…says govt will put systems in place to amplify access to capital for women
President Dr Irfaan Ali has announced a number of measures that will enhance the lives of women and young people in Region Two.
The President’s focus at the Influential Women and Youth Meeting at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) compound in Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast yesterday was on the importance of education and the creation of opportunities through agriculture, health and ICTs.
The meeting, which culminated the two-day outreach to Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), was filled with hope and detailed plans of the Government direction, encompassing a holistic approach to development.
The President spoke about opportunities and gave heartfelt advice to the youths on steps for their growth and progression in life.
High on the agenda would be the enhancement of ICTs, which will help to decentralise adult education and create job opportunities.
“Very soon, the Minister of Finance will be back here talking to you about the job opportunities that will arise out of the investment in the ICT sector, jobs in call centres, and greater opportunities for you to study at home.”
President Ali said that improvements to the sector would enhance online learning.
“Education opportunities will be enormous. Housewives will have the opportunities to formalise their education by achieving degrees and diplomas. Girls who could not have completed their teachers’ certificates will be able to do that right from their homes.”
The President explained to the young people in the audience that there will be lots of opportunities in the health and education sectors and the joint services; he pointed to several members of his Government who would have advanced their careers over the years via these professions.
He told them that with a $2B hospital earmarked for Suddie, opportunities will be available for nurses and other medical professionals. He also explained the benefits of the teaching and military professions and encouraged youngsters to apply for training programmes.
“We are encouraging you to submit your CVs so that you can be trained for these opportunities.”
The President also challenged the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, the Honourable Oneidge Walrond, to help develop an all-female resort in the region, which will empower women and serve as a tourism brand for the country.
PUTTING SYSTEMS IN PLACE
The Head of State pointed out that in order for women to take advantage of some of these opportunities, the system needs to change and be structured.
“Access to capital is one of the things that women are challenged with. We have to work with the private sector on reducing the burdensome approach and, frankly speaking, the barriers that are stacked against women in accessing capital to form businesses and to open businesses. We have to fix this, this is a global problem, and we in Guyana should lead in an effort to fix this.”
Young people, according to the President, should also own their own homes. He said he would work to ensure that it happens not only in Region Two but across the country.
“Young people must be able to own homes and land, so they can qualify for loans and benefit from the equity value of that ownership.”
Although some persons might prefer to work in an office or in a more formal setting, the Head of State pointed to agriculture as a possible alternative.
He said that the Government will look to open up new agricultural land to create more opportunities.
“Agriculture can be a transformation investment for your families and for yourselves. It can be viable. Agriculture is not an option, but an opportunity.”
The hope is not just to grow crops and raise animals, but to create processing plants to produced shelves-ready items.
A number of other speakers also took part in the forum, including Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, the Honourable Gail Teixeira; Minister Walrond; Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, the Honourable Charles Ramson Jr; Minister of Public Service, the Honourable Sonia Parag and Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, the Honourable Susan Rodrigues.