Guyana’s President Mohamed Irfaan Ali, during a meet and greet in the New York Diaspora, assured compatriots that 100 million U.S. dollars are being spent to build a state-of-the-art skills center to provide free training, not only in the oil and gas sector, but in every other sector, “to take our country forward.”
The government has already granted more than 26,000 scholarships and by 2025, free access to a university education will be available to all Guyanese, said the head-of-state on Sept. 21, at the Hotel Liberty Inn & Suites in Queens.
Reaffirming a ‘One Guyana’ at home and abroad theme, Ali, on the sidelines of high-level meetings at the 78th Session of United Nations General Assembly, boasts that his administration is creating an economy built on innovation, research development, scientific advancement, and high-end jobs to benefit all citizens.
Now in his third year as Commander-in-Chief, President Ali opened his speech with a video presentation showcasing Guyana’s rapidly growing infrastructural landscape, a baseline, he said for equality.
A partnership with Mount Sinai Hospital will overtime help to create a state-of-the-art healthcare system. He said telemedicine is already being provided throughout the country, including 19 hinterland communities. A recent healthcare screening for children, is all part of an efficient social services program, accessible to every citizen of our country.
He quipped that in the past, world leaders confused Guyana with Ghana, but today the republic is being pursued by many sophisticated investors around the world wanting to be a part of the transformation of “our country,” he said, adding that his administration has set very important targets in the international market to attain loans on a fixed rate agreement.
He called on nationals to fill vacancies available in the construction and other sectors as the country continues its mega projects brilliantly beaming with promise on the global stage.
President Ali is passionate about building a world class tourism sector focusing heavily on ecotourism, while targeting sports tourism and building critical infrastructure that will give “us the ability to compete globally among the best ecotourism services.”
“Our future is not all about oil and gas it’s our ability to build a country that is strongly diversified, with an economy that is viable and highly competitive,’ he said, adding that the focus is also on digitization.
The government plans to implement a strong platform for the digitization of the economy and the future. “We are now moving towards having electronic ID cards and passports. We have a new citizen card that will become available to residents. This is also critical to ensure we’re competitive in the world,” said the politician.
“Our life expectancy is increasing even as other countries are seeing a decrease post COVID. The number of surgeries we’re completing in the public healthcare system has increased because we’re investing in more human resource, and equipment. The system is being modernized and more and more people are gaining confidence in the public healthcare system.”
“I can assure you that by next year we can perform hip replacement surgery faster than you can get it here in the US.”
He said his administration is building an agriculture sector with high fiber crops, while inspiring entrepreneurial programs geared towards young people and single women.
President Ali who has said that the “welfare of children and women is of utmost importance to me and my government,” noted that he will spend US$3000 on each dialysis patient annually, and expand the disability, and “Cash Grant Because We Care” programs for children.
” I’m very proud of the work that we’re doing, notwithstanding all the difficulties and problems we face. We are not going to shy away from them or hide our heads in the sand we’re going to confront every problem and find a solution until we realize the full potential of our country, and our people, he said in conclusion,” said Ali.
This was followed by a Q&A segment with compatriots who expressed concern from safety, to transportation, housing, crime, the Guyana Venezuela border controversy, the restoration of National Awards, the economy, bridging the gap in the diaspora, and fostering unity at home, among other topics.
President Ali who completed a busy week of high-level talks, contributed to a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2023 Meeting, and was interviewed virtually by the BBC, captured on the Times Square mega TV screen, where his One Guyana theme was also showcased.
He also attended a meeting with House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries and a team in Washington D.C, to discuss regional energy security, civic engagement in Guyana, and electoral reform, among other critical issues.
His delegation included Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd, Foreign Secretary, Marcia Nadir Sharma, Office of the President Ali, Robert M. Persaud, Permanent Secretary at Foreign Affairs Ministry, Elizabeth Harper, Consul General to New York, Michael E. Brotherson, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Carolyn Rodrigues-Burkett, Head of Investment & Diaspora Affairs, Guyana Consulate New York, Fazal (Joe) Yussuff, MPA. Ambassador in Washington, Zulfikar Ally, and Ossie Rogers.
Claire Patterson-Monah served as mistress of ceremonies.