‘We don’t need to play catch up’ -First Lady says at GT&T Innov8 Summit and Expo
Georgetown, Guyana – (March 24, 2018) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, this morning, commended the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Limited (GTT) on its inaugural Innov8 Summit and Expo, which brought together hundreds of technology based businesses, business leaders, entrepreneurs, students and youth group members to showcase their creativity, exchange ideas and to create linkages for business. The three-day Summit is being hosted at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Kingston.
The First Lady told the gathering that she was impressed by the large participation of youth, particularly their eagerness to demonstrate how they have used advanced technology to create new tools and machines; how it can be integrated into problem-solving and used for gaming and entertainment. “It was all very exciting to me and I think it’s something that Guyanese are seeing [through this Expo that] we don’t need to play catch up…I know that there is a lot happening in technology [here],” Mrs. Granger said.
Mrs. Granger, who is integrally involved in the STEM Guyana Robotics programme, also noted that the group continues to expand its reach to young people. “I’m very excited about the path forward for STEM and for technology in Guyana and for the kids to participate very competitively and I believe, positively, in the 21st-century economy,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Business, Mr. Dominic Gaskin, complimented GTT on their initiative and noted that the company has his Ministry’s full support in this endeavour. “This event is great. It is relevant, it is timely because now is the time for us to innovate and explore technology-based solutions for many of the challenges that we face as a nation,” he said.
The Minister noted that these are exciting times for Guyana as a nation as the Green State Development Strategy document nears completion and the country is on the pathway to sustainable development. He said that incorporating the use of modern digital technology is pivotal to national and economic development in today’s competitive world. “Technology is a pillar upon which our development hinges and in particular it is a tool for ‘green’ development,” the Minister said.
In an invited comment, GTT Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Justin Nedd said that the Innov8 Summit and Expo is not a one-off event, but one which the company hopes to use to inspire young people to be creative, to think critically and to seek information rather than to just have information handed to them. “The Innov8 Summit is really about educating the youth about technology because ultimately, we believe that as the children learn and experience more technology it really can move Guyana forward,” he said.
In addition, University of Guyana (UG), Faculty of Natural Sciences, Assistant Dean, Ms. Diana Seecharran said that they decided to participate in the Expo as it presented a great opportunity for the University to showcase its programmes and research. “A lot of the programmes done by the University now are looking for applications to be more relevant in current systems,” she said.
The GTT Innov8 Summit and Expo also saw participation from a number of private sector entities such as Starr Computer Incorporated, Global Technology Incorporated, Gizmos and Gadgets and STEM Guyana. Students from UG’s Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Faculty of Science and Technology, the North Ruimveldt Nazarene Church Robotics Club, and several schools, including the New Amsterdam Primary also attended the event.