The Linden Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Development is stepping up to help boost the economy of the mining community, by using new and innovative measures.
This is according to Chamber President Kevin Dejonge, who told Guyana Times recently that the Region’s economy was still not where it needed to be.
While the mining district was far from its required economic standard, Dejonge said there was much potential. He noted the areas for exploration include agriculture and tourism.
In the area of agriculture, Dejonge said along with empowering local farmers through the Small Business Bureau to produce more, the Chamber is also collaborating to establish a shadehouse project. “Currently, we are trying to get a much bigger project on stream…regarding the farmers, it is not just to produce, but to look at areas where they can add value to their produce,” he told this publication.
As it relates to tourism, the Chamber President said the body was concentrating on developing customer service areas, to attract visitors. There are also plans to develop the waterways in the community.
“Very soon, we will have the riverfront development project, which starts on the 30th of June.” Linden has some beautiful, scenic lakes, which although not suitable for swimming, are unique to Guyana.
“So, we are hoping that this can attract people to Linden. One of the things that we realised too is that nothing can be achieved unless we work for it. So, in that area, in the very near future, Government agencies as well as the Private Sector can work to make this a reality.”
Late last year, President David Granger had said Linden could become the industrial heartland of Guyana if it remained attractive to foreign investors by moving away from the sole mode of income.
“Linden must not be satisfied with being a mining town. It must become a manufacturing town. I do believe that better days reckon for the bauxite industry. Bauxite will continue to be produced here in this geographical belt…The people of Linden must recognise the challenges of continuity, similarly the challenges of change,” the Head of State had told a forum in the community back in December.
He said Government was committed to probing diversification of the economy to boost it, making it the industrial heartland of Guyana.
Reminiscing on the history of the bauxite industry, President Granger had said areas in the community such as Mackenzie, Wismar and Watooka told the story of the circumstances which brought together people from North and South America as well as the European continent, noting the social impact of the industry on nation-building.
He said the bauxite industry was mainly about the economy, adding that the industry back then created thousands of jobs. The Head of State also reminisced on the years when productivity soared, making bauxite the main contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Back then, he said, Guyana became the second largest producer of bauxite in the world and the world’s most diversified producer.