The slogan “One Guyana” coined by President of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, was heard throughout a seven-day visit by Prime Minister Brigadier General (Ret.) Mark Phillips and delegation, that engaged expatriates in New Jersey and New York, as Guyana commemorated its 52nd Anniversary of Republic, that began on Feb 23, 1970
The team ended their visit to the US on a high note after delivering compelling arguments to garner support from the diaspora, assuring, that nationals’ contributions would be beneficial to the development of their homeland.
While speaking at the celebration, hosted at Parmanand Luthwan family restaurant in Newark, New Jersey, on Feb. 23, Republic Day, PM Phillips outlined the country’s impressive accomplishments, since taking office, noting that the government overcame challenges to achieve the status of the richest country in Latin America and the Caribbean because, “we have over 10billion barrels of Oil equivalent. The revenue will go towards the improvement for Guyanese both in Guyana and the diaspora, said PM Phillips adding, “by the end of 2024, citizens at home will benefit from reliable electricity across the country, via a gas to shore project that will generate 300 Megawatts of power.”
In addition to plans for the construction of six state-of-the art hospitals, across the country, the government is creating partnerships with health care facilities in the world for shared expertise. Improving the education system and returning to free tertiary learning by the end of this year, the government commitment to citizens wellbeing.
He said his administration is building roads along coastal areas, and highways to connect neighboring countries like Brazil.
Fast-speed internet connectivity, come under his ministerial portfolio, as such he is working to build the infrastructure, adding that his government will bridge the divide between the coastal area and the hinterland, for faster movement of business transactions throughout the country, all ambitious undertakings to modernize the country in the shortest possible time.
In addition to the mega projects that are afoot, he said the Local Content legislation passed in 2022, will help Guyanese in the diaspora to establish businesses in their country. “We want to ensure that we promote and protect Guyanese businesses said PM Phillips.
The team that included, Minister Sonia Parag, Minister Nigel Dharamlall, Ambassador to the United States, Samuel Hinds, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Carolyn Burkett-Rodrigues, and Head of the Diaspora Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rosalinda Rasul, received Resolutions from New Jersey Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, presented by Legislative Aide, Lady Ira Lewis.
Additionally, a Proclamation, and Certificates of Appreciation from the City of Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop, were handed over by Ridya Gangadin. Also, present, was Fazal (Joe) Yussuff, MPA, head of Investment & Diaspora Affairs, Guyana Consulate New York.
Prime Minister Phillips, despite being booed, and called derogatory names, by loud disruptive protestors, Brooklyn, graciously waved to the crowd, as he entered God’s Battalion Church, on Linden Blvd, Brooklyn, with his delegation, delivered remarks to woo nationals to invest in their homeland
Welcomed by Bishop Alfred Cookfield and First Lady Audrey Linette Cockfield, PM Phillips, recapitulated the concept of “One Guyana”, noting that all citizens will be cared for, as his government advances its agenda to include all villages across the ten administrative regions.
He promised expats that when they return, they will have the same amenities they enjoy in the United States, like clean water and smooth roads.
“Every Guyanese in the diaspora would like to own a piece of land and have a house of their own, we want you to own property in Guyana. Therefore, we are here, to connect and send a clear message to you, that the development that is taking place is also for Guyanese living in the diaspora.”
“We don’t want only Trinidadians and Jamaicans to invest in Guyana, we want you to come and invest in Guyana. You have the first opportunity to start businesses in Guyana, he assured, adding that expats could also establish partnerships with Guyanese at home to seek business opportunities.”
He quipped that person shouldn’t keep their money in US banks, since the interest rate is low, and encouraged, investment in transportation, real estate, hospitality sectors instead.
With the Oil and gas sector now booming, training and education is needed, as such, private training institutes are needed to meet the demand.
“We want to see Guyanese trained for these jobs. We want you to participate in what is happening in Guyana.”
The hectic seven-day mission ended after a meet and greet at Code Lounge in Queens, on Feb. 25, hosted by Uriel Seenarine, CEO/Owner of ‘The Caribbean Radio” and US RealtyNY.
The politician once again reiterated the importance of including the diasporas in Guyana’s development, and the government’s commitment to welcoming them.
He said his government will not be distracted from its agenda, adding that Guyana is on a developmental trajectory that all six races of people will benefit from.