…to develop national broadband
The government is in negotiations with the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) to secure funds to roll out a national broadband project which will greatly improve service delivery.
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes, shared with Kaieteur News that Government intends to secure US$37.6 million to finance the broadband project in 2018.
According to Hughes, the three-year project will upgrade the e-Government network to enable equitable delivery of services to citizens in the areas of education, health, security, government administration, business, citizenship and immigration.
Hughes noted that Government has submitted the application for the loan and is awaiting approval.
China EXIM Bank is a state-funded and state-owned policy bank. It is directly under the leadership of the State Council and dedicated to supporting China’s foreign trade, investment and international economic cooperation.
Since taking up office in 2015, the Coalition Government rolled out a 10-year strategy based on the growth of ICT as an independent sector and its application as a cross cutting component in all other sectors.
The strategy is well underway; the next stage is to begin the multi-stakeholder consultation process that will include members from several sectors, including governance, science, innovation and the creative industries.
There are specific objectives that relate to the staggered reduction of unemployment, the creation of jobs through such initiatives as the national digitization and documentation of government records.
Hughes noted that already young Guyanese displaying an interest and aptitude at ICT hubs are being identified for this employment programme.
It is believed that for Guyana’s ICT sector to grow, Intellectual Property Protection must be strengthened. Guyana would be unable to position itself as a credible off shore provider of ICT and other knowledge-based services unless investors and potential clients are certain that their intellectual assets would be protected.
Hughes noted that full review of the current regime is being undertaken with the Ministries of Business and Education.
The Minister noted that the E-Commerce/e-transaction legislation will support the ability of entrepreneurs to transact business in the internet space with legal protections and validations. This will be supported by a robust Cyber Security policy that will support this legislation.
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