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Last Wednesday the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) hosted an event on the way forward for Guyana. A presentation was made by businessman, Mr. Stanley Ming, outlining a vision for Guyana for the next ten years that stands to include all Guyanese in new Guyana where environmental safety could be assured, and the potentials of the resources and wealth utilised in a manner that leaves no group behind.
GTUC invites readers to view this insightful articulation because this column could only provide a synopsis of Ming’s vision, not the fullness of it.
Guyanese are being challenged to engage in methodologies used in other parts of the world to develop Guyana. We have been reminded that Guyana has many potentials but Guyanese must pull the resources together to unleash and capitalise on these. One of the concerns highlighted is that though Guyana is not short on resources, wealth and possibilities there is a shortage of ideas, vision and expediting. Guyanese are being exhorted to spend less time politicking and rather more time working with each other as a united nation.
It is Mr. Ming’s view that with a population less than one million people, should there be the conceptualisation of a developmental vision and implementation there could be positive change in less than five years, but we have to be serious about development. One avenue Guyana could explore is public private partnership in areas such as education and infrastructural development. He advised that it is important, however, to understand how this is done in order to capitalise on the opportunities.
Presenting an amalgamation of developmental plans done over the years, as far back as the 1960s and 1970s, Ming said there is no need to reinvent anything because all the works are already there. He sought to allay fears that development could threaten and rob Guyanese the benefit of their wealth and resources. He stated that whilst the Government could tap into public private partnership, they could still ensure Guyanese are treated with respect. According to him, Guyana’s message must be simple, loud and clear. It is- Guyana will welcome investment (money) but Guyana and Guyanese must benefit as the investors benefit too.
Mr. Ming addressed the paucity of brain power in Guyana. International organisations have cited figures to be at least 75 percent of tertiary graduates leaving after qualifying. He is of the opinion the brain flight is influenced by the unpredictability of Guyana politics, which translates to when one government leaves office, the incoming throws out the baby and bath water. He called for recognition that Guyana belongs to all and for cooperation to develop the country.
Attention was also given to the impact of Climate Change to development and Guyana being below sea level. Ming argued for a shift in focus in looking to relocate and create new communities to higher ground and made the case by presenting maps showing the topography of Guyana, and the areas that are above sea level. Parika was cited as one such place above and with opportunities for opening agriculture and commerce, servicing other parts of Guyana and for export.
Touching on the diaspora and race relations Ming said resident Guyanese cannot treat the diaspora as foreigners, and we must welcome them back. All are important in imparting their skills in the development of Guyana and benefitting from Guyana. It is his advice that we start recognising that if the two major ethnic groups keep pulling at each other we will not get anywhere. Mr. Ming called for all Guyanese to put their heads together to define what Guyana could be, offering that each of us has something we can add to the table, and we have to start recognising that.