Govt-Diaspora initiative timely – will stimulate dialogue

Dear Editor,
“The Guyanese diaspora represents sixty-five per cent of tourism to Guyana. Remittances account for approximately thirteen per cent of gross domestic product – higher than overseas development assistance, foreign direct investment, and oil revenues.”
“During the Ramotar Administration, data collected under the Guyana Diaspora Project’s auspices (GUYD), which the International Organisation for Migration funded, has never been used to tap into the diaspora. It is not clear where the database of information collected from 7000 diaspora members resides.
Consequently, the diaspora members have become sceptical about the past and current Administrations’ efforts to engage the diaspora in developing Guyana effectively. In this regard, a Virtual Diaspora Conference scheduled by the Consulate General of New York in December 2020 “to launch the diaspora engagement strategy and plan of action” was abruptly cancelled to the disappointment of diaspora invitees.”
“The APNU/AFC had promised to develop diaspora desks and policies to engage the diaspora in the 2015 Manifesto but did not fulfil those promises. Former President Granger had also pledged to create policies for the “huge diaspora” during his first address to Guyana’s Parliament in 2015 and failed to follow through. After five years in office, the Granger Administration did not enhance its relationship with the diaspora or implement an engagement strategy. However, the International Organisation for Migration had developed a diaspora strategy in 2016.”
This article is timely and will resonate with readers, and will stimulate the necessary dialogue on diaspora engagement.

Wayne Forde