Gov’t reaffirms commitment to bridging hinterland ICT, energy divides – PM Phillips

The government has once again reaffirmed its dedication to connecting the hinterland regions with the advancements occurring along the coast, particularly in the areas of information and communications technology (ICT) and energy.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips gave the reassurance Tuesday, while addressing the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) at Liliendaal.

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips

“We are serious about bridging the digital divide. We are serious about bridging the energy divide. We will continue to work overtime to have the necessary funds, and to implement the projects and programmes aimed at bridging those divides,” PM Phillips told the large gathering of Indigenous leaders.

He noted that the government is working to rapidly expand bandwidth coverage to additional hinterland areas.

“Wherever you are located in the hinterland, you can benefit from the same development projects and programmes that our government has designed and implemented for the people of Guyana,” the PM stated

Some 120 ICT hubs have been established in different communities to date, with 80 more to be completed by the first quarter of 2024.

Additionally, the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) has connected 114 locations with free WIFI.

“It is our desire to have every Amerindian village connected through the internet so you could have all the services that are delivered by the government.  Our ICT connectivity project is geared towards connecting you. Wherever you are located, we want you to be connected,” PM Phillips reiterated.

With these improvements, residents will be able to access more government programmes, including the Guyana Online Academy for Learning (GOAL) scholarship programme.

Meanwhile, PM Phillips disclosed that several communities are currently benefitting from the distribution of solar systems.

“We have expended US $7.2 million or GY $1.5 billion to purchase 30, 000 household solar systems, and the intention there is to give every household in every village. We have started the distribution in many communities [and] our focus right now is to complete Regions One and Nine. As the additional household systems come into the country, we will move to the other regions,” he explained.

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