Black Immigrant Daily News
President Dr Irfaan Ali told Guyanese in the Bahamas that Guyana presents very strong leadership in the areas of food security, energy security, and climate security.
“Today, in this region, we present very strong leadership on food security, energy security, and climate security. The next seven years are dedicated to building an economy and a country that will be able to efficiently and competitively survive in a global system that will be very, very different from what we see today.”
The Head of State also spoke extensively about Government’s development plan in these as well as other major areas, including agriculture and healthcare, at a meeting with the Diaspora on the margins of the 44th Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government of the CARICOM Community.
Dr Ali emphasised that his administration is working in a very strategic way to position Guyana not as a participant, but as a leader in these areas, pointing to the hallmark agreement made between the Government of Guyana and Hess Corporation for the sale of carbon credits for a minimum of US$750 million.
“So we are already positioning Guyana to be the leader in relation to biodiversity services, carbon services, environmental services…”
The President said that Guyana is working with India and Rwanda to explore the pharmaceutical value and potential of the country’s forest.
Regarding Energy Security, Dr Ali pointed to ongoing discussions with Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago to develop an energy corridor.
“The energy potential of Guyana is enormous- wind, solar, hydro. And, we are now presenting an energy platform that is diversified and has the potential of being a major revenue earner for our country.”
He also spoke about Guyana’s natural gas potential and the establishment of a natural gas plant.
“I had a meeting with the Chairwoman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and they are in the final stages of wrapping up things to lend the resources for the first natural gas pipeline and natural gas plant for Guyana. This is easily the largest investment in the energy sector and in any single project in the history of Guyana.”
President Ali explained that this investment will facilitate the delivery of energy at 50% per cent of the cost every household is paying now for electricity in less than two years. He also explained that this would allow Guyana to have the most competitive environment for manufacturing and industrial development in the entire Latin America and the Caribbean. This advancement will bring another wave of opportunities, including direct savings to families.
A NEW STORY IN FOOD PRODUCTION
President Ali spoke at length about the country’s leading role in food security and its role in the global planning framework on energy security and food production.
“And we are already presenting global leadership on food security… Two years ago, we set ourselves a target to produce all the corn and soya that we need as input for our feed production for livestock and poultry. And I’m very pleased to report to you, with the investments we have made and the private investment, we are well on our way to becoming self-sufficient by 2025 and might very well be in a position to export in the region for the first time…”
The country, President Ali added, continues to attract major investments in the sector, including from the African Export-Import Bank.
“So, a new story is unfolding in food production and agriculture.”
Another noteworthy development is the single window permit system that his Government is developing to fast-track investment and development.
The President also elaborated on various development projects being undertaken by his Government as well as the ongoing transformation of the health sector, including the increase in salaries and training of nurses.
He also spoke of his plan to ensure world-class education system for Guyanese, including special needs education.
The Head of State noted that while Guyana’s story is unfolding globally, this development story is not only predicated on oil and gas but rather policies and programmes to build a resilient, sustainable and strong country under the umbrella of ‘One Guyana’.
“And that is what I’ve been working on; creating this one Guyana in which we build a system that delivers prosperity for every single Guyanese and every single Guyanese family.”
RIGHT COLLECTIVE MINDSET
Aside from the major transformative projects, the Head of State pointed to the importance of shaping the right collective mindset.
“And this, for me, is the important project, changing the mindset, changing the way we relate to each other, community by community, household by household. And I assure you I will not rest until this country is unified.”
He added that this requires the involvement and support of every Guyanese.
“It requires every single Guyanese changing from the inside. It requires every Guyanese making a special effort and a special commitment to being part of the positive transformation, to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
He encouraged those present to join with his Government in building a country and a society that is stronger, more prosperous and one that delivers to the aspirations and ambitions of the people of the country.
“I stand committed to this…”
The President reiterated the importance of engagements with the Diaspora, which he said provides an opportunity to connect with those who continue to contribute to the development of Guyana and facilitate the exchange of ideas.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Honourable Hugh Todd and the Director of Presidential Affairs, Ms Marcia Nadir-Sharma, were also at the meeting.
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