As we usher-in this new year, we at Kaieteur News extend best wishes to all Guyanese for a successful and bright year. We pray that each day of the year will bring you closer to achieving all of your aspirations for 2017.
Below are some messages from individuals and organisations.
HEAD OF STATE, PRESIDENT DAVID GRANGER
We welcome the New Year – 2017 – with supreme confidence and with the strong conviction that we have chosen the correct course to advance our country.
National pride was evident at home and in the Diaspora as we celebrated our Jubilee year in 2016. We shall be even prouder as we apply our assets and abilities in this New Year to move faster and further along the path of economic growth.
Public trust was enhanced when, for the first time since 1994, our communities were re-empowered to elect councillors in local government elections. Residents were happy that we established three new towns in the hinterland – at Bartica, Lethem and Mabaruma – to stimulate development away from the coastland. Freely elected councils and local democracy will strengthen communities which are the bases for richer regions and a prosperous country.
Public safety will improve. We have seen the clearest sign, also, that the unlawful and unreasonable claims to our country’s territory will be set on a definite course for settlement at the end of this New Year. Our vigilance to protect our people and our patrimony against all threats to our territory will not be diminished.
We look forward to a happy year as we continue to move purposefully along the path towards the establishment of a ‘green state’. This New Year will witness the acceleration of the transition towards improvements in our citizens’ quality of life.
The ‘green state’ will see us doing more to adopt the use of renewable energy. We are drafting a comprehensive, clean energy plan to guide our transition to sustainable energy generation.
The ‘Plan’ will enable us to receive renewable and reliable energy at a reduced cost for households, industries and hinterland communities. It will remove our dependence on imported fossil fuels; it will result in foreign exchange savings and it will insulate our economy from the impact of rising petroleum prices.
The ‘green state’ also involves empowering local communities in order to generate employment at the ‘grassroots’ level – particularly for women and youth. The development of renewable sources of electricity generation – from bio-mass, hydro-, solar- and wind-power – will provide employment for thousands of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled persons. The industries spawned by these sectors will multiply job opportunities.
Solar energy systems will be installed in more public buildings and in hinterland communities as we continue to convert the country to renewable energy use. We re-commit to pursuing a low-carbon, low-emission path to economic development.
The ‘green state’ will promote the protection of our natural environment by the conservation of our fauna and flora. Every region will be required to provide for protected areas, conservation parks, reserves and sanctuaries to protect our wildlife. We will identify an additional 2 million hectares of our territory for conservation.
The ‘green state’, this year, will become an engine of economic diversification. Our flora and fauna and luxuriant natural vegetation – the coastal lowlands; the highlands; the grasslands; the wetlands; the sand belt; the lakes, rivers, rapids and magnificent waterfalls and the evergreen, montains and rain forests – will further catalyse our eco-tourism and eco-education sectors by emphasising our biodiversity.
Diversification will support industrial enterprises and sustain livelihoods by suppressing the impact of exogenous shocks and by opening new investment and employment opportunities.
The establishment of a ‘green’ state will reduce the impact of the economic and environmental shocks which have retarded our development. The ‘green’ state will reduce our country’s carbon footprint. The ‘green state will diversify our economic base and promote increased value-added production.
The ‘green state’ will demand that we strengthen our efforts in science and technology education and quicken the adoption of information and communication technology. ICT will facilitate greater connectivity between the coastland and hinterland; stimulate the services sector; improve the delivery of public services and enhance the competitiveness of our economy.
We belong to a beautiful, blissful, bountiful country that possesses abundant natural resources. We must care these resources. We must conserve their use for the benefit of present and future generations.
The people of our great country can look forward to the New Year with hope.
Happy New Year.
May God bless you!
GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA
As we reflect on 2016, Guyana’s Golden Jubilee year, we are pleased with the accomplishments of our nation. We are inspired that 2016 was both a celebratory and foundational year for our nation. It was a year in which we reconnected with tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora who visited Guyana, many after being away for decades, as we joined hands and hearts in celebrating our historic 50th Independence Anniversary with fervour.
The majestic rising of the Golden Arrowhead at D’Urban Park on May 26thlaid patriotic emotions bare and renewed the nation with hope and a spirit of enthusiasm for Guyana’s future. It evoked the lyrics of Dave Martin’s song – “Clear the way, Guyana comin’ back.”
Despite some challenges and hiccups, 2016 was a year in which two national budgets were presented and the groundwork for achieving the good life for all Guyanese commenced in earnest. Structural changes, institutional re-organization and re-focusing were necessary.
