Distinguished son decorated with 'Order of Excellence'
'I am deeply honoured' - CDP President Bourne By Neil Marks
Guyana Chronicle
February 26, 2002

VISITING President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Guyanese-born Mr. Compton Bourne, was yesterday vested with Guyana's highest national honour, the Order of Excellence.

President Bharrat Jagdeo decorated Bourne with the insignia of the prestigious award at his State House, Main Street, Georgetown, residence.

Immediately after receiving the award in the presence of Government Ministers and members of the diplomatic corps, Bourne told the media that he was "deeply honoured."

Bourne has joined a distinguished line of previous awardees that include former and late President, Mr. Forbes Burnham, former Presidents Mr. Arthur Chung and Mrs. Janet Jagan, among others.

The national award was bestowed on Bourne "in recognition of his scholarship and the distinction and eminence achieved by him in the service of the Caribbean region and the wider international community in the areas of academic economics, public policy and institutional management, and for his appointment as President of the CDB."

Bourne left Guyana in 1964 for England where he studied for a degree in economics. He served Guyana as a lecturer at the University of Guyana from April 1969 to August 1971.

He then moved on to serve the Caribbean and the world.

His country experience in the Caribbean was had in Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and all member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

In Africa, Mr. Bourne worked in Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho.

In Asia, he worked in the Philippines.

Bourne was based at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad until last year when he was appointed as President of the CDB.

His main areas of professional interest have been financial institutions and financial policy (national, rural and international), economic development and policy, macroeconomic policy, human resource development and higher education policy and management.

A smiling Bourne, flocked by members of the media, said that he was delighted to have been chosen to be awarded, noting that it is good to know that your country thinks highly your efforts.

He described the moment as "important".

Bourne arrived in the country Sunday evening.

His discussions with President Bharrat Jagdeo and other Government officials are centered on the Guyana/CDB development portfolio.

Yesterday, Bourne told reporters that discussions along this line have been "quite useful", noting that Guyana and the CBD have agreed to work closely from the start of CDB projects in this country.

He said this would serve to avoid the problems that dogged the implementation of some projects, some of which were discovered only when the projects reached implementation stage.

He said the problems related to limitations in the design of the projects.

Bourne indicated discussions also focused on some other projects that the CDB might be interested in funding to strengthen the economic base in Guyana.

While in Guyana, Bourne is also leading a team for ongoing country consultations for the establishment of a CARICOM Reconstruction Facility to support the re-engineering of the economies of the CDB's borrowing member countries.

The CBD and the Inter-American Development Bank have formed a task force to examine existing conditions and structures and to formulate a plan of action to enhance the competitiveness of the Caribbean countries in the context of occurring international economic changes.

The task force has designed a general framework for identifying the major challenges facing the region and is using this as a tool for country consultations to develop individual action plans, highlighting the state of readiness of CARICOM economies to integrate into the global economy and outlining the requirements for transition and sustainability.

The consultations are aimed at receiving feedback from country officials and social partners on the framework, adding country content to it and arriving at a draft plan of action for discussion with interested donors.