Science and technology integral to building a modern Guyana – Hussain

Guyana recently participated in the Third Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities in Science, Technology and Innovation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Argentina.

Delivering remarks on behalf of Guyana, the Director of Industry and Innovation Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Shahrukh Hussain said that Information Communication Technology (ICT) forms a critical part of Guyana’s diversified economy and is imperative to its developmental agenda.

“Our government sees science, technology and innovation as the major driver in building a modern Guyana.”

Director Hussain noted that due to climate change, the region is facing major issues and Guyana is tackling the challenges by enhancing its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), the first of its kind in a developing country which will inculcate the sciences and the ICTs.

“The overall strategic direction will see Guyana adopting an approach that will seek to promote ICT to transform the way we operate in Guyana and achieve the social and economic transformation that would eventually translate into a knowledge-based and digital society which is globally competitive while adopting a strategic posture to become the ICT hub of the Caribbean. “

He added that enhancing connectivity and bridging the digital divide are high on the government’s agenda.

“For those who know the landscape of Guyana, most of our population is located in the coastal regions, and because of this, ICT plays a critical role in connecting the indigenous population to provide the same level of services as the coast. To the extent, the government intends to boost the capacity in the hinterland regions.”

While addressing the forum, Mr Hussain used the opportunity to update members on the rapid advancement taking place in Guyana and the country’s future plans. 

“In the coming months, we will be on the verge of completing 200 new ICT hubs, fully outfitted with the necessary hardware, software, and solar PV system to power each ICT Hub to service our hinterland, poor and remote communities.”

The director pointed to the diversification of those involved in ICT and noted that Guyana continues to support minority groups locally in the sector.

“We are also promoting gender equality among young girls by hosting our annual Girls in ICT programme. We are also supporting Persons with Disabilities by providing ICT training to promote innovation.”

The meeting was attended by representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Belize (virtual), Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Panama, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, African Union, UNESCO, IICA, ECLAC, OEI, and CAF.