$3.5B for culture, youth and sport
-$1.5B for sport development
–$820M for Youth Entrepreneurship and Apprenticeship Programme for CSOs
-$120M toward infrastructural development for culture facilities
The Government has proposed the allocation of $2.7 billion for sport and culture, inclusive of arts, in Budget 2021
Some $1.5 billion of that sum would go towards sport development countrywide, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh, told the National Assembly on Friday.
Of that allocation, $915.5 million has been budgeted for the improvement of community grounds countrywide to expand their use as parks.
This includes the establishment of top multi-purpose sporting facilities of international standard in Region Two, Six and Ten.
“This administration is cognisant of the vast talents and skills of our people who have gone underutilised and unappreciated over the last few years. In this regard, we will aim to develop and showcase the potential of our sportsmen and sportswomen, and artistes, both at home and internationally,” the Minister said.
Other infrastructural improvements will see the installation of lights on community grounds, laying of synthetic tracks at the athletic facilities and other sports facilities advancement.
About $618 million will be used to help host tournaments, maintain sports facilities and support select sports associations. Dr. Singh explained that $370 million will be budgeted towards professional training for both athletes and coaches as part of the Sports Academy programme.
In 2020, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon. Charles Ramson Jr. had announced his intention to implement an elite training programme aimed at honing the skills of athletes to help them become professionals.
This led to the Government’s approach to change the sport policy and infrastructure built, and maintained, to ensure that tournaments could be accommodated.
Youth development in Guyana will once again receive a significant boost with $820 million earmarked for the Youth Entrepreneurship and Apprenticeship Programme. The aim is to provide training and stipends for Community Service Officers (CSOs) from 213 hinterland villages.
Minister Singh said that this initiative will create employment opportunities and generate income for young people. It will, in turn, boost their community development.
“Every young person is entitled to be nurtured in a healthy protective, and supportive environment to develop their full potential”
To this end, the Government will also establish a National Job Bank and Labour Exchange which will improve access to employment opportunities for job seekers. This approach is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to generate opportunities for the nation’s future leaders to participate in the job market and national development.
Meanwhile, over $85 million will be made available via the Department of Youth for the provision of training in areas such as robotics, oil and gas, climate change and the environment, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and agro-processing.
Additionally, Dr. Singh said $90 million has been budgeted to expand the Youth Innovation Programme of Guyana to provide grants to young people, who create innovative solutions to address local issues and challenges.
The Youth Advisory Council which was allocated $25million in the 2020 emergency budget is set to be operationalised shortly.
Over $120 million will go towards infrastructural development for the progress and preservation of culture and arts. Such works will cater for the seating in the lower auditorium, and sound and lighting systems of the National Cultural Centre; Castellani House to improve visitors’ experience at Castellani House and the rehabilitation of the National School of Dance’s studio among others.
An additional $36 million has also been budgeted to upgrade heritage sites at Fort Nassau, Dutch Heritage Museum and the Indian Arrival Monument at Palmyra to improve facilities to promote the country’s rich and diverse history.
Dr. Singh said the Government will create a National Cultural and Creative Industries Policy which will guide the sector’s development along with the reinstitution of the Advisory Boards for the National Gallery of Art and the National Archives.
The National Trust will also update its legislation to align with the current trends in heritage preservation. This step will allow the agency to expand its mandate.
As such, $30 million will be used for grants to the cultural and creative industries focusing on original cultural and creative projects with a credible and well thought out plan for commercialisation and sustainability.