…established Privatisation Unit
Former Pro-Chancellor and economist, Dr. Martin Boodhoo, has died.
According to close friends, the official, a one-time advisor to the United Nations, passed away in Manchester, United Kingdom, on Christmas Day.
Boodhoo was an international consultant in economic development and management to public, private and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). He is a former Pro-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, United Nations Advisor, a lecturer, housing officer, industrial and social welfare officer and sick nurse and dispenser.
Boodhoo was born at Uitvlugt Sugar Estate, West Coast Demerara. His father was an indentured sugar worker who arrived in 1893 on the “M.V. Sheila”. His mother died when he was five years old and his father passed on when he was eighteen.
Because of his humble background, he was unable to attend secondary school in Georgetown. At that time there were no secondary schools on West Coast Demerara.
Driven by the desire to enhance his education, he studied privately during his “apprenticeship” as a sick nurse and dispenser; and was also an evening student at the Uitvlugt Under-Privileged School which was run by Mr. Gangaram Dwarka.
He passed the Cambridge Junior School Certificate Examination in 1947 and the London Matriculation Examination in 1950.
His working career began as a student sick nurse and dispenser at the then Uitvlugt Sugar Estate Hospital in 1945, and later at the then Leonora Sugar Estate Hospital.
In October 1952, his dedicated voluntary involvement in Community Development activities (Scouting, Youth Work and Welfare Services) earned him a Fellowship sponsored by the Government of Guyana and the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund to study Industrial Welfare and Community Development in the United Kingdom. In June 1953, he graduated with a Class II – Upper Division Classification.
On his return to Guyana in June 1953, he was employed by Bookers Sugar Estates Ltd. as the Industrial and Social Welfare Officer at Albion Sugar Estate, Corentyne, Berbice. While still there, in November 1954, he married Chandra Kumari Persaud- the daughter of his former boss, Deodat Persaud – Chief Sick Nurse and Dispenser of the Leonora Sugar Estate Hospital.
The high point of Dr. Boodhoo’s professional career was his service with several agencies of the United Nations (UN) System. In October 1979, he was appointed by the UN Technical Cooperation Division in New York as Advisor & Coordinator of a project on the “Management and Evaluation of Public Enterprises” for the Government of Malaysia. He served in this capacity until September 1981.
From October 1981 to September 1985, he served with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as the UN Regional Advisor on Management and Enterprise Development for eight countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, with Duty Station (resident) in Zambia.
As Regional Advisor of the ILO in Central and Southern Africa and the Caribbean, he played a vital role in the establishment of The Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) and the Caribbean Management Development Association (CMDA). In recognition of his sterling contributions, especially to the Caribbean, he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Guyana Chapter of the CMDA.
Boodhoo returned to Guyana in 1992 and was engaged as a Consultant/Advisor to private companies as well as the public sector and international organisations.
In October 1993 he was entrusted with the challenging task of setting up the Privatisation Unit for the Government of Guyana with Technical Assistance from the World Bank.
He served up to 1996, as the First Executive Secretary and Head of the Unit and was responsible for formulating the guidelines and modalities of privatisation in collaboration with the World Bank.
Dr. Boodhoo has written extensively on Management and Economics of Public Enterprises, Privatisation, Industrialisation, Training and Manpower Development, Migration, Productivity & Entrepreneurship Development and Peace-making and Peace-building.
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