Region Two will be declared a special development zone – President Ali
–Outlines major development plans for Region as new hotel opens
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali today announced that Pomeroon—Supenaam (Region Two) would soon be declared a special development zone that would advance investment opportunities.
The Head of State made the declaration in Henrietta on the Essequibo Coast as he helped to officially open the doors to the new Jaigobin Hotel.
He explained that the development initiatives planned for the Region, covers technology, infrastructure, tourism, services and the ICT sector.
“Before I get to these thematic areas, let me tell you that we are going to declare RegionTwo as one of the regions in the special development zone.”
The President said that specific legislation will be tabled in Parliament to recognise the zone with definite incentives that are aimed at attracting more investors to the Region and country by extension.
To complement this move, the President explained that major infrastructural projects will be done in the Region that includes opening up more than 10,000 acres for inhabitants.
“We want to upgrade what we have here. By the time we get to the end of the next three and a half, four years, we intend to have every single street, every single road in this country lit up so that you can live in a secure environment and a more comfortable environment. That is why we’ve invested in building our energy portfolio bringing close to 500 megawatts of new power on the grid.”
President Ali said too that there will be tremendous investments in infrastructure, drainage and irrigation and farm-to-market roads, among other initiatives.
The Head of State also explained that there will be large investments in the services sector, especially the health sector, to make it “world-class”.
“We are going to spend every single cent that is required to bring first-class primary health care to every citizen. You will see in the next budget some specific announcements on healthcare that will be mind-blowing.”
The President also pointed out that the Government has already secured the financing for a full-fledged, state of the art hospital for the Region. He said that his Government is very focused on its vision.
“We are not second-guessing our policies and programmes. We are not second-guessing our vision. We know exactly the path that we will take.”
Resources, he said, will be available to develop a ground in Region Two that will be up to par with ICC standards with a complete stadium.
In terms of security, the President reiterated that the current CCTV safe city programme will be expanded throughout the county as part of the safe country programme.
“So soon, you will see CCTV cameras, you will see the technology platform but more importantly, the command centre for your safe county as part of the country. Your command centre will be located right here in Region Two. It is part of the decentralisation of our securities network. What does that mean? That means at least 50 young people will have to be trained to man that command centre.”
The Head of State also emphasised the importance of tourism in Guyana, especially to the “Cinderella County”.
He said that sports fishing is a massive market that Guyana can tap into and highlighted that the Government will move towards making legislation for hunting that would require a price and season.
“So we have sport fishing, we can create a green tourism product easily here. We have all the ingredients for one of his strongest green tourism products with eco-lodges and so on. We have savannas. The Region’s savannas is exceptional for camping, nature, and with the right facilities—sports tourism.”
“You have a government that is ready to listen to you and work with you to come up with the ideas. Come with a plan, and we will help you to develop them.”
The President also reminded that his Government will develop a learning hub for higher education, hospitality management, pharmacy and other specialised areas. “So as far as possible, the human resource we need for the building of this region must come from the region—that is the objective.”
Agriculture was also discussed at great lengths, with the President pointing to his happiness in seeing the fields being planted with rice when he flew over.
He added that the Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Zulfikar Mustapha, will be launching a new initiative in Smart Agriculture to encourage the participation of young people.
“They will build greenhouses and in a controlled way; we can do high-value products, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Right now, we’re finalising efforts for that. We are also finalising efforts now to diversify the flower market.”