This year’s budget will boost Guyana’s cultural sector

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon. Charles Ramson Jr. has said Guyana’s culture is its ‘national treasure’ and this year’s budgetary allocation for the sector would be used to preserve and promote a greater appreciation for it countrywide.

The Minister made this statement on Saturday during his guest appearance on NCN’s “Budget in Focus.”

Minister Ramson said while Guyana’s culture could be brought to the forefront, it has been somewhat downplayed. However, his Ministry intends to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for national culture. 

“What I found was that our national treasure is our culture. However, the richness of our culture is not being exploited in an optimum way because it’s not shared very well. So, while we want to share it with ourselves, but we want to share it with the world.”

The Ministry plans to ensure that there is a mixture of cultural activities at every national event, particularly religious events. Minister Ramson said while this may be challenging, the Ministry is up to the task.   

“A lot of eyes are on the country right now because of our oil, and the potential for prosperity. There are also some eyes that are watching to see if we’re going to mess this up too. We have to understand that if we get this right, it will be because of what we have done and the decisions that we’ve made and the actions that we’ve taken along the way,” he added.

To this end, the Minister is urging all stakeholders to come together to achieve the Government’s goal to enable togetherness and harmony.

In Budget presentation, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh said over $120 million will go towards infrastructural development for the progress and preservation of culture and arts.

An additional $36 million caters for the upgrade of heritage sites at Fort Nassau, the Dutch Heritage Museum and the Indian Arrival Monument at Palmyra to improve facilities to promote the country’s rich and diverse history.

The Government also intends to create a National Cultural and Creative Industries Policy to guide the sector’s development as well as the reinstitution of the Advisory Boards for the National Gallery of Art and the National Archives.  

This includes the National Trust updating its legislation to align with the current trends in heritage preservation to expand its mandate.

Dr. Singh also said $30 million has been allocated for grants to the cultural and creative industries, which will focus on original cultural and creative projects. This would eventually be used to inform a credible plan for commercialisation and sustainability.

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