MOU to further connect hinterland, remote communities signed

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, November 30, 2017

Connecting residents in the hinterland and remote communities is now closer to realisation as the government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes and UNDP Resident Representative, UN Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka shakes hand after signing the MOU in the Finance Ministry’s boardroom.

After almost twelve months of deliberations, planning, research, project designing and consultations with stakeholders, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, and UNDP Resident Representative, UN Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka today, signed the MOU in the Finance Ministry’s boardroom.

The document is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Public Telecommunications (through the E-Government unit) the Ministry of Finance, UNDP, Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) and the GRIF Secretariat. It is funded under the Guyana-Norway Agreement.

An enthusiastic Minister Hughes said the MOU will remove the digital divide in the hinterland, poor and remote communities, that are still to access the health, educational, public security, telecommunications and entrepreneurial possibilities that ICT offers.

“The project we’re about to start will change and start the transformation, this project will look at policy development issues including cyber-security, new supporting legislation for the sector, improved access to government services through the use of ICT, the use of renewable and green technologies like solar technology in realizing our mandate,” Minister Hughes explained.

(From left) Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, and UNDP Resident Representative, UN Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka signs MOU in the Finance Ministry’s boardroom.

The project will also see the establishment of additional ICT hubs, internet connectivity in more schools and the provision of free internet access for more government facilities and skills training.

The Public Telecommunications Minister dubbed the event “a milestone event in the development of an ICT Guyana” and committed to providing more details of the project.

UNDP Resident Representative, to Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka said this initiative will help to develop communities.

“We would like to learn from our current experience in delivering GRIF programmes particularly in the hinterland areas which pose the challenges which this project is trying to address, the issue of access and communications between the hinterland communities but in this case, it is more expanded to remote and poor communities,” Tanaka noted.

A proposal outlining a US$17 million five-year intervention was formally submitted to the GRIF Secretariat in the second quarter.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

 

For more photos, click on the link to the DPI’s Flickr Page

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