New Tourism Minister humbled by appointment; believes she represents inclusivity

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By Kurt Campbell

Newly-appointed Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce under the Irfaan Ali Government, Oneidge Walrond – Allicock is ready to transform the sector and says she intends to work closely with the private sector to achieve her goals.

“As a new Minister let me hear what your challenges are, we know the country cannot develop without a thriving private sector… I’m absolutely open to ideas and suggestions from anyone in the private sector who wishes to engage,” she told the News Room Thursday in an exclusive interview.

The Minister is settling into her new role and was already meeting with staff on Thursday, one day after her appointment, but she knows what her immediate and long-term tasks are.

She intends to move Guyana up in the ease of business ranking and help the sector to recover from the setbacks caused by the advent of COVID – 19, allowing for safe tourism to thrive here.

“The ultimate goal is to be able to foster an environment that makes doing business simple, easy and user friendly, it’s a huge task but it’s absolutely necessary to engage in those tasks,” she added.

Minister Walrond – Allicock said she has an open-door policy and is eager to hear from all stakeholders on how the sector can be transformed for the betterment of all Guyanese.

She has already been briefed by senior members of her staff as she moves to conduct a situational analysis.

On a personal level, the new Minister said she is humbled by the appointment.

“I was flattered and honoured and humbled that the president chose me… I will be a technocrat Minister and yes I understand that I’m a bit of a wild card but I think it’s testament to the President’s resolve to have an inclusive government and an inclusive cabinet to pick me purely on the basis of qualifications and what I bring to the table,” she noted.

She is an Attorney-at-Law by profession with 22 years at the bar.

Walrond – Allicock served as a former Magistrate and more recently as she worked as the Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Public Telecommunications under the previous APNU+AFC administration.

She resigned from her position as Corporate Secretary of the Telecommunications Agency to take up this new portfolio.

Her appointment comes as a wild card that many people didn’t expect but she has accepted the portfolio saying that it is testament to President Ali’s resolve to have an inclusive Government and Cabinet.

She will serve as a Technocrat Minister during the life of the 12th Parliament.

Walrond – Allicock mothers two boys and is married.

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