Best face forward Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
November 14, 2006

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GUYANA is gearing up for one of its most hectic years in recent times and should prove itself equal to the task.

Of course, the premiere event on the national 2007 calendar is the local leg of the Cricket World Cup tournament and those responsible have assured that all’s on track for this.

The posh new stadium at Providence on the East Bank Demerara, being built with substantial support from the Indian Government, is almost complete and is set to be a national showpiece.

And so far, the initial tests or dry runs, for Cricket World Cup have been passed.

Laws are in place to meet the concerns of the sponsors, and the security dry run passed muster at the recent Guyexpo trade fair and exposition in Georgetown.

The nation also came through with flying colours in the August 28 general and regional elections with the electorate confounding the prophets of doom and dashing the morbid hopes of those who had predicted violence on and after polling day.

The people voted, the winners were declared, the results accepted, the new government sworn into office, and life goes on.

Those peaceful elections, remarked upon often by the major aid donors and others, were a major test ahead of Cricket World Cup 2007 and the tourists and other visitors are now expected in huge numbers for the tournament.

There are also other major scheduled events, including Guyana hosting the Rio Group Summit, which will see Presidents and other leaders from fellow South American countries trekking in for several days.

This will also test the country’s abilities and resources almost to the limit.

And President Bharrat Jagdeo announced over the weekend that this country would also be hosting the Commonwealth Finance Ministers conference next year.

He said official approval has been granted for this and noted that these major events would allow Guyana a chance to restore its battered image overseas.

Changing this image is an uphill battle because of the political turmoil that has dogged Guyanese for years and the crime wave that has not made that task any easier.

As Mr. Jagdeo noted with the hosting of the major events next year, “We will have an opportunity to change the image of Guyana…sometimes it is an image that we don’t deserve.”

The nation has been told that a major clean-up of the city and its environs is under way and 2007 should provide a golden opportunity for Guyana to come good and regain some of its lost glory.

It’s a national under taking and all stakeholders and those who hold the country’s best interests dear to their heart would have to rally to the cause.

It won’t be easy but if all put their shoulders to the wheel and put their best feet forward, it should be a piece of cake.

Guyanese showed they can defy even the most pessimistic prophets of doom when they shamed their detractors at the August 28 elections and there’s no reason why they cannot continue the trend come next year.

Next year could mark the consolidation of the gains that have been slowly but steadily nurtured in the country.