Transforming the economy, empowering people and building sustainable communities in Guyana

This month, Guyana’s Ministry of Finance laid out its plans for the country’s budget, in which the importance of accelerating the country’s transformation to a green economy and PAGE’s work in the country are strongly featured. The budget reaffirms Guyana’s commitment to the principles of sustainable development: “It reflects our [Guyana’s] unwavering commitment to building human capital through investment in health and education and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals; a budget that supports the transformation of our economy, recognizes the importance of communication and connectivity through strong, climate-resilient infrastructure; a budget that promotes and incentivizes small businesses.”

The budget, entitled Transforming the Economy, Empowering People and Building Sustainable Communities for the Good Life, focuses on strengthening institutions across sectors, including reinforcing public investment management; expanding opportunities for businesses to grow and flourish; and supporting the Guyanese government‘s green economy initiatives while aiming to support the development of the non-oil sector.

To advance progress towards these ambitions, PAGE has worked with the Department of Environment to develop the Green State Development Strategy, which was presented to the government at the International Small Business Summit last month. In it, a variety of strategic policies, actions and projects aiming to foster low-carbon, climate-resilient sustained economic growth are presented as a strategy for creating decent jobs, rising incomes sustained over generations, equitable access to economic opportunities and social cohesion.

The Green State Development Strategy is at the core of the Guyana budget proposal, as one of its guiding documents, and is explicitly referenced as a commitment of the government under the budget, with encouragement for local agencies and partners to follow its lead. “The Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 will guide national development policies for the next 20 years…The “green state” agenda is centred on improving the quality of life for all within the principles of a green economy…”

By taking on the ambitious Green State Development Strategy, and committing state resources to its implementation, Guyana is doubling down on its ambitions to become a green economy leader in the region. This is a strong signal that Guyana accepts that economic diversification, especially ensuring a flourishing and thriving non-oil sector, is crucial to build up a resilient foundation on which the country can stand on when petroleum resources come to an end.  Moreover, resources investing in the human side of development such as in health and education, water and sanitation, decent housing, green energy, transport networks and youth development, is critical for ensuring that this transition is just and inclusive.