President Ali engages in widespread bilateral engagements in UK
President Dr Irfaan Ali, who is in the United Kingdom to attend the Coronation Ceremony of King Charles III today, has been engaging in several high-level bilateral meetings with his counterparts from across the world to discuss potential collaborations in a wide range of areas.
The Head of State departed Guyana for the United Kingdom earlier this week and since his arrival there, he has been engaging several global leaders. He was joined by the High Commissioner of Guyana to the UK, Dr Rajendra Singh, during these engagements.
On Thursday, President Ali met with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London, England.
The areas of discussion included the efforts being made by the Government of Guyana to modernise governance systems for improved efficiency in services, policy formulation and the use of technology to advance these efforts.
The two officials also discussed finding ways to work together in positioning Guyana as a major global player in climate, food and energy security.
Also on Thursday, the Guyanese leader held bilateral discussions with the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame in London.
The two leaders discussed advancing Government-to-Government collaboration in several areas including energy, technology, health services and urbanisation. Both Presidents have visited each other’s country in recent years to further strengthen ties between their nations.
In fact, only last year, Presidents Ali and Kagame held fresh talks on cooperation in pharmaceutical production following the disparities in COVID-19 vaccines supplied to developing countries during the pandemic.
At that meeting in September 2022, Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, joined in the discussions that were held in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
Previously, President Ali had stated that, like Rwanda, Guyana is hoping to have a vaccine manufacturing facility set up here some time in the future, especially since the country is aiming to become a medical hub in the Caribbean.
Then on Thursday evening, President Ali and the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, attended a working dinner hosted by Chief Executive Officer of UPL Limited, Jai Shroff in London. During the event, discussions were held on food security and agriculture.
Shroff was recently part of a high-level delegation that accompanied Indian External Affairs Minister, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, during a visit to Guyana last month.
UPL, an India-based leading provider of Sustainable Agriculture Solutions, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Guyana’s Ministry of Agriculture for the establishment of a 200 acre “Millets Model Farm” here.
Back in March, President Ali, during a virtual address at the Inauguration of the Global Millet Conference in New Delhi, had disclosed that Guyana will soon commence cultivation trials for millets production in Regions Four, Nine, and 10 to support the transition to large-scale production of the seed locally.
The MoU will see UPL Limited providing technological and agriculture inputs while the Guyana Government, through the Agriculture Ministry, will assist with developing approximately 200 acres for the cultivation of millet.
Only last week, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha indicated that they are currently awaiting technical support from India to begin the project.
“We have already earmarked some land and I am now waiting on [India’s] side to provide the technical support and also the seed. We will start in a phased approach and I have asked that India provide the technical support and the help and also the seed, so very shortly we will start some form of millet production,” the Agriculture Minister had told this publication.
Millets are a highly varied group of small seeds and cereal crops. They are a powerhouse of nutrients, rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibres, based on the required environmental conditions for millet germination, Guyana is considered an ideal zone for the growth and development of the seed.
Importantly, millet production would open up additional avenues for economic advancement, providing a new market for export. (G8)