2023 capacity building programme for CSOs launched in Annai, Region Nine

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs on Friday launched its 2023 Capacity Building Programme for Community Service Officers (CSOs), under the theme ‘Advancing our Youths through Capacity Building’.

Amerindian youths from Regions Two, Four, Nine and Ten, will be receiving training in tourism and hospitality, garment construction, tractor driving and repairs and small engine repairs at the Bina Hill Institute Research Centre in Annai, Region Nine.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai delivering her remarks on Friday

The Amerindian affairs ministry partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to deliver training sessions in tourism to Amerindian youths.

Minister, Pauline Sukhai while addressing participants, said the tourism aspect was added into the programme as the government acknowledged its importance in hinterland communities.

“It is a sector which is growing, it’s a sector which is sustainable. It’s a sector which has potential to become, in the long term, a sector that will hold Guyana up when oil and gas is exhausted, gold and minerals are no more. The tourism sector will be that sector which we have to develop, which we have to nurture, and which we have to participate and develop,” the minister expressed.

Some of the Community Service Officers (CSOS) who will be benefitting from the programme

She also emphasised the importance of investing in the country’s human resources, so they can participate in the country’s national development, while developing their communities.

“You have an obligation to serve your village because you live there and you have an obligation to uplift yourselves. You can establish a small business and you have the obligation to provide that service,” Minister Sukhai said.

Expounding further on the tourism sector, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Kamrul Baksh noted that developing tourism products in indigenous communities will make Guyana more competitive.

He further highlighted the importance of the partnership between the two ministries to train the CSOs.

Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Kamrul Baksh

“The programme will help to build out and develop more tourism services. As you know the North Rupununi is an extremely well-developed tourism circuit. We’re currently working [with] places like the South Rupununi to help to develop more products and I know the programme will ably complement and supplement the efforts there,” Baksh stated.

In 2022, 55 CSOs graduated from the capacity building programme at the Bina Hill Institute.

Government is aiming to make the North Rupununi a training hub for hinterland youths by partnering with the Bina Hill Institute Research Centre in Annai.