ISDB ‘impressed’ with Guyana’s development trajectory

President of the Islamic Development Bank, His Excellency Dr Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser said that he is impressed with Guyana plans to move up further along the development trajectory, while indicating his satisfaction with the major strides made in transforming, and modernising Guyana’s landscape.

Speaking at a meeting with government officials at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Monday, the IsDB president congratulated the government on the nascent oil wealth, as well as the rational utilisation of these resources.

President of the Islamic Development Bank, His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, greets Senior Minister within the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh

“It has its advantages, and it also has greater challenges, when you are trying to use oil income to build a rational economy with great sustainability for the future generations. You are in that stage. Of course, people are impatient, they want to taste the benefits of the new income, but at the same time, the government has the responsibility to ensure that the services are provided, and that the economy is put on a strong footing, that the sustainability of the policies are reasonably guaranteed, and that the hope of the population is kindled continuously,” he said.

President of the IsDB, His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, during a meeting with government officials at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Monday.

Dr. Al-Jasser added that this engagement speaks to the unwavering commitment of the IsDB to supporting the socioeconomic development of Latin American countries.

“We have also engaged with the government in developing what we call a country engagement framework which is an agreement on what are the ambitions and the aspirations that the government hopes to implement, and which parts of it we can help with and support through financing, for the period 2024-2026,” he explained.

During the meeting, Dr Al-Jasser was given concise updates on current and future projects within the spheres of energy, transport infrastructure, housing, and agriculture, facilitated by the subject ministers.

President of the Islamic Development Bank, His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, alongside Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, government ministers and representatives from the IsDB.

Presenting on the strides made in the area of energy and power generation, Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, highlighted the government’s plan to expand the Hinterland Electrification Programme between 2023-2026 to advance the provision of affordable stable, and reliable energy to the hinterland regions for commercial and domestic use.

“The government of Guyana will pursue a programme with an energy mix that will lead to more than 500 megawatts of newly installed capacity, as well as achieve a reduction in the cost of electricity generation.  Our government’s hinterland electrification programme aims to utilise the most technical and economically feasible solution,” PM said.

In keeping with these priorities, PM Phillips reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing a number of policy measures, including the completion of the 165MW Amaila Falls Hydropower project, and the production of 300 MW of stable electricity, through the gas-to-shore project.

Following a perusal of the presentations in the other sectors, Dr Al-Jasser commended the diversification efforts of the government in building out an expanded, modernised, and competitive agriculture sector, which sees the expansion of traditional crops, as well as a plan to establish a food hub along the Linden-Soesdyke highway.

Transport infrastructure has also been commended for the modernised approach, as Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, along with the Permanent Secretary, Vladim Persaud, rehashed the advancements and goals in enhancing maritime, aviation, and road infrastructure.

Additionally, the IsDB president applauded Guyana’s achievements within the housing sector, especially in making it easier for Guyanese to achieve homeownership.

H.E Dr Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser’s visit follows the conclusion of the United Nations General Assembly, which saw fruitful discussions related to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Dr Al Jasser’s visit entails high-level meetings with government officials and visits to pivotal development projects that hold massive potential for achieving the SDG’s.