35 Afro-Guyanese groups receive $1.8M each for empowerment Projects

Approximately thirty-five (35) organisations, representing Afro-Guyanese communities across the country, received funding totalling just over $1.8 million each for a range of projects.

The cheques were handed over by Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips in the presence of Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sport, Charles Ramson, during a simple ceremony held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Thursday.

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips

Among the projects presented and approved by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport for funding are; agriculture ventures, including shade houses, cash crops, and livestock.

Other projects include training in areas such as drumming, craft, garment construction, culinary arts, and women’s empowerment, and educational initiatives focused on teaching history and literacy.

In December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 68/237, by which it proclaimed 2015 to 2024 to be the International Decade for People of African Descent.

Funding was allocated within national budgets to support this initiative. In 2018, a sum of $68.4 million was allocated to International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly – Guyana (IDPADA-G). Subsequently, funding increased to $100 million annually from 2019 through 2022.

One of the groups receiving their cheque from Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips in the presence of Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sport, Charles Ramson, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond and Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Anand Persaud

This year, the government allocated another $100 million to support a total of 55 groups a part it IDPADA-G. Out of these, only 35 groups have submitted project proposals to access the funding.

Prime Minister Phillips explained that after a thorough review of how the funds were distributed, the government made the decision to directly disburse the funds to the groups in order to achieve the objectives set out by the UN.

He noted that in the previous arrangement, a significant portion of the funds was allocated to administrative costs, resulting in only a few groups receiving the funds. This approach, aims to ensure that all groups representing Afro-Guyanese interests equally benefit from the designated funding.

Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sport, Charles Ramson

“What we are doing here today represents an important decision to ensure that you the people of African descent and the organisation you represent, benefit from the prosperity of this country,” Prime Minister Phillips underscored. 

The Prime Minister emphasised that regardless of one’s location or political orientation, the government’s policies are aimed at fostering development for all citizens of Guyana, in alignment with President Ali’s ‘One Guyana’ agenda.

While congratulating the groups, Minister Ramson commended them for the well-crafted projects that align with the goals of the International Decade for People of African Descent.

“We are going to continue to engage. You have my personal commitment in relation to the government’s interest to continue to engage in seeing the success of your projects,” he assured the groups.

Some of the groups present to uplift their cheques

According to Minister Ramson, Guyana is among very few countries that government has established funding for this objective.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond and Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Anand Persaud were also present.

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