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The PPP government has recently engaged a new strategy of African village outreach. Not a week goes by where a photo of one of their ministers posing with African villagers is not publicly shared, supposedly to prove that the government of Guyana does not rule by racist decree. The villagers of course embrace these ministers, because that is the way of African people. Africans are welcoming and magnanimous, even to their enemies, and to their historical detriment. Additionally, the PPP ministers control the purse strings and of that fact, the villagers are acutely aware.
Many of these villages, it must be noted, have languished in a state of deliberate underdevelopment by the very same PPP government that purports to be interested in the welfare of its people today. One only has to search the local news to find stories of how the PPP ensured that local government organs in African villages were underfunded over the years, and these stories often demonstrate outright attacks on local government leadership by the installation of management committees to oust democratically elected leaders they did not control.
To drive through many of these African communities today is to observe unemployed youths, horrible roads, dilapidated community buildings, overgrow fields and to observe routine flooding due to unmaintained waterways. Additionally, young entrepreneurs have no access to loans and training programs like the overhyped BIT training which purports to teach youths sewing and cake decorating and child care, without providing a path to funding, are simply frustrating and nearly useless.
The PPP government however, with photographers always in tow, continue to use these visits for their own political mileage and it is time that villages benefit in some way from this new plan to use them as political props.
African villages must organize themselves immediately and identify a list of issues which need to be addressed. African villages must demand better funded NDCs, so that roads and waterways can be adequately built and maintained. African villages must demand access to government guaranteed business loans that do not have requirements so stringent that the vast majority of villagers are unable to benefit. African villages must demand the same agricultural equipment, and animal and plant resources given to their peers in nonAfrican villages and transportation to aid in the distribution of their agricultural produce. African villages must demand better school facilities and resources, so that their children are not educated in filthy environs. African villages must demand better community center facilities and properly maintained playground, courts and ball fields for youth recreation.
Africans villagers must summon the pride and strength of their ancestors who, although recently freed from the evils of enslavement, summoned the will to organize and unite to purchase these villages, thus making them available for future generations. It is not enough to cheer the PPP government when they drop off 1 cow, a few brush cutters and some sports equipment, villagers must demand meaningful investment in their communities and especially if they are going to be used as political props.