Government has announced plans to train locals in managing the country’s e-Governance
The collaboration with China’s tech giant, Huawei Technologies Company Limited, will not only entail training but will also include the possibilities of replacement of obsolete hardware; technical support to restore the network in case of systems failure, remote trouble shooting and software updates.
These disclosures were made yesterday by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, during the post-Cabinet press briefing.
Huawei is a Chinese multi-national networking and telecommunications equipment and Services Company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. It is said to be the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, having overtaken Ericsson in 2012.
Under an e-Government project launched by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Huawei was contracted to build a fibre optic network in the city that also comprised a Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network spanning from Charity, Essequibo Coast, to Springlands, East Berbice. The cost was said to be over US$30M. The project was operationalised last year.
According to Harmon, the project is critical in moving Guyana to a green economy and reducing paperwork in government agencies and ministries. Online applications for passports, birth and death certificates, and online classes for hinterland students are but some of the initiatives being worked on.
According to Harmon, the Smart City Programme being administered by the Ministry of Public Security, that will include closed circuit television cameras for the city, will be integrated into the e-Government network.
Government officials late last year visited China where they met with Huawei about a closer collaboration.
Last month, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes told the National Assembly that 86 secondary schools have been equipped – along with offices of Regional Education Officers (REO), three Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) branches, two University of Guyana (UG) locations, and six technical and vocational institutions – with reliable high-speed access to educational content in their computer laboratories, as well as advance the effectiveness of law enforcement.
Further, the Minister said that several poor, remote and hinterland communities are now digitally connected through the installation of 14 community Information and Communications Technology (ICT) hubs in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six.
Minister Hughes told the House that ICT hubs have been established in Good Hope, Charity, Dartmouth, Bagotville, Buxton, Better Hope, Beterverwagting, Lusignan, Sophia, Trafalgar Union, Port Mourant, Liverpool, Sandvoort, and Vryman’s Erven – Cow Dam.
Through this intervention, over 66,000 residents in these communities have been provided internet access.
To replace the one laptop project to poor families, started under the previous administration, the current administration has started a One Laptop per Teacher programme. In December, over 8,000 laptops were distributed to teachers across all 10 regions.
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