President Ali launches Guyana Coders Initiative

150,000 Guyanese being trained as online coders

The Government of Guyana has partnered with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch the Guyana Coders Initiative (GCI), as the administration moves to transform the nation into a hub for Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The inaugural undertaking, which opened at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) Wednesday, will see some 150,000 Guyanese being trained as online as coders.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali delivering the keynote address at the launch of the Guyana Coders Initiative on Wednesday

Coding, widely known as computer programming, is the process of performing a particular calculation, usually by designing and building a workable computer programme.

Wednesday’s launch also saw the official opening of the GCI website.

Keynote speaker, President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, said the move towards nurturing local digital talents will ensure the country assumes a firm position to match the evolving technological world.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali launches Guyana Coders Initiative on Wednesday

He said the world will be completely different in 2030 and beyond, and it is his administration’s responsibility to prepare citizens for the change.

“Today is important, it is about what Guyana 2030 will be and must be. The next eight years are very important years for Guyana, we are starting way behind the race, and if we are to adjust ourselves in this race in a straight-line manner, we will be way behind for decades to come. So, we are taking a big leap to fight at the front of the race,” Dr Ali told a large gathering of students, teachers and parents.

“This step is about you taking our country forward in 2030 and beyond, ensuring that you are competitive, resilient, functional… ensuring that we as a country have the tools that will take us forward, and our economy is among the strongest,” the head of state added. 

In 2021, approximately 26.9 million people worldwide were software developers. This number is expected to rise to 45 million by 2030.

A section of the gathering during the launch of the Guyana Coders Initiative on Wednesday

Against this backdrop, the president emphasised his government’s commitment to ensuring that a good portion of Guyanese be part of this group.

“And this gives you that first step. That is why we are not only going to government schools and institutions; we have opened this up to the private sector. We want corporate Guyana to open your offices after work and welcome children from the community to be part of this programme utilising your facilities.”

Going forward, the president said Guyana will be willing to work as a hub where persons within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) could benefit from the initiative.

“Because as I said before, we take our regional responsibility seriously and our prosperity must lead to regional prosperity. We will work on opening the platform and relationship so all the countries in CARICOM can benefit from this coding initiative,” he noted.

Dr Ali said the support of the UAE is outstanding and its level of commitment backed by action must be applauded.

The governments are also in talks to introduce software development as a core component in the local school system ahead of the economy in 2030.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Office of the Prime Minister of UAE, His Excellency, Abdulla Lootah said the innovative project is worth celebrating and presents a new milestone of a partnership between the two states.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in March 2022 following a series of engagements, workshops and high-level field visits with representatives of both countries.

“Our collaboration is also pivotal because it embodies one collective vision by both nations in exchanging government experiences with impactful outcomes,” Lootah stated.

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand during the launch of the Guyana Coders Initiative on Wednesday

He said the UAE remains highly connected with the objective of the government exchange experience programme which already has a record of some 19 participating countries.

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand pointed out that the programme caters to more than 150,000 persons to learn computer programming, despite their age, race and geographical location.

A certificate will be issued upon completion of the programme and will be recognised by the UAE. Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar chaired the event.

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