Influential Region Two women, youth engage President Ali and Cabinet

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and members of his Cabinet were on Saturday engaged by influential women and youth of Region Two in a meeting at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), Anna Regina.

The meeting is part of a series in the Administration’s Cabinet outreach to the Pomeroon-Supenaam.

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali flanked by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh (left) and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira (right)

“I’m very pleased this afternoon to be here with you in this very important meeting, in which we are focusing on issues surrounding various stakeholders that are important to the governance mechanism of our country,” President Ali told the gathering.

The President said it was a meeting for various stakeholders to relate their issues, including those of a familial, social, moral, and ethical nature.

Residents were also afforded the opportunity to make suggestions toward the government’s projects and policies.

During the ceremony, Dr. Ali reiterated some of the promises made by the PPP/C Government and assured that they will be fulfilled, such as the increases in cash grant programmes and the lowering of the cost of power before the end of this term. Five ministers also made remarks about the importance of consultations and the PPP/C Government’s inclusive values.

Outreaches form government’s projects and policies

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, MP, explained that a critical part of nation-building is consultation. This is in keeping with the Government’s promise to be a government for all people.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, MP

“The feedback we get from consultations like these, direct our path and our steps in government.

“This is where we find out the direction that our country will take… This is how the plans; the projects and the policies are formed. The vision and the direction come from here.”

The PPP/C Government, Minister Rodrigues said, is serious about results. Ultimately, the government wants the welfare and the well-being of every single Guyanese to be taken care of, she added.

Inclusive development requires diverse representation

The remarks by Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, MP, focused on the importance of diversity.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, MP

“The philosophy of our government is to make the government as inclusive as possible,” MinisterWalrond said, while noting the method behind the formation of Cabinet.

The President, the Minister explained, wanted to include as many people that look like the people of Guyana in the Cabinet, including sufficient representation of women, youth and religious groups.

“As a government, we want to continue to recognise the role our respective religions play in our lives, and we want to give that conscience a voice.”

As for women, the minister said, “we are the movers and shakers. We make things work… We want to give these voices of women that are traditionally silenced, to give it amplification.”

In relation to the nation’s youth, the tourism minister noted that “young people come with freshness, you come with ideas, you come with vision… That’s why we have such a young President.”

The Minister said Government wants to understand the things that matter to residents, and that as a government, they are humbled that people showed up to the meeting. Region Two, Minister Walrond added, is not excluded from the explosive development that is happening all across Guyana.

Region Two residents being educated

Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, MP, said the PPP/C Administration has always placed the welfare of the Guyanese people at the foundation of its work. This includes the provision of quality education.

Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, MP

“As the Minister of Public Service, one of my tasks is to train and elevate Guyanese to come back and serve their country, qualified in posts that need it. And so, this year, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the President rolled out an initiative through those two Ministries called the GOAL scholarships.”

She disclosed that the programme saw Region Two being awarded 516 of some 6,000 scholarships with the majority of the recipients being women and youth.

The Minister said those awards did not only include certificates, degrees and postgraduates, but also technical and vocational skills, which would allow persons to directly apply to give back to their communities. She said the programme will continue for the next 5 years.

PPP/C Government is pro poor

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, MP, spoke about the government’s commitment to transform the country.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, MP

“In that transformation of our country, no person must be left behind. Nobody must be left behind.”

She said the government is on a mission to make sure its programmes are geared to inclusivity, targeting the vulnerable and the poor.

“That is why we’ve always said we have a pro-poor, pro-growth program as a country and as a government, and pro-poor, meaning the vulnerable, women, children, elderly, youth, Amerindians.”

Minister Teixeira explained that the motive is to ensure there is equality among Guyanese, ensuring they have equal access, to realise their dreams.

Many culture, youth and sport projects upcoming

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., MP, talked to residents about the many projects in the pipeline for the region and the country.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., MP

“You’ll hear about our sports academy that we’re going to launch. You’re going to hear about our sports conference that we’re about to have in a couple of weeks. You’re going to hear about us starting the Anna Regina multipurpose stadium just in next year’s budget. You’re also going to hear about us doing and improving and enhancing community grounds all across the region, and all across the country. You’re going to hear about grants for young people, for them to start their own businesses.

“You’re going to hear about training as well for young people to get the skills that they need. You’re also going to hear about night schools, the youth night schools, for people who don’t have 5 CXCS, and they want to be able to get 5 CXCs because they know that it’s a stepping stone for them to get into higher education. You’re also going to hear about the regional cultural schools.”

Minister Ramson said these are part of the government’s programmes being led by President Ali, to improve the livelihoods of all Guyanese.

A section of the gathering at Saturday’s meeting

Also present were Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh MP; Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, MP; Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP; and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, MP. Critical leaders of various public organisations were also present to give technical advice and assistance.