Oct 26, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – President Irfaan Ali on Saturday recognised the achievements of Guyanese entrepreneur, Andrew Mendes, who is 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 Mendes, during the event at State House on Saturday.
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.
The Head of State also recognised other Nobel Laureates from the region including Sir Arthur Lewis, Derek Walcott and V.S Naipaul.
“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.”
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.”
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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