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On June 9, 2021 the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) hosted an event to address a way forward for Guyana that would see the resources of the nation being sustainability exploited by all Guyanese to the benefit of all Guyanese, a part of the citizens fulfilling the collective aspiration of our national motto “One People One Nation One Destiny.”
Businessman, Mr. Stanley Ming, made a presentation at the GTUC’s forum outlining a vision for Guyana for the next ten years that stands to include all Guyanese in a 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.
Two year later, Labour returns to this topic because it remains relevant in a society where a government manages in a manner that excludes many from meaningful political, social and economic participation. Such management conflicts with Article 13 of the Constitution of Guyana that stipulates “inclusionary democracy” in the management and decision-making processes of the state through the involvement of individuals and groups in areas that impact their development.
Ming’s presentation entitled “Guyana 2030” could be viewed in its entirety here below. GTUC invites readers to view this insightful articulation because this column could only provide a synopsis of Stanley Ming’s vision, not the fullness of it.
Ming has challenged Guyanese to engage in methodologies used in other parts of the world to develop Guyana. We are being reminded of the country’s many potentials, and the importance of Guyanese 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. To address these deficits, Ming has exhorted all of us to spend less time politicking and rather more time working with each other as a united nation.
It is Mr. Ming’s view a population of less than one million people, should there be the conceptualisation of a developmental vision and implementation we could see positive change in less than five years, but we have to be serious about development. An avenue Guyana could explore , he said, 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 did not flinch from addressing the paucity of brain power in Guyana. International organisations have cited figures of approximately 80 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. To this end he has called for recognition that Guyana belongs to all and recognition of the importance of 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 advised 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.