President Ali to deliver keynote address to Harvard School of Business workshop today

– faculties from 120 institutions across globe in audience

President Dr Irfaan Ali’s leadership has attracted praise from no less a prestigious source than Harvard Business School, a branch of Harvard University, where he has also been invited to be the keynote speaker at a virtual Microeconomics of Competitiveness (MOC) workshop.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

According to a letter from Professor Michael Porter, the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School, Ali is being invited to give a virtual address to the workshop, an annual gathering of faculty members of Harvard and its network, today.
This includes over 120 institutions from more than 65 countries, including the University of Guyana who joined the MOC network in 2019. There will also be approximately 150 Professors from these institutions in attendance.
In the letter, Porter lauded President Ali’s leadership, at a critical time in Guyana’s developmental trajectory where the country’s oil sector, economic growth and development continue to expand. He also noted that the address would provide an opportunity for the President to market Guyana to academics around the world.
“The Government has started its tenure with a strong focus on real impact and has pushed an ambitious array of policy initiatives towards execution. We have been impressed by your leadership and the strong commitment to making Guyana a global example in the sustainable use of natural resources and endowments to benefit the people of the country,” Porter wrote.

Harvard Professor
Michael Porter

“We believe that a great number of international faculty would benefit from learning about your vision for the country, ambitious goals, action agenda, and your path to achieving long-term prosperity that is both socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. This would be a great opportunity to showcase Guyana to many professors and thought leaders from all over the world.”
Porter further acknowledged what the historic discovery of oil and gas meant for Guyana, noting the industry’s potential to improve Guyana’s competitiveness on the global stage and to ensure sustainable and shared prosperity for all citizens. It was further noted that the MOC Affiliate Network itself has evolved from being a teaching and research platform to one that can influence and support economic development throughout the world.
“The MOC Affiliate Network provides an institutional setting to teach the MOC framework, generate new knowledge through collaborative research and influence policymakers and leaders in the world to improve competitiveness at all levels,” the professor said, adding that the President would be given approximately 45 minutes to present, with an additional 15 minutes for questions from the affiliate faculty.
In the realm of energy, the Government is pursuing a number of developmental projects that, when completed, will go a long way towards increasing the use of renewable energy locally, boosting the reliability of electricity and bringing down energy costs for residential and commercial consumers alike.
These initiatives include the Amaila falls Hydropower Project (AFHP), which will deliver 165 Megawatts (MW) to the grid and the US$900 million gas-to-shore pipeline that will deliver natural gas from the Liza field offshore Guyana, to an industrial zone at Wales. There are other smaller, but vital renewable energy projects in the pipeline, including the Moco Moco and Kumu Hydropower facilities.
When it comes to infrastructure, Government has been proceeding at breakneck speed with various road projects that will ease the burden on commuters. These include the Sheriff-Mandela Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded road upgrade, as well as the Eccles to Mandela road currently being built. A contractor is also being sought for the Ogle to Diamond bypass road.
Another important project being pursued is the high-fixed span, a 50-metre flyover Demerara River Bridge that will land aback Nandy Park on the East Bank of Demerara and at La Grange, West Bank Demerara, from where an alternative highway will be constructed all the way to Parika, East Bank Essequibo.
The new bridge is expected to be completed in two years from the date of the commencement order. The construction of the new bridge will be timely, as the East Bank is notorious for its heavy traffic congestions due to the current retractable bridge.
Another bridge in the works is the Corentyne River bridge, which will link Guyana and Suriname by road.  The Governments of Guyana and Suriname are collaborating to execute the project and have already shortlisted eight international companies to vie for the contract.
The construction of a bridge linking Guyana and Suriname is a priority project for the Governments of both countries. It will not only link the two neighbouring countries, but also open up access to greater economic opportunities beyond them into French Guiana, and through the road network being developed into Brazil, and eventually further into South America. There is also fast-paced development in the housing sector, following the People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C) manifesto promises to deliver 50,000 house lots by 2025. This year, the housing sector received a total allocation of $8.9 billion.
Of this sum, $6 billion will go towards infrastructure and utility works in new and existing areas. This will pave the way for the allocation of over 10,000 house lots and 7000 land titles to citizens.