Passport, licences among 200 online public services by end of 2019 – Cathy Hughes

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The government is looking to roll out some 200 public sector services by the end of 2019, Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes has said.

“In public service, we want to put 200 services like applying for your passport, your driver’s licence – 200 services we intend to put online before the end of 2019,” Hughes told the Digital Wealth Creation Summit Saturday.

She said every nuance of ICT sits high on the government’s list of priorities.

“We really have no choice but to digitise every aspect of Guyana in order to compete in the world market with prices that make sense,” Hughes declared.

With public services going digital, the Minister emphasised the need for business to also go that route.

“The traditional industries like furniture making, for example, they have been using the same manual methods for the last 40 years – those have to change.

“In this digital era, our producers should be working with modern, high tech machines that would increase their production rate by nearly 200 percent,” she stated.

Hughes said the onset of the oil and gas sector depends on a highly efficient Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.

She echoed the sentiments of some that “the new oil is data” and posited that the ICT sector is one of the most lucrative industries in the world.

“ICT is the most necessary factor of production in every industry you can imagine. In Guyana’s food production industry, in mining, in agriculture, in agro-processing.

“ICTS, we all know, are revolutionising education in terms of online learning and many other areas – trade, health, public service,” she stated.

She added: “ICTs are at work in industrial plants, whether they are making pepper sauce, Chinese sauce, juices, other beverages.”

Hughes said manufacturers and the general business community are being pointed to tech wizards who can create, install and monitor custom applications to manage businesses of the future.

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