Public-private partnerships integral to promoting development – Min. McCoy

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, has emphasised the importance of public-private partnerships to promote advancement in Guyana’s ICT sector.

The minister was speaking at the launch of the Industry and Innovation Unit’s Innovation Challenge 2023 on Tuesday.

The challenge is a collaborative effort between the Industry and Innovation unit and SBM Offshore Guyana. 

Minister McCoy said that partnerships such as these create boundless opportunities, as private sector entities look beyond the narrow confines of profit-making and embrace a holistic, dynamic approach to development.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy

He said the government is building a robust society and driving it towards development and transformational change.

Minister McCoy cautioned that it is not only about what the government does and should do, but also what every single stakeholder does and can do with respect to promoting these partnerships so that Guyana benefits.

“It is about people… the private sector and all stakeholders must make sure that everyone has a role, and everyone’s role is so defined that we all work towards the one common objective and vision,” he underscored.

Minister McCoy commended SBM Offshore for making this investment in local skills, adding that it will promote societal growth and smooth integration of Guyana’s youth into the ICT workforce.  

His position was echoed by SBM Offshore Guyana’s Local Content Officer, Garri Fraser.

According to Fraser, the partnership with the Industry and Innovation Unit will allow for three participants of the Innovation Challenge to benefit from a three-month paid internship at the organisation.

He spoke about local content development in the ICT sector and the strong public-private partnership needed to grow the sector.

Fraser said it is an important aspect of the company’s operations which needs continuous investment in local skills.

SBM Offshore Guyana’s Local Content Officer, Garri Fraser

“Local content for SBM is very important, and this is one of several initiatives that our company is utilising to provide Guyanese with the skills and knowledge needed in the oil and gas industry today,” Fraser noted.

The organisation has piloted a number of programmes aimed at upskilling and utilising the local workforce within the oil and gas industry.

These include the Graduate Engineers Programme, and the Trainee Technician Programme, aimed at building the capacity of young Guyanese for future roles in the oil and gas industry. These work in tandem with the organisation’s career outreach programme, which targets schools across the country.

Both Minister McCoy and Fraser noted these public-private enterprises and partnerships will set the stage for government policy in terms of the ICT sector with respect to investments promoted through Guyana’s Local Content Legislation.