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Internet Society Guyana Chapter Officially Launched During Internet Week Guyana

The creation of the Internet Society Guyana Chapter comes at a critical time in Guyana where international issues, such as the .amazon TLD, net neutrality, internet governance, connecting the next billion users and Guyanese issues, such as liberalization of the telecommunication sector becomes paramount in national and international dialogues” Hinds said.

Finally, Guyanese Internet users at all levels who are interested in internet governance issues and policy-making now have a local organization to address their interest. The Internet Society, a leading advocate for the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for everyone, announced on October 10, 2017, at the official launch of the Internet Society Guyana Chapter that they were happy to finally have Guyana onboard. It serves as a major development for the telecommunication sector in Guyana since we are currently in the process of liberalizing the telecommunication sector.

The Internet Society Guyana Chapter along with St. Vincent and the Grenadines came onboard together, thereby increasing the number of English speaking chapters in the Latin America and Caribbean region. This number has now increased to five.

The Internet Society Guyana Chapter was officially recognized as a chapter of Internet Society on July 19, 2017. Internet Society Guyana Chapter serves Guyana in the Latin America and Caribbean region by promoting the core values of the parent body.

These core values of Internet Society include improved quality of life, well-informed individuals, the genius of the Internet, enduring and sustainable progress, technical standards and Internet operating procedures, the social, political, and economic benefits and lastly rewarding and productive.

Internet Week Guyana was hosted by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, in collaboration with Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, was designated Internet Governance Day during the recently concluded event, on that date Internet Society Guyana Chapter seized the opportunity to officially launch with a cocktail held the evening at 19:00 hours at the Pegasus hotel. The chapter officially launched with a membership of 28 persons. At the end of the week-long event, the membership increased from 28 to 41. This shows that the outreach at Internet Week Guyana was a successful one.

Attending this event was Mr. Shernon Osepa, Manager, Regional Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society and Miss Nancy Quiros, Manager of Chapter Development in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society. Mr. Lance Hinds is currently serving as the chapter’s Interim Chairman; Miss Jennifer Britton—Interim Executive Vice Chairman; Mr. Lenandlar Singh—Interim Administrative Vice Chairman, Mrs. Yvette Philander—Interim Financial Officer / Treasurer and Miss Malisa Richards—Interim Secretary.

The Internet Society Guyana Chapter is a non-governmental organization subscribing under its Internet Society. To become a member of Internet Society Guyana Chapter, it is required that an individual registers with Internet Society as a Global Member first. Persons interested in joining the Guyana Chapter must be a citizen of Co-operative Republic of Guyana (by birth or naturalization). Guyanese citizen will not be restricted to living in Guyana only, a member of the ISOC Guyana Chapter can also be residing outside of Guyana. The individual can request to join the Guyana chapter after registering as a global member and meet the above requirements. The registration page to become a global member is located here. There’s no cost associated with registration as a global member of the Internet Society or becoming a member of the local chapter.

The founders of Internet Society Guyana Chapter are Mr. Lance Hinds and Miss Malisa Richards. Initial discussions with Internet Society to form the local chapter commenced in 2012 by Mr. Lenandlar Singh. These discussions proved futile. Miss Malisa Richards after returning from ICANN 58 in March 2017, where she attended as a fellow committed to the establishment of Internet Society Guyana Chapter. In addition, Mr. Lance Hinds represents Guyana on the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) at ICANN meetings thought that it was necessary at this time in Guyana. Both parties agreed to establish the local chapter. Contact was made with the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Managers at Internet Society. After this contact was established, we were referred to the Internet Society LAC Chapter Development Manager who provided guidance and direction in the establishment of the local chapter.

The main purpose of the Guyana Chapter is to connect Guyana while working with others through the multi-stakeholder model, advocating for equal access to the Internet and striving to make Guyana a better place. While executing the work of Internet Society at the local level, the local chapter strives to engage its membership in activities aimed at advancing their professional development, creating an awareness as well as the facilitation of Information and Communication Technology professionals and organizations in Guyana, supporting education in Guyana wherever the need exists, provide reliable information and educational opportunities, encourage innovation and creativity and outreach efforts that address the humanitarian, educational, and societal contexts of online connectivity.

The Internet Society Guyana Chapter will provide a national voice on policy-relevant issues and advocate for Guyanese priorities at the international level. It will also in the near future begin to develop public policy, community and educational programs to help forge a strong national community on Internet governance. The website is currently under development, as such, we are asking interested persons to send all relevant emails to [email protected] Internet Society Guyana Chapter officially launched during Internet Week Guyana.

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