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[*] posted on 13-6-2018 at 08:01 PM
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By Lance HindsIn his presentation of the 2015 budget to Parliament, the Minister of Finance extolled the virtues of ICT and the critical role it must play in the modernization and diversification of the nation?s economy. He said that most of the world is now firmlyLance Hindsensconced in the information age and operating in a knowledge economy, and further, that knowledge and intellectual property are drivers of economic value.Traditional sectors like agriculture, forestry and mining, as well as shipping, transport and logistics,Jerseys NFL China, have been transformed from relatively, low-skilled intensive operations into high technology, knowledge-driven industries. He then declares that:?We in Guyana must strive to harness information,Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic, communications and other technologies, to transform, our economy and society, to deliver goods,Cheap Jerseys USA, services and quality of life to our citizens in accordance with the contemporary expectations of the 21st Century?.He said the government is acutely aware of the need to leverage the potential of the new technologies to expand market reach and create new streams of economic activity so as to generate new and higher jobs for the economy. He added that in addition to continuing to support the development of business process outsourcing, the Government will pay special attention to technology-based services, such as management information systems for agricultural operations, forestry and mining.He introduced the concept of one Government, where the citizens will no longer have to run from agency to agency in pursuit of a singular service. There must be one window, one port of call, one Government. Recognizing the need for agencies to be prepared for this new paradigm, he advised the House that the Government will, by 2020, enact legislation for electronic transactions/e-Commerce, legality and acceptance of digital signatures, and data protection.It terms of budgetary allocations the Finance Minister advised further that $1.7 billion was going to be for the purchase of close to 10,000 laptops for distribution to educators,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, students, institutions, and community-based organizations. Around US$1 million will be allocated to the e-Government project to deliver the envisaged e-Government services to our citizens.Government also plans to implement a national electronic health information system and establish a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology. These are a few of the goodies promised as part the Government?s stated intention to use ICT to improve its efficiency and to prepare the nation to function and complete successfully in a 21st century environment.I am happy in general with the direction that we have been promised. In terms of modernizing our intellectual property legislation, I would have preferred a definitive statement that it was going to be done and soon. I will assume,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, however, that is on the agenda, because of Government?s recognition as per the Minister, that knowledge and intellectual property are drivers of economic value.I am also of the opinion that despite the assurance that 2020 is the ceiling for completion for all the relevant legislation, there is really no reason it cannot be completed by early next year.The building of an ICT school of excellence is timely, because it has the possibility to develop the skills for immediate private sector needs. My only concern is, however, that it is established within the context of what we in the sector would like to see done to advance the capacity of the Computer Studies programme at the University of Guyana. The establishment of a national patient information system will be a transformational step in the provision of medical services in Guyana. The possibilities of using e-learning platforms to increase access to educational content regardless of location or economic circumstance, is endless.My thrust this week, however, was based on the following remarks made by the Minister:?One of the first initiatives, therefore,Cheap Jerseys China, must be the establishment of an advisory body to develop the broad vision of this administration into a detailed plan that specifies the individual projects that must be implemented in order to realize our strategic objectives?This is absolutely correct. The systems being proposed are substantial. Not all of the agencies that are going to be beneficiaries of the solutions being proposed are ready to support deployments of this kind. There is a lot of work to be done in terms of capacity building and the implementation of required organizational structures. This requires a short, medium and long term comprehensive strategy to ensure success.In the context of a national developmental objective, therefore, I would expand the Government?s concept on this towards the development and implementation of a national Information Technology strategic plan for Guyana. This plan must be based on the vision that the ICT Sector will play a central role in the transformation of Guyana over the next 10-15 years toward becoming a developed country.This plan must be based on development of the sector on two fundamental pillars; One as a cross-cutting component and enabler supporting the improved efficiency of Government and the productive sectors, and also as an independent,Cheap China Jerseys, dynamic business sector contributing significantly to the national economy.This plan must establish clearly defined linkages with a number of critical sectors such as education, science, governance, innovation and the cultural and creative industries. The plan must also include an analysis of the current environment, a SWOT analysis, overall vision and implementation framework and an action plan.The development of this plan must be an inclusive process. I am not by any means suggesting a long consultative exercise, but certainly a structured method of participation and collaboration inclusive of Academia, Private sector and Civil society will produce a comprehensive, realistic plan with multi-stakeholder support and acceptance.The initiatives announced by the Government during the budget presentation in Parliament are exciting, but they must be done within an implementation framework that will ensure the long term sustainability and success of the solutions that are being proposed.Lance Hinds is the current President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the BrainStreet Group, an ICT consulting and information services company.
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