The Coalition Government looks forward to intensifying this work in 2017 in expanding the horizon of all Guyanese. It is planned that 2017 will be the year in which we both complete the foundational work for future development and commence the transformational work in pole vaulting Guyana towards the good life.
This process will be neither automatic or without hurdles. It will require the talents, intellect, skills, commitment and contribution of all patriotic Guyanese.
In the new year constitutional reform will take centre stage, as will major infrastructural projects such as the bridging of Essequibo river, a new bridge across the Demerara river, building of the Parika to Goshen road, paving of the Linden/Mabura phase of the Linden/Lethem road and waterfront developments in the city and at Vreed-en-Hoop. Our social services, health care, education, public security, utility services, foreign service, telecommunications, business, housing, hinterland development, public service and other sectors will undergo transformation and modernization.
The theme of Budget 2017 – ‘Building a diversified green economy; ‘Delivering the good life to all Guyanese’ – sets the tone for the year ahead. The Coalition Government encourages all to set aside partisan interests and join the effort to work towards achieving a better quality of life for all Guyanese.
The Coalition Government sincerely expresses best wishes for a safe, productive, inclusive, progressive and successful 2017 to Guyanese, at home and overseas, as we work together in fulfilling the mandate of a good life for all.
Leader of the Opposition
I join all Guyanese at home and abroad in welcoming the New Year 2017 which I hope will deliver goodwill, higher standards of living, equity and justice as well as massive economic development for our people regardless of their race and ethnicity, religious beliefs and political persuasions.
As we reflect on the significant challenges encountered in 2016, we must recommit ourselves to redoubling our efforts to ensure that we overcome those that lie ahead this year.
It is my belief that 2017 must be used as the year to achieve national healing and reconciliation, racial harmony, unity and cohesiveness.
As a nation we must also strive to work together to achieve our broad objectives of creating an economy that is resilient, diversified, green and capable of withstanding the shocks caused by international financial crises.
We can ill-afford this year to have more political rifts, divisiveness, poor economic management, poor social cohesion initiatives and parliamentary chaos. It is my hope therefore that our National Assembly will rise to a new level where more meaningful consultation, political cooperation and consensus are the order of the day and the new political culture.
The People’s Progressive Party Civic which is the main opposition parliamentary party will continue to lobby and fight for the rights of the Guyanese people at every level. We will cease every opportunity to ensure that good governance prevails and higher levels of transparency and accountability are evident in Government’s business and undertakings.
I wish all Guyanese a happy and prosperous New Year.
PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM
Happy New Year! May Prosperity come to every home, family and community across the far-flung regions of our country.
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) extends greetings for a Happy New Year to all Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora. As the Year 2016 fades into history we welcome in 2017, our Party’s Diamond Jubilee Year. Sixty years ago on the 5thOctober 1957, the People’s National Congress was founded.
The PNCR and its coalition partners in government, last year, faced many challenges. Thankfully, we are better together than asunder. This year we will work even more closely together to eliminate armed robberies, contraband smuggling, money-laundering, narcotics trafficking and other crimes; to staunch the dropout rates and unemployment of our youth; and to solve the problems in the sugar industry which we inherited.
As the New Year dawns, the PNCR calls on all Guyanese, regardless of race, ethnicity, political affiliation or religion, to participate in bringing about the transformation of our country so that Guyana’s vast resources may, at last, be made to serve the imperative for development and social advancement of all the people of Guyana.
On this, the first day of the New Year, it is our hope that all of us will realize a measure of prosperity in our personal lives and that each of us, wherever we may be, will endeavour to make some contribution, however small, to the development of our country.
The PNCR, therefore, looks forward to participating, as it has successfully done in the past, in the continuing drive for the peaceful development of this dear land of ours. The Party wishes all Guyanese a very Happy New Year and looks forward to 2017 with optimism and hope.
May God Bless our Nation as we strive to provide a Good life for all Guyanese!
MAYOR OF GEORGETOWN, PATRICIA CHASE-GREENE
Fellow Guyanese at home and abroad, greetings and best wishes for a progressive and prosperous 2017! A New Year has dawned. A new year brings with it new hope and possibilities for us, our families, the City and by extension the nation.
Each New Year provides an opportunity for reflection on your successes and setbacks. With a new year comes a new season, let us together take a hold of new opportunities this season brings, so that together we can make greater strides for our families, and our City.
It is customary that we all have new years’ wishes and resolutions, which oft provide a frame work to achieve set goals and objectives and also serves as road map for the next twelve months.
