Nature has taught us some fundamental lessons that, when observed and applied, could produce startling results and pay great dividends. One such lesson is that every plant that grows has a culture and an environment in which it flourishes. Some plants grow in cold climates, some in warm and others in dry or damp areas. This principle also applies to all animals, each of which has a native habitat—a place where they thrive and succeed. The same is true for people who should know the best environment and culture in which to grow. Many suffer because they were placed in a poor cultural environment in which they could not succeed or survive. This is an important lesson that must not be overlooked by the government in its quest for economic growth and prosperity and to provide a better life for all. To achieve this goal, the government must create a conducive environment and motivate the country’s trained and highly skilled workforce to be receptive to new ideas. But in their quest for economic growth, governments past and present have put the cart before the horse. This makes investing in the current culture and environment to bolster economic growth almost impossible.
To achieve real economic growth in Guyana requires the involvement of the private sector and the entire nation. The masses must be united in pursuit of the shared goals of progress and prosperity. This is vital to the process. Guyana will not develop and prosper if its citizens are not motivated to produce goods and services of value. It is vital for the government to create an environment conducive to diversify the economy and move it away from its dependency on agriculture.The mindset of society and workforce is crucial to the creation of the right culture and environment for economic growth. Not to employ this strategy as a significant part of the growth process could be catastrophic for the economy. Yet, in the past, governments have often overlooked, undervalued or ignored this strategy simply because of a lack of knowledge. Along with the right culture and environment should be the willingness of the people to participate in the national endeavor of building a prosperous country. Each of us must understand that we have a critical role to play and must be willing to work to contribute to the good of the community. Certainly, this will not happen by accident. The authority has to take the initiative to coordinate this effort or else it will not be realized. They have to motivate the citizenry and convince all the stakeholders to buy into the national vision.
A new and efficient bureaucracy is needed to advance economic growth, which for decades has been stifled by the old-styled bureaucracy that exists in many quarters of the civil service. If the government is serious about an economic growth agenda, it must, as a priority, transform the civil service into an efficient, helpful service-oriented unit; not a human obstacle to frustrate the service-seeking citizens and the business community. A necessary condition for good governance is a skilled, motivated and efficient workforce with a professional ethos. By contrast, a bad civil service produces bad governance.Bureaucratic change and a new culture are key to national success and prosperity. But such change has to be intentional, not left to chance. Culture change experts have explained that the creation of a culture and an environment is needed to foster robust growth, and that the citizens have to be involved in the vision of making Guyana a prosperous nation. To ignore this growth culture and environmental preparation is to have expectations that may not be realized. And civil servants must know, believe and be conscious of the fact that they exist to serve the nation, solve problems, and make it easy for the average citizens, business person and all who seek their service. In other words, they are the servants of the people and should put their interests first.
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