Black Immigrant Daily News
Prime Minister Mark Phillips attends CANTO 39th Annual General Meeting held in Paramaribo, Suriname
Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips has restated the PPP/C Administration’s commitment to the overall well-being and prosperity of all Guyanese, noting its quest to create transformational opportunities, while fostering a flourishing economic environment.
The Prime Minister was on Sunday addressing the CANTO 39th Annual General Meeting, conference and mini trade exhibition held in Paramaribo, Suriname.
He noted, “We are cognisant that this vision of prosperity calls for the all-around development of our people through capacity building, access to information and ensuring their safety and security. All of this calls for eliminating inequalities and their adverse effects as we seek to deliver equitable benefits for all of our people.”
The Prime Minister pointed out that these development objectives are shared by telecommunications operators, who, through the provision of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), enable people’s economic and social empowerment.
Referencing that globally, it has been proven that countries with the highest level of competitiveness have highly advanced ICT sectors, PM Phillips noted that this suggests a direct correlation between ICTs and a robust economy.
In this vein, he underscored, “as such, the work and contributions of stakeholders [such as CANTO’s members] in the ICT industry must be considered critical in the global economy through broadening the reach of technologies such as high-speed Internet, mobile broadband, and computing. Expanding these technologies fosters growth, and enables greater communication and productivity- and by extension prosperity. Given this indisputable nexus, we are convinced of the essential role that you – the members of CANTO – have to play in our development.”
The PM said this role is not limited to the national level, since the formula for the success that governments seek implies the need for investment in ICTs for a “connected Caribbean”. He also highlighted the challenges posed to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as Guyana.
PM Phillips also pointed to other challenges such as obstacles to digital transformation due to limited access to affordable infrastructure.
“We must, therefore, seek to expand access and connectivity as rapidly as possible in order to harness the power of digital technologies. This will allow us to enable our citizens’ full participation in society and the economy and maximise our countries’ beneficial participation in regional and international markets,” he stated.
The Prime Minister also encouraged solid partnerships for investment in ICTs in pursuit of regional development.
The CANTO 39th Annual General Meeting was held under the theme: Fostering a Resilient Datasphere for All! CANTO, in 2023, is the forum for telecom operators, policy makers, regulators and other stakeholder, “to explore, champion and advocate for a regional digital ecosystem that promotes safe universal connectivity and inclusion, policy frameworks that enables growth and innovation and a datasphere that is both resilient and secure.”