African, Civil Society organisations throw full support behind President Ali

– as he cops an African Leadership Award

Several African and civil society organisations and activists in Guyana have signalled their full and unwavering support for President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, on his receipt of the prestigious Global African Leadership Award for ‘strong and transformational’ leadership since taking office in 2020.

The collective, which included the Afro-Guyanese Unity Foundation and the Organization of African Unity Guyana, in a statement issued on Saturday, said that this award is most deserving since the Guyanese leader has demonstrated a firm dedication to the prosperity and well-being of all Guyanese.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali receives the GALA award during the Africa Prosperity Champions Awards and Presidential Gala Dinner in Ghana.

This statement comes on the heels of a letter dispatched to the African Prosperity Network (APN) in Ghana, by the Chief Executive Officer for the International Decade for People of African Decent Assembly -Guyana (IPADA-G), Olive Cummings Sampson, demanding that the committee rescinds the decision to confer the 2024 GALA award on President Ali.

This act was described as ‘wholly temerarious, reprehensible and objectionable’. For context, the statement said that IPADA-G’s protestations are voiced with political underpinnings, as the organisation appears to have made its mandate to incite ethnic division in the Guyanese society, and destabilise the Irfaan Ali-led administration.

“IPADA-G, since its inception, populated its Board of Directors and executive with known members and supporters of the opposition party, People’s National Congress-Reform (now APNU), and openly demonstrated support for the undemocratic efforts of the Coalition Government of which the APNU was the principal actor; to steal the 2020 Regional and National elections from the Peoples Progressive Party Civic-PPP/C,” the statement read.

It was emphasised that since assuming office in 2020, the PPP/C administration has maintained a consistent trend of delivering policies and programmes that cater equitably to all citizens.

These measures include the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on water for all pensioners, which has placed some $523 million in annual disposable income into the pockets of these Guyanese. This support for pensioners is also demonstrated in the consistent increases in the monthly pension payout.

“Annual electricity subsidies to residents of Region 10 (a predominantly black bastion of the ethnic political support base of the opposition), have been offset by the current government at an annual input of $4 billion. Total subsidies amount to over $100 billion since its inception and it must be noted that this is the only geographic and administrative region benefiting from such a subsidy. The same region has received a $7 billion local budget for 2024, an increase of over 100% since 2020,” the statement noted.

The government has also reversed over 200 taxes and fees that were previously imposed by the APNU+AFC coalition government, boosting household disposable income countrywide by over $300, 000 annually.

Additionally, budgetary measures to cushion the effects of the global rise in the cost of living since 2020 have been meted out to Guyanese. These initiatives include grants for persons with disabilities, small business owners, patients on dialysis, and indigenous peoples.

Importantly, in his 2020 inaugural address, President Ali unveiled his ‘One Guyana’ platform, which has provided the framework for many of the government’s policies. This platform pushes for inclusivity and equality.

In recognition of these commendable efforts of President Ali and his government, the collective has categorically refuted IPADA-G’s contentions and emphasises that the organisation does not represent the national interest of people of African descent. 

“We, and the vast majority of Guyanese have witnessed, seen overwhelming evidence and benefited from the ‘One Guyana’ non-discriminatory governance approaches of President Ali and his Government. President Ali’s philosophical outlook and national, regional and international leadership on historical matters of slavery and colonialization, and the consequential imperatives of ‘Reparative Justice’ for people of African descent, has been consistently outstanding for Guyana and the CARICOM Region. We emphatically reject accusations against President Ali of racism and discrimination as contrived, false, baseless, and without any merit whatsoever,”

On Friday evening, President Ali was conferred with the Global African Leadership Award during the Africa Prosperity Champions Awards and Presidential Gala Dinner in Ghana. He was also recognised for ‘protecting his country from an outrageous and aggressive attempt of neo-colonisation and unwarranted foreign aggression’.

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