‘Be different’ – Guyana has a chance to forge its own path with oil – Int’l Expert  


Economic diversification expert Dr. Zainab Usman is in Guyana to add to the national conversation on economic diversification and sustainable use and management of the country’s natural resources.

At the invitation of the Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD), the born Nigerian, who is now based in the United States of America, will also meet with local experts, scholars and policy makers from March 7-9, 2022.

But ahead of those conversations and meetings, Dr. Usman has outlined the reason for her visit, saying that while she is here to learn, she also intends to share her experiences to ensure that Guyana understands the global opportunities at its disposal.

Dr. Usman is the Director of the Africa Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. She is an expert on institutions, economic policy, energy policy, and emerging economies in Africa and similar economies.

She is a world-renowned author of many subject matter books and research papers. Her recent publication in the New York Times on How African Countries Can Overcome the “Resource Curse” has been making tremendous in-roads amongst policy makers globally.

Among her recommendations is that Guyana transforms its services and manufacturing sectors and go beyond to put emphasis on structural economic transformation

“I’m here to share my knowledge based on my experience of other countries. What have they done well and share those and I’m sure there are lots of people here who already know that but also to look at what are things some countries have gotten wrong,” Dr. Usman told a media briefing on Monday.

She said Guyana not only has a golden opportunity to stay away from the mistake other countries have made but to also ensure it charts its own course.

“Guyana can and should forge its own path, very different from all of those countries…there is an opportunity to do things different while drawing on experiences form countries across the world.

She said effective revenue management, maximising profits from resource endowment and transparency were simply not enough for full economic diversification.

“You can do very well on revenue management and be very transparent…but being able to transform the economy, industrialise it, transform the manufacturing and services base is not an easy thing to do and that is what is needed to be able to make that transition,” she added during the briefing at the CLBD’s South Road Office.

The centre continually works to inform the Guyanese business community about key topics and issues that will affect them as Guyana emerges as an oil producer.

The CLBD will soon recommence its ‘Join the Conversation Speaker Series’ where distinguished international energy experts provide their unique perspectives on the global oil and gas industry and its development in Guyana.

Dr. Usman will be speaking to the Guyanese community on the importance of economic diversification through her latest discussion paper ‘Beyond Revenue Management: Principles for on Oil-Led Development Strategy In the 21st Century’.

The Centre has organised a business engagement session for March 8 with the business community and an engagement with the students of the University of Guyana on March 9 where Dr. Usman will give a presentation on her discussion paper and host an open question and answer segment.

Dr. Usman will also be meeting key members of the government and Diplomatic Corps to highlight her thoughts and findings in her research.


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