

The initiative falls under the Guyana Online Academy for Learning (GOAL) programme, and once completed, successful persons will be able to work remotely in Guyana for renowned tech companies across the globe.

They will be able to earn between US $25,000 to $75,000 annually.

Delivering feature remarks at the launching, President Ali commended Canadian Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen for his commitment to bringing the idea to reality.

Canadian Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen

“He said to me in Canada, we can do this and he ensured that all the mechanisms were in place for us to get it done. This is the fastest we have moved from conceptualisation to implementation of any programme,” President Ali stated.

Of the 2000 young people, 60 per cent are women and 20 per cent are from the indigenous community, the president disclosed.

“If you were to do this programme on your own at the Toronto Metropolitan University, it would have cost each of you 10,000 USD. What that means is that for 2000 of you, the partnership goes beyond the matching grant, because we were able to negotiate a special rate for this programme…The costs would have been US $20 million or GY $4 billion. That is the investment we are making in you,” President Ali asserted.

Perspective beneficiaries gathered at the launch ceremony

He said the government is moving towards digitisation, transitioning to a governance system aimed at eliminating bureaucracy and human biases.

The focus is on establishing a system-based administration and creating an efficient, reliable, highly functional, and integrated government.

Perspective beneficiaries gathered at the launch ceremony

“Young people, you have an opportunity like never before, it is yours to destroy, it is yours to cherish and it’s yours to accomplish. Many countries would love to have this opportunity. Don’t take it for granted, don’t take the investment, what would have been an investment of $4 billion in your education for granted. Take this seriously,” the head of state empahsised.  

Additionally, he disclosed that a similar initiative that will benefit the entire region will be presented at CARICOM’s heads of government conference which opened in Guyana Sunday afternoon. 

Canadian Minister, Ahmed Hussen, highlighted the 50-year relationship between Canada and Guyana, emphasising Guyana’s significance as Canada’s primary trading partner in the Caribbean.

Some of the persons gathered for the Launch of the One Guyana Digital Initiative

He also announced a contribution of $9.5 million to the initiative.

“It will help launch young people into fulfilling careers in the emerging digital skills technology sector. Canada is proud to join forces with you Guyana, with you President Ali on this exciting new initiative,” he stated.

Senior Minister in the office of the President with responsibility for Finance and Public Service Dr Ashni Singh and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Sonia Parag also spoke at the event.