Guyana aiming to become global leader in environment, agriculture – President Ali

President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali has said that the country is currently working on an international agenda that will propel the country to become a global leader in several areas, particularly environment and agriculture.

President Irfaan Ali speaking at India’s 72nd Republic Day Anniversary Reception at the National Cultural Centre

The Head of State delivered the feature address at India’s 72nd Republic Day Anniversary Reception at the National Cultural Centre on Wednesday evening.
He said that the country would look to emulate India on its leadership qualities, especially through Guyana’s expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy and its current international commitments on environmental management. Guyana, the President noted, is already taking on the mantle of providing strong leadership in the Caricom region to ensure food security and sustainability and will focus heavily on reducing food import bills by 25 per cent by 2025.
“Like India today, Guyana is working on an international agenda. We are not working to be second to any but we are working to lead in many areas, including environmental leadership. With our expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy and our international stance and commitment to sustainable development, we intend to continue to provide strong global leadership in the area of environmental management. Guyana has already taken up the mantle of providing strong leadership in the region to ensure food security and sustainability, not only for Guyana but for the region as a whole,” President Ali expressed.
Additionally, President Ali pointed out that Guyana is already following India’s footsteps in the area of energy security through expansion of access, using renewables, strengthening bilateral relationships, and enhancing the country’s democracy. It is also fortifying its laws to ensure it reflects the needs and will of the people and by embarking on an aggressive transformation of the country’s human resources.
“Like India, we are also transforming infrastructure landscape, modernising our landscape, making our infrastructure system, our transportation system more efficient and reliable. Importantly, like India, we are also in the process of rebranding our country…We are also working on a programme to ensure energy security using renewables and more importantly, making energy affordable.”
The Head of State said that as Guyana celebrates with India, he wanted to recommit working on maintaining and strengthening traditional and mutually beneficial relations. He emphasised that Guyana and India have always shared a bond of friendship built on mutual values and principles and shared interests, which have benefitted both countries.
He stated, “India has been extremely supportive of Guyana’s development – from the National Stadium at Providence, to our modernising road infrastructure, the ICT Centre of Excellence at the University of Guyana, to the Indian Immigration Monument at Palmyra – India’s support for Guyana’s development is unmistakable.”
He pointed to the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme that has provided training to Guyanese students in various areas, including accountancy, agriculture, auditing, banking and information technology, governance, and communication, as well as its most recent educational support in facilitating opportunities for thousands of Guyanese to study at its universities through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) programmes.
“Through the generosity of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we were able to kick-start our COVID-19 immunisation campaign at a time when many countries were struggling to obtain vaccines.”
The President added that cooperation between the two countries continues to grow and is evident through India’s support for Guyana’s transportation sector, which will see the construction of a ferry to provide services to the North-West; a line of credit that will provide the country with funds to support the electrification of 30,000 households via solar power and the provision by India of drainage pumps to assist in combatting the negative effects of climate change. (G12)