$90M for 'Youth Choice' projects in two regions

Stabroek News
July 27, 2000

President Bharrat Jagdeo's Youth Choice programme yesterday identified roughly 50 projects totalling $90 million for Regions Three and Ten, including a chicken farm and computer centre.

The announcement of the projects was the culmination of workshops held in the two regions on May 13, where youths were asked to choose projects that would be to their benefit. Jagdeo had at the time encouraged young persons to think of ideas other than sports facilities, but the preponderance of the projects identified yesterday, were either for sports equipment or for the upgrading of recreation areas.

There were, however, some other proposals for micro-businesses including a chicken farm for the Mora/Parika district at a cost of $1.8 million and two others at Wismar and Moblissa costing $3 million and $1.2 million respectively; a sewing factory for Nismes, West Bank Demerara, $3.5 million; sewing and tailoring at Malali, $2 million; a garment factory at Christianburg, $630,000; a machine shop at Blueberry Hill, $800,000; a joinery workshop at Ituni, $2.3 million; another at Three Friends, $2.6 million; a woodworking shop at Muritaro, $3.1 million; skills and education centres at Mackenzie valued $516,000 and $3.2 million; a $1.6 million computer centre at West Demerara; a boat service at Gold Hill, $1.6 million and a $1.6 million launch service at Kwakwani. A project for Wakenaam asked for $500,000 worth of textbooks. At Greenwich Park/Vergenoegen the request was for $1 million in farm equipment. Stewartville seeks to set up a counselling and research centre at a cost of $3.1 million.

Jagdeo said young persons would work in these small businesses with the profits going towards community projects so as to spread the benefits. He said he was confident that the enterprises would be viable. A mentoring system where an established business person gives advice is to be put in place.

Youth leaders from the two regions were invited to the ceremony at the Office of the President along with some civic leaders and regional officials. The President noted that some of the projects will have to involve the various regional administrative bodies. But he stressed that the onus of implementation lay with the young persons, who must now canvass their constituencies for approval of the identified projects. He hoped the system of implementation would be simple and transparent.

Odinga Lumumba, whose Department of Empowerment is coordinating the proposal, evaluation and implementation process, said projects for Regions Two and Five were being considered. An announcement on those is expected in ten days.

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