President outlines five-point plan of action for urban revival in New Amsterdam

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President David Granger on Friday attended the opening ceremony of the New Amsterdam Town Week 2019 activities where he proposed a five-point, New Amsterdam Plan of Action (NAPA) for Urban Revival.

The five components of the plan are to ensure the town becomes a centre of educational excellence offering top-class nursery, primary, secondary and technical vocational education; becomes the Region’s commercial capital; becomes clean and ‘green’, and have transformed infrastructure and expanded public services.

The President reminded that Guyana is in transition to become a ‘green state’ noting that the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 is the country’s roadmap towards that goal.

The Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) will be implemented during the Decade of Development: 2020-2029, the Head of State said adding that New Amsterdam could be a place where the GSDS is seen to be implemented more widely and purposefully during the ‘Decade’.

President Granger said New Amsterdam, Guyana’s oldest town can become a model ‘green’ town and its Plan of Action for Urban Revival can coincide, step-by-step, with national growth and the implementation of the GSDS over the next 10 years.

President Granger addressing residents of New Amsterdam (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

“New Amsterdam Town Week is a time to celebrate the town’s rich history and heritage.   New Amsterdam in its early years was described as a splendid town, renowned for its beauty, its cleanliness, its orderliness and for its ornate buildings.  I challenge you to reclaim the town’s proud, picturesque and cultural heritage,” the President said.

The Head of State said too that New Amsterdam Town Week is also a time to celebrate the town’s outstanding sons and daughters.

He said New Amsterdam has produced some of the country’s finest businessmen, doctors, educators, lawyers, parliamentarians and other professionals.

“It has given birth to legal luminaries such as the former Chancellor of the Judiciary J.O.F. Haynes and Sir Lionel Luckhoo; Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Sir Sridath Ramphal; the outstanding composer of national songs Valerie Rodway and a literary genius, Edgar Mittelholzer,” the President said.

President Granger said notwithstanding its history, New Amsterdam Town Week 2019 must be different from previous town weeks.

A section of the gathering at the opening of New Amsterdam Town Week (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

“This celebration must trigger greater efforts at urban revival of the town as a well-laid out, well-drained and well-managed municipality. It can become a thriving commercial and administrative centre, providing efficient commercial, governmental, municipal and regional services. It must ensure green spaces and greater emphasis on renewable energy generation,” President Granger posited.

The President told residents of New Amsterdam that the town has the potential to become an eco-tourist destination given that it encompasses four of the country’s national geographic zones – coastland, grassland, forested highland and hilly sand and clay zone.

Further, the Head of State said New Amsterdam’s heritage tourism product is breath-taking while positing that the town’s heritage sites can form the basis of an attractive and lucrative urban tourism sector.

“It can lead in the promotion of eco-tourism and heritage tourism. Both of these sub-sectors can make an impactful contribution to the Region’s economic revival. The economic revival of such a large and rich region will not happen by accident. It needs a ‘turbine’. It needs first-class administrative services to catalyse investments, to develop a strong human resource base, to expand the services sector and to develop an agro-industrial sector,” President Granger said noting that New Amsterdam is that ‘turbine’.

President Granger greets residents of New Amsterdam (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

The President who has travelled to the East Berbice-Corentyne Region eleven times in five months assured that NAPA for Urban Revival aims at making the town a leader in education; modernizing its infrastructure; improving municipal services; creating a better environment and ensuring a stronger business sector.

President Granger said New Amsterdam, as the capital town of Region Six can stimulate the development of agro-industries. He said the town must aim to become an agro-industrial centre and an exporter of processed food.

The President believes that the agro-industry – that is, the production, processing and packaging of food using modern equipment and methods on a large-scale – can help the Region to add value to its primary products.

“I place this ‘Plan’ before the town. I see a bright and prosperous future for New Amsterdam. The Mayor and City Council and the residents can be assured of the support of my Government in the implementation of this plan,” the President assured. (Extracted and modified from Ministry of the Presidency)

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