‘We don’t need more barrels, we need brains’-President charges diaspora
(DPI, Guyana) – President David Granger encouraged Guyanese in the diaspora to contribute their intellect to help in the country’s development.
Guyana’s latest industry – the oil and gas, is expected to transform the country’s economy, however, the President noted there is a need for more new industries. The Head of State made the clarion call for members of the diaspora to join their skills with the country’s resources to aid its development.
“We need your intellectual capital. We need to tap into the expertise and experience which you have gained here in the diaspora”, the President said in his address to Guyanese in New York during a meet and greet reception on Friday, September 22.
President Granger is currently attending the 72nd United Nations General Assembly meeting.
The President pointed out that the government has recognised the need to diversify the country’s economy from the “curse of the six sisters”: sugar, rice, bauxite, gold and diamonds and timber.
“We are going to ensure that new industries are fitting for the development of our country and that is where I turn to you the members of our diaspora. We don’t need more barrels, we need brains that’s why I am here”, the President said.
He added, “We need to diversify, we need to get away from the spell of these six sisters and ensure that our children have a future other than being cane cutters, our children have a future other than felling timber”.
President Granger gave assurances that Guyana has the resources and will welcome investments in the country. “The doors are open to business, to investment. We cannot do it alone. We need factories, we need manufacturers…we need investment to move our raw materials into the realm of well-manufactured products,” he emphasised.
The President expressed his confidence in achieving the development of new industries to make Guyana “an important manufacturing country and not just an exporter”.
“It is time for Guyanese people to contribute to making this a reality but there is a need for innovation and diversification”, President Granger added.
The President also drew attention to the need for more engineers to aid in the development of the country’s infrastructure and improve access to communities no matter the distance. “One day we must be able to drive from Georgetown to Lethem, to Boa Vista to Brasilia. We cannot give our indigenous farmers access to the markets unless we develop roads and bridges. We cannot allow our children to move freely and understand the country that we’ve inherited unless we develop our infrastructure”, President Granger noted.