Guyana and India yesterday signed a US$1 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the setting up of an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence in Guyana, a release from the Ministry of the Presidency said.
The MoU was signed between Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Indian High Commissioner here, Venkatachalam Mahalingam.
This Centre will provide training for public sector ICT professionals to ensure the availability of a highly skilled ICT workforce.
The release said that the MoU was signed at the Ministry of the Presidency in the presence of Floyd Levi, Head of the E-Government Unit; Vanessa Dickenson, Director, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Malcolm Williams, Director of Policy and Training, E-Government Unit.
Harmon said that the MoU caters for the creation and operation of an ICT Centre of Excellence.
It will be based at the National Data Manage ment Building at the University of Guyana Complex. During the first two years of the project, training of trainers will be completed after which the facility will be handed over to the Government of Guyana.
“The parties will cooperate in the identification of required areas of training, the establishment of a centre for training in ICT with two class rooms of 25 students each, in the provision of academic material to train up to 500 students per year for two years, among others,” Harmon added.
The Minister thanked India for its assistance.
“High Commissioner I want to thank you for this privilege. This has been an event that has been long in coming. It is a very significant moment in our history… The Government of India has persevered in ensuring that we have this Centre established in Guyana. I am very excited about the prospects that this project will bring and I am extremely pleased to sign this agreement,” Harmon said.
He said that he expects that the Centre will be opened within the next three to six months.
Mahalingam in comments said “We have been waiting for this for a long time and finally it happened. This is only the first step. There are a lot of things that we need to do. We need to correspond with each other. We need to make the facilities available on your end… I am sure that this is going to be a real good opportunity for Guyanese to have training on various aspects of IT Management and we look forward to working together”.