GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Government has partnered with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch the Guyana Coders Initiative (GCI), as the administration moves to transform the nation into a hub for Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The inaugural undertaking, which opened at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Wednesday, will see 150,000 Guyanese being trained as online as coders.
President Irfaan Ali said the move towards nurturing local digital talents will ensure the country assumes a firm position to match the evolving technological world.
He said the world will be completely different in 2030 and beyond, and it is his administration’s responsibility to prepare citizens for the change.
“Today is important, it is about what Guyana 2030 will be and must be. The next eight years are very important years for Guyana; we are starting way behind the race and if we are to adjust ourselves in this race in a straight-line manner, we will be way behind for decades to come. So, we are taking a big leap to fight at the front of the race,” he told the large gathering of students, teachers and parents.
“This step is about you taking our country forward in 2030 and beyond, ensuring that you are competitive, resilient, functional… ensuring that we as a country have the tools that will take us forward, and our economy is among the strongest.”
In 2021, there were approximately 26.9 million software developers worldwide. This number is expected to rise to 45 million by 2030.
Against this backdrop, President Ali emphasized his government’s commitment to ensuring that a good portion of Guyanese be part of this group.
“And this gives you that first step. That is why we are not only going to government schools and institutions; we have opened this up to the private sector. We want corporate Guyana to open your offices after work and welcome children from the community to be part of this program utilizing your facilities,” he said.
Going forward, the president said Guyana will be willing to work as a hub where persons within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) could benefit from the initiative.
“Because, as I said before, we take our regional responsibility seriously and our prosperity must lead to regional prosperity. We will work on opening the platform and relationship so all the countries in CARICOM can benefit from this coding initiative,” he added.
President Ali said the support of the UAE was outstanding and its level of commitment backed by action must be applauded.
The two governments are also in talks to introduce software development as a core component in the local school system ahead of the economy in 2030.
Director General of the Office of the Prime Minister of UAE, Abdulla Lootah said the innovative project is worth celebrating and presents a new milestone of a partnership between the two states.
“Our collaboration is also pivotal because it embodies one collective vision by both nations in exchanging government experiences with impactful outcomes,” he said.
Lootah assured that the UAE remains highly connected with the objective of the government exchange experience program which already has a record of some 19 participating countries.