“We are proud of our achievements over the past 50 years” – President Granger

…recognises contributions of past Presidents, previous Administrations

Guyana today celebrates its 50th Independence Anniversary after centuries of being colonised, and as the country moves on, President David Granger said focus would have to be placed on ensuring that a sustainable path was paved for future generations.
In his Independence address to the nation, the Head of State noted that the country’s foreparents laid the foundation for creating this unique new nation. He stated that Guyanese were paying homage to their ancestors, whose rebellion and yearning for freedom would have empowered them to confront the greatest of adversities and to overcome the most dangerous adversaries. Page 16 pic
The President added that the empowerment of the disenfranchised masses through the advocacy of mass-based organisations, the attainment of universal adult suffrage and the achievement of constitutional reforms combined to intensify the demand for self-determination and independence. He stated that Guyanese were paying tribute to men and women who were part of this historic and heroic struggle for self-determination.
“We can enjoy freedom today because of their consciousness, their courage and their commitment to the cause of freedom,” he stressed as he recalled those martyrs who struggled and made sacrifices that eventuated into national independence.
“Our people’s ardent aspiration and arduous struggle for political independence moulded our national identity,” Granger said. “Independence infused the qualities of audacity and tenacity in our people. It fortified our determination to be masters of our own destiny. It created new institutions on which to erect the pillars of a new nation.”
Moreover, he pointed out that Independence allowed the country to adopt its own symbols of nationhood, which Guyanese were proud of as they boosted national pride. According to Granger, Independence created the need for new institutions to preserve the country’s achievements, promote the development of the nation and protect the rights of its citizens.
The Head of State went on to recognise the contributions of the past Presidents and the previous Administrations all of whom played a significant part in adding to the country’s development.
“We are proud of our achievements over the past 50 years. We are proud of efforts to deliver our people from dreary logies, shanties and tenement yards and to open the doors to family homes,” Granger said. He also acknowledged the works of artists, composers, dancers, dramatists, writers, the talents of sportsmen and women, the brilliance of scholars and the labours of working people, stating that their contributions too over the past decades will never be forgotten.
Furthermore, President Granger outlined that Guyana has made headway in its development while facing threats to its territorial integrity over the past 50 years from two of its neighbours. Granger praised the past leaders for their vision to guide and ability to sustain the country over the past 50 years against these adversities.
On this note, the Head of State posited that Guyana’s Golden Jubilee was an opportunity to strategise and plan ahead in order to fulfil obligations to future generations. “We look ahead to our next 50 years and to the challenge of realising the good life for all of our citizens. Independence is our birthright. Independence vested in us the duty to protect our nation and to purse the best interest for all generations,” he remarked.
According to the Head of State, the good life entails the absence of poverty, presence of equity, creation of an enlightened citizenry through education, effective stewardship of natural resources and creation of employment for the people.
“Our mission for the next 50 years must be to expand the economy to ensure equality, to improve education, to protect the environment and to provide employment for all,” he stated, adding that Guyana has bountiful resources, both human and natural, to achieve this vision.
Granger said that while the country has made headway in uniting its people, efforts in this vein would continue to be pursued especially in the area of geographic inequalities between the coastland and the hinterland, and urban and rural communities.
“The hinterland, despite its endowment, remains underdeveloped, plagued by poor infrastructure and environmental hazards. The disparities in development and in households between hinterland and coastland must be removed if we are to become a more equal nation,” he stated as he outlined a massive developmental plan for the hinterland region.
Granger reiterated the desire of his Administration to have inclusive governance. He also reiterated his commitment to the green economy initiative, which he said would be the guiding principle for sustainable development, as he mentioned plans to capitalise on the country’s resources.
“Guyana’s future is green. A green economy will protect us from the most adverse effects of climate change. It will ensure a clean environment and reduce pollution. It will preserve our valuable biodiversity. It will ensure that all of our energy needs eventually will be met from sustainable sources. It will catalyse investments in eco-tourism,” the President stated.