Youths blazing the trail in new PPP Cabinet

—President says “multifaceted nature of skills” needed in Guyana

DPI GUYANA, Wednesday, August 5 2020

A batch of young Guyanese is leading the way in what could be the youngest Cabinet ever, as His Excellency President Mohamed Irfaan Ali today appointed 19 new ministers to serve Guyana over the next five years.

They include newcomer 33-year-old Susan Rodrigues who was appointed Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water. She will serve under 41-year-old Colin Croal, a former Parliamentarian in the 11th Parliament.

37-year-old Attorney Sonia Parag, another young professional was sworn in as Minister of Public Service, while 36-year-old Charles Ramson Jnr. received his Instrument of Appointment to serve as Minister of Culture Youth and Sport. An Attorney as well, Ramson Jnr. also recently obtained a Master’s Degree in Oil and Gas Management.

University of Guyana’s (UG) Assistant Dean in the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Hugh Todd has been appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. Todd takes the helm of that ministry at a time when Guyana is still defending its border against neighbouring Venezuela.

New Amsterdam native 40-year-old Vickram Bharrat who also served in the 11th Parliament, has been elevated to the post of Minister of Natural Resources. Another newcomer Oneidge Waldron-Allicock also took the oath of office today. The attorney will serve as Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce.

46-year-old Nigel Dharamlall, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs has now been tasked with the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.

Returning to her previous post as Minister of Education is Attorney Priya Manickchand. Minister Manickchand served as Education Minister under the Donald Ramotar (2011-2015) administration.

Kwame Warren McCoy, the former Press and Publicity Officer of the Office of the President has been appointed Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Information.

Returning to Cabinet with different portfolios is Robeson Benn as Minister of Home Affairs. Benn previously served as Minister of Public Works. Former Minister within the Ministry of Finance Bishop Juan Edghill has now been appointed Minister of Public Works. He will be assisted by businessman and accountant Deodat Indar who also took the oath of office today.

Former Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony will now serve as Minister of Health, while former Executive Secretary of the PPP Zulfikar Mustapha has been appointed Minister of Agriculture.

Pauline Sukhai also took the oath of office and returns as Minister of Amerindian Affairs while humanitarian and medical doctor Vindya Persaud will take the helm of the Ministry of Human Service and Social Protection.

Former Parliamentarian Joseph “Joe” Hamilton has been appointed Minister of Labour, while businessman Anand Persaud will serve as Minister within the Ministry of Local Government.

The president in his remarks said his appointments bring “youthful energy, experience and freshness,” noting that the group must be “results-oriented.” According to him, the government moved swiftly to the appointments because there is a lot of work to be done.

“The multi-faceted nature and skills that comprise the team is what Guyana needs to full aspirations to the people of the country,” as he noted the need for prompt movement to get the work of the government underway.

“You have taken like I did, an oath to the people of this country and we expect nothing less but the fulfilment of that oath,” he stated.

Notably absent from the swearing-in was the Minister of Finance. The Head of State noted that he is still to identify that person. He assured too that “many other appointments are expected soon.”

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