Telecoms ministry hosting Internet Week to raise ICT awareness

Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes (centre) along with the Head of the Industry and Innovation Unit in the Ministry Lance Hinds (left) and Kevin Roopchand of MoPT on Friday (Keno George photo)

In a bid to foster the development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and raise awareness of its development and policies among Guyanese, the Ministry of Public Tele-communications (MoPT) will be hosting a five-day event, dubbed Internet Week, from tomorrow.

Speaking at a press conference at the ministry last Friday, Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes announced that a plethora of presenters from across the world, who are involved in the ICT sector, have been invited to participate in the event.

Hughes explained that the initiative falls in line with the ministry’s push to develop the ICT sector and to get as many Guyanese from industry, private sector and student population more educated about the sector on both local and international issues.

“We are looking to provide a baseline, an opportunity to garner information on a series of update issues and activities that are taking place in the telecommunications and ICT industry. So you will see an array of individuals that are coming and we see it as an opportunity for us Guyanese to be informed and educated on trends in the Industry,” she added.

Lance Hinds, who heads the Industry and Innovation Unit at the ministry, also explained that the event was planned with an aim of increasing citizens’ awareness of the ICT sector both locally and globally and for persons to be able to evaluate what currently exists in the local environment.

“One of the things we find is that we are very good front end users [using social media platforms] whereas we don’t have as much knowledge as we would like at the back end of the internet, as you want to call it – how it works, how it is governed, what is the kind of policy that is used to govern it every day,” Hinds said, while pointing out that often when businesses decide that they want to get into the “internet space,” they are often met with obstacles that they were not aware of.

As a result, the event is set to inform all walks of life about the rules and regulations that come with using the internet on a daily basis and for business.

Hughes also explained that the event will also pay heavy focus on youths, and there is one day, Youth Day, set aside to facilitate youths, including school children.

“One of the things we try to push a lot is for youths and creating that ICT skillset that we need. Whether it’s doing BPOs [Business Process Outsourcing] or just creating more software developers,” Kevin Roopchand, from the ministry, explained.

He said that the Youth Day will showcase what technology is currently available and is aimed at getting the youth population more involved.

The event, which will be commence tomorrow at 11:00 am at the Pegasus Hotel, will see a full day of discussion and capacity building on each of the five days. Tomorrow will be an ICT Awareness Day; Tues-day will be focused on Internet Governance; Wednesday will be focused on Network Security; Thursday will see the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC) make presentations; and Friday will be Youth Day.

The event will see participation by LACNIC, the Caribbean Network Opera-tors Group (Caribnog), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).