On Thursday January 14, 2021, President Irfaan Ali, with members of his Cabinet, did the first Presidential Cabinet outreach in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), and this has given a clear indication to every Guyanese that the PPP/C Government cares about the welfare and development of each and every region of Guyana.
Region 10 Chairman Deron Adams, in welcoming the President and his delegation, assured that the region would work hand-in-hand with the Government to realise the aspirations of the communities in terms of development. He also highlighted several immediate needs of the region, including access to housing, financing for small businesses, improved access to primary healthcare, and the formulation of an Economic Implementation Plan, among other things.
After listening to issues raised by representatives of various groups in the region, at the Watooka House in Linden, the President engaged members of the public and representatives of various groups, including the Women’s Group, Farmers Group and Forestry Group, youth groups, the mining sector, Private Sector, business community and the general public.
President Ali acknowledged the needs of the community, particularly in relation to access to housing. On this note, he said that, over the years, there has been a sloth in the development of the housing sector, as the investment was not there to satisfy the demand in the region.
He also announced plans to develop an online portal to allow young people who have specific training needs in all areas, including the hospitality sector, to register their interest. This would allow youths to benefit from opportunities that would arise in all sectors.
The President indicated that he would instruct Ministers Charles Ramson and Joe Hamilton to launch an online portal, and encourage young people who are interested in hospitality training to register themselves thereon.
Provision would be made for 200 youths from Linden who want to be trained in the hospitality sector to so do.
President Ali informed residents of Region 10 that his Government would also be moving to establish a National Tourism Hospitality Institute. The online portal would therefore support that initiative.
The President assured all that Government would place heavy emphasis on strengthening the human resource capacity across the country, including in communities in Region 10. He informed his audience of the many opportunities to come in housing, training, investment and entrepreneurship, and encouraged young people to form themselves into consortiums and to work together.
He declared that Government is ready to work with the groups to prepare them to take advantage of all of the opportunities on the horizon, and announced that Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, would be visiting every youth group in Region 10 with intention to craft a master plan before the 2021 Budget is presented.
He assured Lindeners that Government remains committed to ensuring that all of Guyana, including Region 10, benefit from development plans underway, and he promised to revitalise the housing and agriculture sectors in the region.
The President said, “I want to assure you that we are going to put back resources, to put back the energy, the vibrancy, into housing, and to create the opportunities that housing once created in the region.”
President Ali also pointed to the importance of involving the Ministers of Government in formulation of a collective response to the needs of the communities. He said his Government is not concerned about the politics, but is concerned about the people’s welfare.
President Irfaan Ali promised that by this October, his administration would build 1,000 houses in Region Ten, 50 of which would be for young professionals. He said those homes would be for doctors who are working in the region. President Ali told the doctors that officials from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) would return to the region on Monday with representatives from the banking institutions to fast-track the prequalification process.
Already, the APNU+AFC has said that announcement is in response to its call, and that it would ensure Government keeps its promise this time.
The APNU/AFC must be ashamed to make any such comment. At no point in his five-year term did former President David Granger take the time to visit the residents of Region 10 to see what they need and ensure that it is delivered.
President Ali, on January 14, 2021, demonstrated to Guyana and the world why he has been elected President of Guyana. His Government and Cabinet have made it very clear that their only intention is to serve the people of this country, and serve all the people of this country.
The people of Region 10 do not only have their Government’s commitment, but can rest assured that they have a President and Cabinet and Government that are ready to fulfill their mandate and commitment to uplifting the people’s lives and making them better.
I assure you that this Government is ready to work with every single Guyanese. Our President is unconcerned with the politics of any community, but cares about the welfare of the people of all the communities.
President Ali has said his Government’s intention is to work with farmers to develop a master plan through which they can increase their respective productive capacities in agriculture. This master plan would also touch on the other sectors of the economy.
President Ali has also assured that creation of employment within Region 10 communities is high on his Government’s agenda, and will be supported by developments in ICT, particularly with the establishment of a call centre in the region. The plan, he said, includes training youths and women to construct the houses, and sourcing construction materials from the region.
The President also encouraged Region 10 health workers to work collaboratively in delivering optimal healthcare services to the residents of the region.
It was indeed a day to rejoice in Region 10.