OPM wraps up Photovoltaic training programme

The Government of Guyana is on a mission to bridge the digital gap between the hinterland the coast and ensure every part of the country is connected.

On Thursday, the Office of the Prime Minister’s Industry and Innovation Unit wrapped up a four-day Photovoltaic (PV) training programme, where 30 trainees from Regions One through Ten were exposed to various aspects of PV installations. The four-day course was facilitated by two trainers from GSOL Energy, Denmark.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs Hon. Pauline Sukhai

The training falls under OPM’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) Access and eServices for Hinterland Poor and Remote Communities Project and is part of a $3.4 billion (US$17 million) project.

It is designed to provide government services to Guyanese in their own homes, particularly those in far flung and rural communities. It was conceptualised in 2014 by the then PPP/C administration.

Participants of the training programme showing Minister of Amerindian Affairs Hon. Pauline Sukhai what they have learnt

During brief remarks at the closing ceremony Minister of Amerindian Affairs Hon. Pauline Sukhai said hinterland communities will no longer be denied connectivity.

“We are excited to ensure that this project is executed and executed very quickly, it will bring quite a lot of benefits to the hinterland and to those poor and remote communities across our country.”

She noted that the 30 participants will return to their communities with valuable knowledge, which will also contribute to the country’s overall development.

Participants setting up the Photovoltaic system

“The possibility exists that this project may also be able at some point in time lay the foundation and the training for hinterland young people, who need jobs to one day be employed within those sectors where jobs are outsourced to country like ours.”

The project will also see some 200 ICT hubs being established across the 10 administrative regions.

Consult Coordinator on the project, Mr. Ronald Harsawack said to ensure people are connected, there needs to be a stable energy source. As such, participants were trained in the field.

Consult Coordinator on the project, Mr. Ronald Harsawack

“We want to either rehabilitate or construct 200 hubs in those communities, we will retrofit those hubs to include 20 laptops, we will include a VSAT type satellite dish for internet connectivity. Our goal is to power the ICT hubs from the systems you see here today,” he said.

Mr. Harsawack stated that the project does not just stop at establishing ICT hubs in communities. It will also see persons being trained in computer literacy. Participants will be trained in computer operation, software application and Microsoft office, among other basic computer programmes.

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