Jagdeo’s developmental model was deeply flawed since it fundamentally hinges on his LCDS
I want to take this opportunity to offer a pat on the back to President Bharrat Jagdeo for his efforts at securing an intention from Norway to partially fund the needs of the LCDS. But that is all it is, an intention to extend US$30 million in 2010 to Guyana subject to us satisfying set criteria.
Looking at the glass half filled, one ought to assume we will satisfy all of the set criteria and thus the taps will open for the US$30 million to flow.
The first cut of the cash has to go to the European satellite company who will conduct the aerial monitoring of our forest, and then the second cut has to go to the army of international consultants who have to travel to Georgetown to engage in discussion and more verification.
After all of this, the residual will be left for Guyana’s development projects. Hurrah, we are rich; we will get the flakes from the Norwegian pot of gold!
I have been one of the most fervent critics of the LCDS and the process used by the President in position our country’s development agenda and I remain committed to the belief that we are no better off developmentally than we were in 2006, three wasted years.
Since winning a new term in 2006, President Jagdeo poorly attended to all of our major developmental issues, since he was too busy flying around the world engaging in personal aggrandisement.
Now some may argue what about the ministers, they must work, but those who know how Cabinet works in reality will tell you, nothing gets done to the stage of completion until the ‘Master’ is home.
This country’s failure is not because of lack of good ministers, there are many competent people in the Cabinet. Our failure is down to poor leadership, an obsession with power by the ‘Kabaka’ and an unsatisfactory decision making process. (1 ½ year more to a more mature leader)
The world is well aware what it has to do, it does not need Jagdeo to tell them. The UN System has been one of the best systems to advocate for a reform of the environmental management systems in the world, since it is clear to one and all that climate change is a risk multiplier. The UN Refugee Agency has just released a report that estimates that by 2020, some 300 million people will be climate refugees and a fair share of them will end up in Europe and North America. This is why action will be taken but at a pace dictated by the G-20 countries and no one else.
This is clear enough evidence that with or without Jagdeo’s travels, the world would have acted. If Jagdeo so loves Guyana, then he should have focused on the GuySuCo issues, the building of the Hydro Power Project, the relationship with Suriname as we dig for oil, the relationship with Brazil as we secure their support to build the Linden to Lethem Road and the Deep Water Harbour and the list goes on.
His developmental model was deeply flawed since it fundamentally hinges on his LCDS which was peddled around the world like an insurance salesman on duty. What did he get? Platitudes and more platitudes!
Did Prince Charles release US$5 million for Guyana; did the Actor Redford commit a US$1 million from his personal wealth for Guyana? At the end of the day Obama and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao sets the tone and every one else has to follow, end of story.
Pandit Nehru recognised many moons ago that energy access will be a major litmus test for his country’s development (India). Why could we not understand this? Failure to permanently satisfy Guyana’s energy needs today is a responsibility of the Government of the day after being in office for 18 years, not the PNC or the AFC or Sharma.
They must look at this issue seriously and get that hydro project done since the US$29 million GPL Kingston power plant will break in 5 years time; it is just a plaster on a very old sore. Fossil fuel energy for Guyana just does not work. We have enough empirical evidence in Guyana to justify this.
We can never grow our FDI in a fashion to create sustainable wealth unless we seriously deal with our electricity needs. Skirting around this issue as President Jagdeo is doing day in day out will not make it go away, it actually does more harm to the Government’s credibility and bring more poverty to the people.
The party is over, Copenhagen is done and Obama and Wen Jaibao have spoken and the decisions are made.
The world will cut its green house gas emission while the modality for verification still has to be worked out and the developed countries including China will put US$10 billion at the disposal of the least developed countries of the world to transform their production technology to give them access to cleaner energy.
One of the focuses of these funds is to move the 3 billion people who use firewood for energy to cleaner energy systems. How many people in Guyana still use firewood for energy?
So I caution policy makers, please do not go jumping about stating that there is much money for Guyana since the most we are expected to get from this US$10 billion is another US$45 million on top of the US$30 million from Norway and we must meet strict criteria to benefit. Happy days ahead!