Hundreds of Guyanese attended the 2018 Digital Wealth Creation Summit last Saturday at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, where they were told that their skills are critical to mainstream businesses.
Organised by the Masterclass Institute, headed by Dr. Rosh Khan, the summit was aimed at teaching participants how to use basic technology (i.e. phones, laptops, the Internet) to create entirely new online revenue streams, and how to increase revenues for existing businesses.
Delivering the opening remarks at the event, which was held under the theme, “Let’s Talk Financial Empowerment,” Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes underscored the importance of new talent to mainstream businesses.
“Now this where your talent makes the difference. The mainstream business community needs your skills. There is no one else they can turn too. All the investors that are coming in, where are they getting their labour force from? In this digital era, our producers should be working with modern high tech machines that would increase their production rates by 200 percent, so we are pointing the manufacturers, the importers, the distributors and even the private sector in your direction. We are going to tell them that you create, you install and you can monitor the customised applications to better manage their business and take it in not to the 21st century but the 22nd century,” Hughes said.
Hughes also reiterated the government’s commitment to developing the local Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. “I assure you that information communication technologies and every use for ICT sits high upon the government’s propriety listing. ICTs practically run this world we live in today. In some quarters, the new oil we recognise is in fact data. ICTs present one of the most lucrative industries in the world… We really have no choice but to digitise every aspect of business in Guyana in order to compete in the world market with prices that make sense,” she added.
“The fact is that Guyana will be doing everything else except slowing down for the next few years; there is so much going on at the same time in this country that it is hard for me to understand why anyone, both highly accomplished or people who are starting out, could have little appreciation for the position that Guyana currently holds,” Hughes further said.
This was followed by a reference to the recent controversial newspaper ad campaign, which called on investors to “Go Invest elsewhere.” The Minister said, “I have a message for the unfortunate person… that placed that ad in the newspaper telling our guests that they must go and invest elsewhere and I would like to tell him or her, I want him or her to go tell the coconut vendor who last week tripled his sales should they really expect potential investors that have a positive impact on their life to go and invest somewhere else; the lady with the increased catering orders, the hotels, the taxis, the restaurants that all tripled their sales, collected more tips, tell the graphic artist who produced beautiful material that we see here today, tell the printers, tell everyone, that they must go and invest somewhere else.”
Meanwhile, the featured guest of this year’s event was Barbadian Gabriel Abed, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brit Inc., which is recognised as the Caribbean’s leading authority on digital currencies, who spoke on “Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and the Caribbean.”
Other speakers included Valrie Grant, Managing Director of GeoTech Vision; Gillian Edwards, Credit Guarantee Fund Manager at the Small Business Bureau; Avia Lindie of Metro Computer and Office Supplies; Anije Lambert, CEO of Project Development Consultancy; Aggrey Marsh, Regional Software Developer and ICT Consultant; Lance Hinds, Chief Executive Officer of the BrainStreet Group; Mike Singh, Chief Executive Officer of Trifinity Solutions; and Dennon Lewis, General Manager of the Masterclass Institute.
Topics discussed at the summit included Financial Empowerment and Money Management; Digital/Online Opportunities; Investment Strategies; Digital Income Generation; and Small Business profits.