…says the “good life” from all indications is in reverse mode
Various international organisations, such as World Economic Forum, through a series of annual countries’ assessment, inadvertently espouses the axiom that “Guyana is in reverse mode”.
These were the words of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) point man on finance and the economy, Ifraan Ali who in outlining his position posited that “In 2017, the Global Human Capital index, a report that ranks countries according to their effectiveness and level of human capital development, demoted Guyana below its 2015 global position of 79, by 9 points, surpassing frail economies such as Uganda, Zambia and Kenya.”
Expanding further, the Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) explained that a “closer look at the some of the key indicators revealed that, within one year, 2015-2016, Guyana slipped by more than four points in unemployment rate, for age group 25-54, and seven points, from 55-64. Ironically, the Government boasts of job creation. Furthermore, between 2015- 2017, the country’s global ranking fell by another seven points, in relation to quality of primary education of children, age 0-15 years.”
According to Ali, “Overall, Guyana has slipped by eight position in global ranking, in the quality of educational services provided to children, age 15-24. Concomitantly, youth literacy rate also fell in global position by more than five. According to the report, unemployment rate for youths, age 15-24, has contracted by more than nine position, globally.”
Similar to the Global Human Capital Index, Ali outlined that Guyana has also deteriorated globally by three position points, when ranked by the Human Development Index, for the year 2016.
“Countries such as Namibia and Morocco, have all surpassed Guyana in global ranking. In the health sector, when compared to 2013, infant mortality rates, per 1,000 live births, has increased from 29 in 2013, to 32 in 2015. Similarly, infants under five months, have seen an increase in mortality rate, per 1,000 live births, from 36 to 40, during a similar period. Adults, on the other hand, has seen an increase in deaths due to tuberculosis: from 15 for every 100,000 people in 2013, to 21, in 2015.”
The latest Global Competitive Index Report, on the other hand, for the period 2015-2016, saw Guyana fall in global ranking by more than nineteen position points to 121, when compared to 2014.
Institutions in Guyana, which according to Ali, are one of the fundamental pillars that commands global ranking, deteriorated by thirteen position points, to 102 in 2016 when compared to 2015.
“Property rights; bribes; favoritism; wasteful spending; and organized crime, have all seen massive deterioration in ranking, on average by 6 position points” Ali asserted. “Similarly, macroeconomic environment, another critical pillar of equal weight, deteriorated by three position points: government budget balance as a percentage of GDP fell by 19, which, presently is now worse than that of Haiti.”
“Further confirming the abysmal and deteriorated trend, health and primary education system declined by another two position points: Guyana is now lagging behind countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia” said the MP.
Finally, in doing business, Ali affirmed that the most problematic factors now orbit around inefficient government bureaucracy, corruption and poor access to financing.
In light of the aforementioned, he asserted that “The question that begs to be answered is, how could this government speak of development, wealth generation, and the ‘good life’, when we are clearly, from all indications, in reverse mode?”