With the current slump in the rice, sugar and gold industries, the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Sector could be the next best thing to drive Guyana’s economy.
This is according to President of the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Lance Hinds.
Hinds was speaking at the opening ceremony of an Information Technology forum hosted by Japanese IT service provider Fujistu at the Marriot Hotel on Thursday.
Local Internet Service providers gathered where they listened to representatives from several multitechnology companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and Checkpoint, partnering companies with the Japanese IT service provider. He said the Chambers perspective on the Information Technology Sector is that it could be used to move the country forward.
Speaking at the ceremony, Hinds, whose office had collaborated with the Japanese company to host the programme said that there is something spectacular about ICT and its potential role in national and economic development. According to him, the challenges in the ailing industries mean that they cannot continue to be the primary drivers of the economy.
“We believe that it is the technology driven knowledge management industries that will be the cornerstone of this country’s future”, Hinds told the gathering.
According to Hinds, the development of ICT as a productive sector is not as progressive as one would have liked. “The cost of supporting the structure, the absence of legislation limited as a result of all of this 2015 has found Guyana a little way behind its Caribbean counterpart. However there has been some encouraging signs, including growth in the call centre line of business, national skills set is improving and there is more graduates from the University of Guyana (UG)”.
He said while all these have been accomplished, there is still a significant way to go in the areas of ICT as a significant role in the advancement of this country.
“The Chamber’s position as it has always been is that ICT can transform lives in Guyana”. Hinds noted that the ICT plan is to be successful; it must be placed in a priority position in the overall plan for National Development.
“It should be based on two fundamental pillars… The growth of ICT as an independent sector and the application of it as a cross cutting component in other sectors. These include education, health, science innovation and creative industry”.
Hinds said despite the little setbacks, there have been tremendous developments and improvements in the sector and its contribution. There is also still need for harmonisation, since too much work is being done by any one company.
Meanwhile, Fujistu Vice President of Sales Stephen Juteram told the gathering that the session was to be used is to reintroduce to Guyana to the company. He said the organisation, whose Caribbean office is based in Trinidad and Tobago, sees technology as a method of improving the lives of people.
The company which has several customers in Guyana, is hoping to have other local companies come on board to assist them in offering improved services to their customers.
Fujitsu is a $55 billion leader in global Information Technology systems and services and is ranked number three in the world’s top IT services providers.
It provides a full range of IT services and has the capability of implementing and supporting multi vendor platforms and systems for servers, storage, networks desktops and servers.
Juteram said his company is seeking to understand the needs of each client. Its service currently reaches some 170,000 people and operates over 140 data centres. He relayed that the company really wants to have a relationship with local it organisations in Guyana.
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Date: 18 September, 2015
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