Fourth annual North Pakaraima Expo launched
DPI, Guyana, Saturday, December 9, 2017
“With prudent management and critical thinking Region Eight’s abundance of natural resources, including gold, diamond, semi-precious stones and lumber can be a leader in economic development”, so said Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock.
The 4th Vice President made this assertion at the launch of the 2017 North Pakaraima Exposition at Monkey Mountain, on Saturday. The event is a collaboration between the residents of the North Pakaraima, the regional administration and the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.
Minister Allicock told those gathered, “You have plenty riches here in the Pakaraimas. You have gold and diamonds but you need proper management of your resources. You have great scenery. This place is beautiful. You have the opportunity to lead.”
While reaffirming government’s commitment to the development of the indigenous village economies, he explained that the administration “has been trying to get organised for the past 13 months and trying to set the groundwork for operations. We started with the decentralizing power to the regional administration, so they can do their work without interference.”
Minister Allicock observed that the hinterland population is growing rapidly; consequently, village economies need to be progressing at a similar pace. He called on the villages to submit project proposals to the ministry and assured that support will be given, once these are proven viable.
In the interim, he reminded that the government is in the process of establishing training centres, countrywide, to ensure that the indigenous population has access to skills training, in anticipation of future development.
Minister Allicock also addressed the need for proper accountability and transparency and management of community projects. He also reminded that Village Elections will be held in the second quarter of 2018, and urged residents to choose leaders that have their best interest at heart.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, affirmed that the ministry stands ready to assist the people of Region Eight, especially the youths and women. “As a government, we have completed our two and a half years in office and we feel privileged and honoured to serve you, and we will continue”, she said.
Minister Garrido-Lowe also took the opportunity to update the residents about the establishment of a Lapidary Workshop in Monkey Mountain, where youths will be trained to identify various high-quality semi-stones and craft jewellery. The sum of $10M was allocated for the establishment of the workshop. She also congratulated the stakeholders for pulling off a successful expo.
Among villages who participated in the expo are Paramakatoi, Kato, Kurukubaru, Chenapou, Kopinang, Itabac, Kanapang, Chung Mouth, Karisparu, Kamana, Waipa, Kaibarupai, Campbelltown, Micobie, Tuseneng, Taruka and host Monkey Mountain.
Apart from the exhibits, villages will be involved in friendly cricket and football competitions with Paramakatoi, Kato and Kurukubaru’s male teams and Chenapou, Kopinang and Itabac’s female teams will clash in football, cricket, and volleyball.
By: Synieka Thorne
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