Agricola Connected and Online!
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The community of Agricola on the East Bank of Demerara is now benefitting from free internet access, following the commissioning of an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub. The establishment of the hub in Agricola is a partnership between the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, National Data Management Authority (NDMA), the eGovernment Agency, and the Mayor’s Office of Georgetown.
Director of the National Data Management Authority(NDMA), Phillip Walcott told the residents that government services, including applications for birth certificates or passports, checking for grades, will soon be available to them online. He encouraged the management team to keep the WI-FI on at all times and ensure that the Hub is available to all to use. He noted that providing free internet access and devices to a community “Is a means to an end and the end is bringing government services closer to the people of the country”.
For Agricola residents the hub, which is equipped with 10 computers, is a much-needed development in their community.
For secondary school students Tonika Halley, Rayon Alves and Brandon Andrews, the hub will be very instrumental for research and completing their assignments. Older residents Margaret Douglas and Clive Atwell expressed gratitude for the establishment of the hub which they believe will be transformational and beneficial for the community. “Image your neighbors who has children going to school and now they do not have to pay for internet access and that makes me very happy, and I grateful because of initiatives like these it will be take the pressure off the community and residents,” Atwell said.
Director of NDMA, Phillip Walcott explained to the residents that when the current administration took office in 2015, it was the initiative of President David Granger to bridge the digital divide in the country and one such medium is through ICT.
In brief remarks, Mayor of the City of Georgetown, Patricia Chase- Greene encouraged the young people present to utilise the Hub to their advantage, “You, young people can be the flower that blooms in the community because we are the first community in the city that has an ICT Hub” Chase-Green said.
According to Chairman of the ICT Hub, Ranwell Jordan, the management team has ten volunteers and the hub will be opened from 16:00hrs to 19:00hrs, Mondays to Fridays.
Head of the NDMA, Floyd Levi, disclosed that his team made a presentation to the M&CC last February on the Telecommunications Ministry’s Community hub initiative, which they feel provides many benefits, especially the educational value of easy access to the internet.
The NDMA had asked the Councillors, in February, to identify the ICT needs of the residents in their constituencies and determine whether there was need for free Wifi service. Several requests for community hubs were submitted and the NDMA is now working on a schedule for communities in the environs of the city, along with East and West Demerara.
By: Gabreila Patram