Transforming Guyana, Episode XII: Digitization and the emerging Guyanese Oil and Gas Economy

Media Advisory:

The Guyana Business Journal (GBJ) & Caribbean Policy Consortium host Episode XII of the  Webinar Series, Transforming Guyana, Episode XII: Digitization and the emerging Guyanese Oil and Gas Economy Wednesday, May 10, 2023.


Lance Hinds, Chief Executive, BrainStreet Group & Director, DreamSpace Foundation, Eldon Marks, Tech Entrepreneur & Innovator, Mike Singh,  Chair, Guyana ICT Tech & Innovation Council, Multidimensional Cybersecurity Expert, Erika Piirmets, Digital Transformation Adviser, e-Estonia


Relevant Quotations:

David Lewis

  • “Guyana is poised…to really leverage the economic growth from the oil and gas boom in the technology sectors.”
  • “If we cannot discern and differentiate the political, social, cultural human rights issues, development issues between linkages with China versus linkages with the West. If we cannot assimilate the fact that the Caribbean is in the West, then we are going to be in serious trouble, and the cyber technology issue is just one of it.”

Erika Piirmets

  • “Digital services can offer minimizing the entry barrier to businesses. This has led Estonia to be a sort of Silicon Valley of Europe…As a side effect of digitalizing different services, thousands of years of working time is saved thanks to the interoperability of the backbone of our digital state.”
  • “More than 25 years, Estonia has been building the society to be digitally capable but all while building the technological infrastructure, we have been supporting form the government level all our user group through public and private courses that have now led to 80% of the population using some sort of digital service.”
  • “It’s not about turning everything digital and saying that we use the maximum technology that we can. So we don’t fetishize technology but we seek to improve people’s life quality.”

Lance Hinds

  • “There are core things to be done, of course. Certainly on the legislative side…there is a data protection bill that is out for comment which, when I look at other legislation in the Caribbean, this one is forward looking. It follows the GDPR model of the European Union in terms of structural intent, and I think it is a good one to comment on and encourage them to take to next stages.”
  • “This is where national planning really comes into effect in terms of making sure that all citizens buy in, all citizens understand that this is to their benefit…The whole concept of showing citizens in Guyana that this is about providing convenience and access…”

Eldon Marks

  • “One of the issues we’re still facing today is that we’re hemorrhaging a lot of valuable talent year after year…When it comes to finding talent within the local tech ecosystem to keep it driven that is, again, a shared issue among all of the various entities locally.”
  • “Much of the students that I’ve worked with over the years, and the fledgling entrepreneurs along the way, I find that the recurring theme is that they have big dreams but they rarely ever extend beyond the shores of Guyana. Exposure fixes that.”
  • “Change management is absolutely necessary. Vision and oversight, critical even more so…The ability to have individuals access an environment that permits them to learn technologies, learn the processes to deliver on those technologies, and then have opportunities to do so – absolutely critical.”
  • “Because we have multi-faceted problems [in Guyana], we need a multi-faceted steering body – a visioning body comprising of individuals who understand the big picture and are specialized in their own right with representation across the public sector, private sector, and civil society, to compliment an overarching vision for development.”

Mike Singh

  • “Why we need to have a cohesive industry body is so we can bring global best practices to the fore and these global best practices emanate from the collective world of experience and work that’s being done at the International Telecommunications Union.”
  • “Cybersecurity in Guyana is not something they’ve given enough attention to, either through a lack of exposure, a lack of adequate tools; it’s a work in progress. But in my opinion, it’s not being done fast enough.”
  • “My advice for the government of Guyana…you need to rip out every piece of Huawei gear and equipment…Let me be clear, they’re going to attack the oil and gas network here – not if, but when. If you’re transmitting data on networks that have Huawei equipment, you’re leaving yourself wide open for abuse and more than likely total shutdown.”


Dr. David Lewis & Dr. Terrence Blackman.