PPP/Civic Government gives all Guyanese equal opportunity

Guyana Chronicle
September 23, 2000

MINISTERIAL Advisor on Empowerment, Mr. Odinga Lumumba has said that he is very happy to be associated with the PPP/Civic Government because of the equal opportunities that this administration is giving to all Guyanese, especially the Amerindians.

The Advisor on Empowerment was speaking to a community group in Bartica last weekend when he made these remarks.

According to Lumumba, this Government has given Amerindian people the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. He pointed out that the Government has been able to ensure that the Land Act that was passed in 1969 is implemented so that the Amerindian people can finally get their land.

Mr. Lumumba also alluded to the fact that the PPP/Civic Government is doing a tremendous job in terms of Amerindian development, pointing to the improvements in the education and health sectors.

Asked about his views on the Government's prioritisation of Amerindian development, Lumumba noted that Amerindians had been 'left back' from the rest of the society.

"They had been left back by previous governments and I think we (the PPP/Civic government) have decided to bring forward the development of Amerindian communities...they have been playing catch-up and when one is behind, we have to do additional things to ensure that they will be mainstream," Lumumba said.

He added that society cannot grow if a large segment of its people is left behind.

"The Amerindians were denied equal access for a long time now, but the PPP/Civic is trying to ensure that this will never happen to the Amerindian people again," the PPP/Civic Member of Parliament said.

Lumumba also sees Amerindians, in the next few years, as "foot to foot" with the rest of the population, particularly in terms of education.

Approximately $65M has been directly allocated for specific Amerindian development projects in this year's budget. These projects include the refurbishment of the Amerindian Hostel in Georgetown, the provision of outboard engines for riverain communities, and support for self-help and employment projects for Amerindian women.

These programmes are expected to enhance the living standards of all Amerindians. In addition, various Amerindian communities will benefit from central Government and regional development projects to be executed in the coming years. (Guyana Information Services)

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