Poor, remote communities to get e-services

-under US$17m Norway-funded project

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes (left) shaking hands with UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka on the deal. Finance Minister Winston Jordan is at centre. (Ministry of Public Telecommunications photo)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday signed a Project Document with the Guyana Government for e-services to poor, hinterland and remote communities.

A release from the UNDP said that the ICT Access and e-Services for Hinterland, Poor and Remote Communities (HPRC) project will be executed by the National Data Management Authority (NDMA).  Signing on behalf of the Government of Guyana were Minister of Finance Winston Jordan and Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes.

The release noted that Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy emphasises sustainable development in the hinterland and a key facet of this is the linking of public services and information flows to new Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). It is against this backdrop that the ICT Access and e-Services project will be rolled out over five years beginning today.  The US$17M project is being funded by the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) into which Norway has placed funds accruing from its forest protection partnership with Guyana. 

The release said that the project has four main outputs which seek to strengthen Guyana’s E-government policy environment and legislation with respect to Hinterland, Poor and Remote (HPR) communities; and to ensure that these citizens have greater access to Public e-services and information and training to build their capacity to use ICTs.

Hughes, according to the release said, “For far too long the digital divide between these areas and the Coastland has been real.  With this project, we are about to change those circumstances and start the transformation of our people in these areas.”

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka, applauded the Government of Guyana and the Kingdom of Norway for their cooperation and confidence in the UNDP being a partner entity for GRIF and for this project.

Preceding the HPRC project, the release said that the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, working in close collaboration with UNDP, completed a comprehensive Baseline and Needs Assessment which  identified the HPR communities. The study included field visits and direct interaction with target communities.


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