Oct 25, 2020 News
– Entrepreneur bestowed with Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence for 2020
Kaieteur News – (DPI) His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali today recognised the achievements of Guyanese entrepreneur Andrew Mendes, as the recipient of the 2020 Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence in entrepreneurship.
The well-known businessman was among four persons in the region to receive the prestigious award this year, which honours people who have made significant contributions to the areas of art, entrepreneurship, civil society and science.
Other winners included Trinidad and Tobago astronomer, Dr. Shirin Haque; St. Lucian sculptor, Jallim Eudovic and Jamaican social scientist Dr. Olivene Burke.
“Please allow me to recognise and celebrate Andrew for his tremendous contribution to Guyana, for the upliftment of so many lives and the fulfillment of your social responsibility in all that you do in growing your company,” the President said as he paid tribute to Mr. Mendes.
While the Head of State lauded the Guyanese businessman for his achievement, he also charged him to inspire the next generation, and to take the lead in building local capacity. He acknowledged that the Awards serve as a reminder of the enormous reservoir of talent within the Caribbean and have become the regional equivalent of the Nobel Prize complete with its laureates.
The President said that the awardees exemplified the inherent capacity of our people to overcome the most daunting of challenges.
“Sacrifice and struggles are carved out in our DNA and has been molded by our region’s experience in surviving despite the odds, and Andrew is an excellent example of this. It is the spirit instilled though our history which allows us, the Caribbean star, to shine so brightly in the global arena of excellence. The genius of our people is indisputable.”
The Head of State also recognised other Nobel Laureates from the region including Sir Arthur Lewis, Derek Walcott and V.S Naipaul.
President Ali pointed to the importance of harnessing the Caribbean’s extraordinary talent and resourcefulness, particularly as member states navigate through the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Once our people remain our most valuable resource, the sun will never set on the Caribbean civilisation.”
He added that for Caribbean countries to insulate its economies and citizens from exogenous shocks, they must strengthen traditional sectors, improve economic competitiveness and steer economies into new, innovative areas.
This, the President said, requires the commitment to high standards of excellence, the “tapping” of the creative potential and genius of the Caribbean people as well as the retailoring of the education system to encourage inventiveness and innovation.
“Here in Guyana, it is the people of your country, the human resource capacity of our country who will have to be the shining star, resilient amidst the odds and committed to bringing our country together and ensuring as a people and as a country, we succeed. We have examples here, and Andrew, you are one such person.”
President Ali pointed to the important role politicians play in setting the vision and creating opportunities for continued growth and development of countries. The President then charged Mr. Mendes to lead the way in bringing together similar minds in the Private Sector to bolster the country’s technical capacity, particularly with the emerging oil and gas sector.
“Let us discuss a common platform where the government can provide technical institutions to equip our people, Guyanese and regional people … I am convinced that we can build the capacity to provide essential services and the talent that is required to shape and take our country forward.”
President Ali also urged the Laureate to use his platform to influence the change in mindset and to mold the future that Guyana so badly needs.
The profile of Mr. David Andrew Mendes, shared by the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence, describes him as an entrepreneur who brings a welcome change to the extractive industries (logging and oil), which are becoming more unpopular due to environmental concerns. He is the Managing Director of Farfan and Mendes Ltd (FML – a family business in Guyana). Mendes is also a passionate advocate of corporate responsibility, high-quality customer service and products, and improving standards.
As well as giving back to his industry, Mr. Mendes gives back to wider society – supporting various causes related to youth, community and conservation. He is an advocate and activist in addressing alcoholism, drug abuse and mental health in society through active support of groups that focus on these issues.
Given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chairman, Mr. Andrew Sabga, in consultation with the Eminent Persons Panel, decided that the circumstances require separate ceremonies in the Laureates’ home territories.
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