Pres. Ali: Investments being made to foster development, meet demands of re-migrants
By Vishani Ragobeer
At the opening of Guyana’s first virtual diaspora conference, President Dr. Irfaan Ali underscored that the government is focused on ensuring development in all spheres of society, with an eye on fostering investments in sectors such as health, education, and security that are important considerations for re-migrants.
The major conference got underway on Saturday morning. Through a series of discussions and engagements, it is expected that the conference will lead to deepened diaspora relations that could be tapped to aid Guyana’s developmental transformation.
While providing the keynote address, President Ali outlined a number of sectors the government is hoping to develop in a bid to provide a better quality of life to Guyanese while ensuring that the country’s economic prosperity is secured.
“What we want to achieve is not only prosperity for the people in an economic and monetary way but for us to leave lasting prosperity, we have to have social development and advancement, political development and advancement and indeed, economic advancement and development,” he said.
He also emphasised that these developmental efforts will include a concerted focus on bridging social disparities and creating social safety nets to allow for the advancement of all in society. According to him, Guyanese must benefit from “world-class” services in the health, education, and other sectors.
“Included in that too, are plans and a strategy for investment that would see health care services for members of the diaspora too… specialised health care,” he highlighted.
To this end, he related that members of the private sector are already engaging in investments to meet the needs of members of the diaspora who would be returning home to invest their financial resources and/or skills, knowledge, and talent.
“It is true that this is happening in many other sectors too because we anticipate a high level of remigration and (while) sitting down with the private sector, we identified this health (and) education as risk factors in meeting what your specific demands will be and work is already on the way in creating this infrastructure,” the President highlighted.
He also highlighted that the government is working on a comprehensive strategy to address local security, cognisant that this is a consideration for members of the diaspora who are interested in returning to Guyana.
In addition to these sectors, the President said that infrastructural development is a crucial consideration in improving the lives and livelihoods of all Guyanese.
The President also talked up the many opportunities that are conducive for investments, emphasising that the burgeoning oil and gas sector is not the government’s sole focus. Agriculture, logistics, value-added industries, and ecotourism are some of the areas, he said, are ripe for investment and for advancing Guyana’s transformational agenda.
To ensure that there is a structured approach employed to engage members of the diaspora, the President also highlighted the usefulness of the recently-established Diaspora Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.