Mayors’ conference to discuss key issues affecting municipal development

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mayors from the nine municipalities across the country will be hosting a Municipal Conference, aimed at creating opportunities for networking and providing a forum for discourse on key issues affecting the towns’ development.

The conference is scheduled for May 19 and 20 and will be held under the theme “Positioning Municipalities as critical partners in National Development.”

(from Left) Mayor of Linden, Carwyn Holland and Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall addressing the conference

Mayor of Linden, Carwyn Holland said that the conference is pivotal to advancing the agenda as envisioned by President David Granger, of moving the municipalities towards becoming ‘capital towns’ fashioned under a green economy framework.

Holland was at the time addressing the media at the pre-event briefing at the Marriott Hotel today. He was joined by Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall.

The conference has been months in the planning and Holland said that the Mayors are united in their commitment to execute the event, with the aim of addressing the issues affecting the municipalities’ development.

“This weekend the municipalities across Guyana will be exhibiting unity. We have worked hard over the past couple of months meeting, together as mayors from various towns and deliberating and discussing and planning the way forward for municipal development. It is with that oneness we bring to you the municipal conference 2017, bringing municipalities, and working together as we foster and push forward with one cohesive mindset,” Holland said.

The conference will incorporate an opening ceremony, leadership presentation and elections for the resuscitation of the Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM) at the Marriott Hotel on Day One.

Holland explained that each Mayor is expected to present on strategic and important challenges hindering development in the nine towns.  The topics expected to be covered include: promoting a green economy with agriculture (Anna Regina,) leadership and management tools for local government (Corriverton,) municipal development and a green economy (Bartica,) the roles of municipalities  (Georgetown,) promoting municipal tourism (Lethem,) diaspora engagement and the twining initiative, (Mabaruma,) advancing Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and strengthening the local economy (New Amsterdam) and effective legislations and implementation (Rose Hall).

Day Two will comprise a plenary session (municipal workshop) at the Regency Hotel. There is also a Municipal exhibition showcasing the products of the towns, including the music, arts and craft that will run for both days at the Regency Hotel, and the Avenue of the Republic.

Mayor Gilford said that, the municipality of Bartica is very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the conference. “As you are aware we are just one year old, and we need help to build our capacity to be able to deliver, and we are looking forward to better networking with our municipalities,” Marshall said.

“The evidence show that our challenges are the same and the only way we can overcome the challenges is to come together and to work together to offset these challenges …networking and capacity would be key, this weekend … this is the time and place for us to sit down together and work out our challenges and see how best we can move forward,” he further added.

The mayors intend to move forward with the recommendations coming out of the conference and are even looking in the direction of them being taken to Parliament and becoming laws.

Marshall explained that those elected to be part of the executive committee of GAM would be mandated to take those recommendations forward and to ensure that, “the conference is not just a talk shop, but we have changes at the municipal level.”

In the past, several of the Opposition-controlled councils have boycotted similar initiatives aimed at delivering greater autonomy, and development in the towns and regions. Mayor Holland however said that he is confident that the mayors are all onboard and will attend the conference. “It would be a surprise to me if that is not the case …we have had all the full cooperation of all the mayors across Guyana. When we meet in a room, we talk no politics, but we speak to the issue before us,” Holland said.


By: Macalia Santos