President Ali pushes ‘One Guyana’ initiative, vision for development

President of Guyana Dr. Irfaan Ali
President of Guyana Dr. Irfaan Ali pushes his “One Guyana” initiative, while addressing a packed audience at an Interfaith Forum at JPAC, Queens on Sept. 18.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

President of Guyana Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali under his “One Guyana” initiative, called on nationals to put Guyana first and do what is right and the rest will take care of itself.

He said if nationals love their country so dearly and want to see their homeland become prosperous and unified, ranking at the top of the global community, “then we need to put Guyana first,” he told a packed audience at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, (JPAC) in Queens, during an Interfaith forum, on Sept. 18.

The leader who was in the United States, to address the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, used his platform to promote his religious beliefs, and went on to say that God created us to be one. “We are part of a singular humanity,’ he added, during a lengthy address that opened with ecumenical prayers by Pandit Ram Hardawar, Shaykh Safraz Bacchus, and Pastor John Cummings.

Ali, lectured nationals on the rule of law, principles, and values, supporting, and respecting each other. He told them the process of development is communication, and the future of the country requires the parliamentary system, political opposition, civil society, and the diaspora. “Every facet of society is needed for development,” he noted.

“’One Guyana’ is not a phrase or a slogan, ‘One Guyana’ requires action and commitment. It requires a fulfillment of every single one of us joining collectively to push one thing forward, Guyana,” said the Guyana president.

“Guyana must be developed in such a way that it works with technology that is why we are investing heavily in technology, in training in human resource, and strengthening capacity building,” he said.

A delegation and religious leaders listen to President Irfaan Ali’s address during an Interfaith forum at JPAC, Queens, on Sept. 18. From left, Mustafa Ali, Pandit Ram Hardawar, Shaykh Safraz Bacchus, Pastor John Cummings, Carolyn Rodrigues-Burkett, President Irfaan Ali, (partly hidden) Marcia Nadir-Sharma, Hugh Todd, Robert Persaud, and Fazal “Joe” Yussuff. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

He said the country is on a trajectory of massive development and used the high demand for 80,000 Guyana passports as an example, adding also that the price of land has increased by 300 percent. Six international brand hotels are also under construction that will create 6000 jobs in the hospitality sector by 2025.

The president’s vision includes comprehensive healthcare, as such his administration is currently working with New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital to give citizens the best possible access to primary healthcare. “Over the last two years we have launched a program that provides annual vouchers to every single person who need dialysis,” adding that disabled citizens receive a monthly voucher to help them cope.

Under his leadership the government has set aside GUY$74 B for the education sector. He asserts that education is paramount to the country’s development, noting that the government is halfway through its commitment to awarding 20,000 scholarships, this year.

More than 10,000 young people are studying online at universities across the world, completely financed by the regime. “We’re moving rapidly in ensuring university education becomes free by the year 2025,” he shared.

By November of this year, the government will launch a program for every primary school child to receive technology training before they leave primary school. Students will move into secondary school with intermediate training in software development, as part of the new emerging techno;ogy industry.

A packed audience listened to President Irfaan Ali during his address to push his "One Guyana initiative" as an interfaith forum at JPAC, Queens on Sept. 18.
A packed audience listened to President Irfaan Ali during his address to push his “One Guyana initiative” as an interfaith forum at JPAC, Queens on Sept. 18. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Ali outlined a myriad of projects as part of his vision to move the country rapidly forward, such as the construction of a new Demerara harbor bridge, highways, and bridges connecting Guyana to its neighbors.

He said the country was stepping up crime-fighting mechanisms to improve the services provided by the police force. “I recognize that crime is a challenge but we’re investing in infrastructural equipment, and training of police officers.

“Many police officers are studying for degrees, because when you improve their personal life, they feel pride that you’re giving them motivation to get better at what they do. We’re making tremendous changes using the best-in-class technology to drive improvement in the security sector,” assured Ali.

The delegation, which accompanied the president, also endorsed his “One Guyana” initiative and issued statements to support his stance on religion, to motivate togetherness in the Republic.

They included Permanent Representative to the UN, Carolyn Rodrigues-Burkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Robert Persaud, and Consul General in New York, Ambassador Michael E. Brotherson.

Deputy Ambassador to Washington, Mustafa Ali, advisor on Investment & Diaspora Affairs, Fazal “Joe” Yussuff, and Director of Projects Office of the President, Marcia Nadir-Sharma, were at the head table.

Consulate Communication staffer, Ossie Rogers, and Pastor James Richmond co-hosted the forum that ended with President Ali joining expats in the audience for a question and answer segment.

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