Guyana is back on the democratic path, and is certainly on the rise again, after being almost on the brink of a political dictatorship due to the actions of the previous Coalition Government.
The Irfaan Ali-led Government is on the move. The President’s pro-active and inclusive approach to governance since he took office a few days ago is very encouraging, and is certainly sending positive signals to all stakeholders who want to partner in moving Guyana forward.
The President on Wednesday swore in his Cabinet, and signalled it is time for action. We have no doubt that the team will perform to the nation’s expectation, considering the wide range of skills and experience they bring to the table; and, more importantly, their individual desire to serve their country and change lives.
Many of those appointed are relatively young and energetic. Perhaps it is the most youthful Cabinet in the history of post-Independence Guyana. Our country is on the cusp of greatness, and would certainly benefit a great deal from such persons, as they bring new perspectives and fresh vision to ensure Guyana is developed into a modern, democratic and prosperous nation.
As stated by the President, the team will be results-oriented and will work in an efficient and transparent manner. He made it clear that the Ministers would be held accountable not only to the Executive and the Legislature, but to the citizens of the country. At the end of the day, service to nation is the ultimate aim.
It is widely known that there are many areas of development which have largely been ignored by the previous administration. There is also quite a lot of mess that needs cleaning up, and hence would require diligent and focused work by all to ensure that the country returns to its development path.
It has been almost twenty months since Guyana’s development was practically brought to a standstill following the December 2018 no-confidence vote. The APNU/AFC-created political crisis had taken a toll on almost every aspect of the country’s development, more so, the nascent oil and gas sector.
For example, the Payara Project, which was expected to rake in billions of dollars to Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is plagued with delays. The Payara development was envisaged to be sanctioned in 2019 and deliver first oil by 2023, but had faced challenges in securing approvals in recent months due to the elections’ crisis.
Now that a new Government is in place, it is expected that crucial decisions — especially those in relation to the development of the oil and gas sector — which were put on hold will be fast-tracked.
The PPP/C had outlined a range of policies and programmes it intends to embark upon to bring relief to the country’s economic sectors, business community, and ordinary citizens who have been largely affected by the policies and programmes, or lack thereof, implemented under the APNU/AFC Administration.
Among his priorities, President Ali had specifically pointed to the need for inclusive governance, which was included in his party’s manifesto. Also, during his brief remarks on Wednesday at the swearing-in ceremony of the Cabinet Members, he reminded of electoral and constitutional reforms and other areas of governance which the new Government would seek to address.
He had also previously pointed to the stagnant economy, which was further devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as requiring urgent attention.
Now that the new Government is settling in to office, we believe that Guyana is afforded yet another glorious opportunity to fashion a society that is modern, inclusive, progressive, and one in which all citizens could be proud of.
There is now renewed hope everywhere, and the time has come for all stakeholders to put the elections behind us and work in unity to ensure that our country keeps moving forward.