Granger talks up Burnham’s ‘Decade of Development’ on 35th death anniversary
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform and former President of Guyana Brigadier (rt’d) David Granger on Thursday paid tribute to the party’s founder leader Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham in observance of his 35th death anniversary.
Delivering the main address at the wreath-laying ceremony held at the Mausoleum, Place of the Seven Ponds, Mr Granger said Burnham’s “ideals are not dead” and his “ideas on economic independence are as alive today as they were fifty years ago when they flourished.”
See below Mr Granger’s full address:
Forbes Burnham, the founding leader of the People’s National Congress, former Prime Minister and first Executive President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, was a visionary leader. Political independence, for him, was the gateway to the objective of economic independence.
Economic independence necessitated the eradication of poverty, the elimination of inequality through education and the generation employment through economic empowerment.
Forbes Burnham initiated a transformative phase which, in retrospect, could be deemed a ‘decade of development,’ from 1965 to 1975. He encouraged self-reliance to stimulate local and village ingenuity and self-employment. He established economic enterprises and institutions for the economic empowerment of Guyanese:
– the country was named ‘the Cooperative Republic’; the cooperative movement was launched to drive the development of villages many of which suffered from poor infrastructure; self-help initiatives organised to promote domestic development;
– alternative technologies were introduced as a means of promoting the emergence of cottage and small- and medium-sized enterprises which were essential to empowering poor households, boosting village economies and reducing rural poverty; and
– cooperative financial institutions – such as the Guyana Agricultural and Industrial Development Bank, the Guyana Mortgage Finance Bank, the Guyana National Cooperative Bank and the Guyana Cooperative Insurance Service – helped to mobilize capital and provide financial services for economic development.
Forbes Burnham died thirty-five years ago on 6th August 1985 at the age of only 62 years. His ideals are not dead. His ideas on economic independence are as alive today as they were fifty years ago when they flourished.
It was my proud duty, on 1st January this year, to launch the ‘Decade of Development, 2020-2029’ not as an imitation but, rather, as a continuation of our founder-leader’s work and a realisation of his vision for a prosperous nation.
We, the heirs and successors, honour Forbes Burnham’s service to this nation. We recommit to the perpetuation of his legacy of economic emancipation and empowerment.