New years’ resolutions are characterized by many pledges and projections. At the Council the foregone years was filled with challenges and also success stories. I must take this opportunity to thank Almighty God and my fellow Councillors for re-electing me as Mayor of this beautiful City.
I would like to thank the citizens who co-operated with the Municipality during the years 2016 and also, special thanks to rate payers who honour their civic obligations to the Council for year 2016.
As Mayor, my first wish is to provide and administer efficient economical and effective service in keeping with UN standards to the citizenry, which in enshrined in our mission statement.
My second wish is that there would be a change in Council’s economic status which would only be realized through the implementation of new revenue earning streams. We know and concede that the idea of change is one of the most conspicuous and pervasive feature. It is reality of human’s existence, Moreover, in the corporate world nothing happens without money. We have decideded to regulate parking in the City as a means of garnering revenue. But, this simultaneously would provide other benefits such as reducing carbon foot prints.
My third wish is that there would be a return of morals; decline in morals has been eating away at the social fabric of our society. We have seen a rise in crime more so, during 2016, many of our women folks have being killed at the hands of their partners. Therefore, there is urgent need to address the scourge of domestic violence.
My fourth wish is that the National Capital Planning Commission would be establishment so that zoning becomes a reality. Zoning protect neighbourhoods and set standards that protect property owners. During a community meeting held in the City several residents complained profusely about the inconvenience they experienced living in residential areas where business operates.
My fifth wish is that every citizen would play their part as the Council works assiduously to restore the beauty of the City. This means that every citizen must practice proper waste disposal methods. The truism is many citizens are trying their best but there are those who want to continue on the path of environmental degradation. Finally, for my wish list to become a reality the co-operation of every citizen is necessary.
Thank you and May God bless you.
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMISSION
As the year 2016 draws to a close, the Private Sector Commission reflects on achievements during the year and looks forward with confidence to the year 2017. The Commission has achieved much in 2016, in its collaboration with Government, Government agencies, labour and civil society. It values the bonds which have been created and strengthened with these.
We have worked closely with all Government Ministries in 2016 and particularly the Ministries of Natural Resources, Public Security, Foreign Affairs, Business and Finance and Public Infrastructure. Together we were able to establish the pivotal role that the private sector plays in nation building.
We would like to express our gratitude to our members for their support throughout the year. In 2017, we will continue to engage all businesses going forward and we would work steadfastly to ensure their voices are heard. We encourage more investment in Guyana, and we will provide assistance to potential investors, as we feel that business plays an important role in the growth and development of any country.
As 2017 approaches, the Private Sector Commission looks forward to an even closer and more productive collaboration with Government in all areas, and particularly in oil and gas, judicial reform, appointment of judges, examination of the feasibility of the Amaila Falls project and an overall improvement in the investment climate.
The Private Sector Commission takes this opportunity to wish all a peaceful and prosperous 2017.
INDIAN ARRIVAL COMMITTE 2017
The Indian Action Committee (IAC) wishes all Guyanese a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
The IAC is fully cognizant that national unity, which is absolutely necessary for the economic development of Guyana, can only be attained by everyone actively pursuing the policy of genuine social cohesion.
The IAC, in its vision for a happy and prosperous 2017 wishes to have a safer and secure society; to observe improved relations between the government and the opposition; to see the retraining of and issuing of former sugar lands to retrenched sugar workers; to witness the allocations of commercial space for small vendors; to see the urgent repair of the crumbling Linden Soesdyke Highway; to have more overseas markets for Guyana’s rice production; to view drastic reductions in incidents of spousal abuse, substance abuse, and suicide; to observe increased gold production to offset decline in gold prices in 2017; to notice improved educational standards to counter declining results especially in Mathematics and English; to have increased youth employment both on the coast and the hinterland; and to see improved living conditions for the less fortunate elderly citizens.
The IAC wishes to inform all Guyanese especially those of Indo- Guyanese origin that the organization will continue to pursue vigorously its three foci: cultural, educational and social work.
The IAC will be involved in a number of historical events in 2017 including the commemorations of the 1998 Georgetown Atrocities (January 12), 2008 Lusignan Massacre (January 26), the 1913 Rose Hall Sugar Estate Massacre (March 13), the 1917 Abolition of emigration of Indian indentured labourers (March 21), the 1917 arrival of the last Coolie Ship s.s. Ganges (April 18), and 1838 Arrival Day (May 5).
A high point will be the observance of the 100th year since the last batch of Indian indentured immigrants was brought to these shores.
The IAC encourages all citizens and leaders to make 2017 one in which a climate of unity and tolerance is improved.
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