84 graduate from MOE/ Republic Bank Pan Minors Workshop

July 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Through a collaborative initiative of the Ministry of Education Department of Culture Youth and Sport and Republic Bank Guyana, the Steel Pan art form has been boosted with more human resource.

On Friday last, The Republic Bank in association with the National School of Music awarded Certificates to eighty four (84) youths to mark their completion of the ‘Republic Bank Right Start Pan Minors Music Literacy Programme’ that commenced on Monday 11th July and ended on Thursday 27th July, 2017.

The event was attended by Republic Bank executives including the Chairperson, Mrs. Jannis London, Manager’s Assistant, Learning and Talent Development, Ms. Denise Hobbs, General Manager, Operations and Mr. Yugisther Mohabir, Assistant Manager, Information Technology.

Hon. Nicolette Henry M.P., Minister of Education, while delivering the feature address noted that the National School of Music’s partnership with Republic Bank has borne fruit as, “Many school aged children, particularly at the secondary level have benefited….and are actively involved in steel pan concerts and competitions, such as  the annual Republic Bank Pan-O-Rama”.

Minister Henry commented too that, “Republic Bank has invested millions of dollars over the year to help spread steel pan music throughout the country, and I trust, will continue to do so as there is no better investment than investing in our young people!” for which her ministry and by extension the country is grateful.

Minister Henry also expressed the desire that the, “…partnership to continue as an important part of the government’s strategic development plan to establish Fifteen (15) new school bands by 2020. Steel pan music in Guyana has a rich and interesting history and legacy, and we want to continue this legacy by having as many schools as possible equipped with steel pans”.

Mr. Andrew Tyndall, Administrator of The National School of Music and organiser of the programme in his missive declared the camp a success. He further urged the children to apply the same level of dedication and commitment they showed over the three weeks of the camp as they continue to play and also apply the same to their lives including their school work.

He thanked the parents, who also attended the ceremony, for making sure their children attended the programme every day.

In a separate interview, Mr. Tyndall revealed that this year’s programme was special. For the first time the programme reached out to the Child Care Protection Agency to include children from the Drop-In Centre in Georgetown and Mahaica and Mr. Tyndall expressed elation that as a result all of the children completing the programme with diligence and enthusiasm, the Ministry of Education, through The National School of Music will be holding a permanent steel-pan programme for the children from the Drop-In Centre.


(Article and photo by Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth & Sport)

Agriculture sector to get research and development support

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Director General of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Guyanese born Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, today called on Agriculture Minister, Hon. Noel Holder, where a number of areas for possible collaboration through research and development were discussed.

Among the areas discussed, the team will be looking to boost Guyana’s livestock capabilities with the introduction of a new model for dairy development in the tropics. Boosting the capabilities of extension officers is another area of which CATIE and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) will collaborate.

From left: NAREI CEO, Dr. Oudho Homenauth; Agri. Minister, Noel Holder; CATIE Director General, Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, and GLDA CEO, Nigel Cumberbatch.

New Zealand has been utilizing the skills of CATIE forsponsored training of technical officers in central Latin America and the Caribbean and this will be extended to Guyana. A proposal will be developed shortly between CATIE and the Ministry of Agriculture for financing such training.

Research and Development have always been a high priority for the Ministry of Agriculture and through the aegis of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and GLDA, much has been achieved in this regard, assisting farmers in boosting their production and productivity.

While there have beensuccesses, CATIE will be working with NAREI and the GLDA over the next few months where theexchange of genetic materials and exposure to dairy cooperative systems between Guyana and Costa Rica will be realized.

“Ensuring that NAREI has access to cultivars which show more resilience to climate change is important as we move forward with our cause for a green economy. Climate Change is real and unless we take a more adaptive approach to agriculture we cannot bridge that productivity gap,” the Minister said.

The Agriculture Minister, in welcoming the collaboration between the Institute and the Ministry stated that thisaugurs well for the advancement of agriculture in the CARICOM Region, and Guyana’s ability to address its US$4B import bill.

“With our research aspect strengthened, we (Ministry of Agriculture) will be better able to assist investors with not only new breeds but thehigh line of new genetic materials for crop production,” he said.

The aim of CATIE is to increase sustainable agricultural production and include the training of professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean with anenhanced focus onsustainable management of agriculture and conservation of natural resources.

Cabinet Approves Appointment of Nigerian High Commissioner

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Cabinet has approved the appointment of His Excellency Alhaji Hassan Jika Ardo to the position of Non-Resident High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

High Commissioner-designate Hassan-Jika-Ardo

High Commissioner-designate Ardo most recently served as Interim Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) of Nigeria.

Prior to joining active politics in Nigeria, High Commissioner-designate Ardo worked as an accountant and later as the Assistant Director of the Office of the Accountant General before retiring in 2013.

Since establishing formal diplomatic relations on August 2, 1976, Guyana and Nigeria have engaged in bilateral cooperation including in the political sphere.

Emancipation 2017 marks 179 years of freedom

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Designed to commemorate the abolition of slavery, tomorrow Guyana will celebrate Emancipation Day. Emancipation is celebrated annually on August 1. This year will mark 179 years since the shackles of slavery were officially broken from the ankles of Africans who were enslaved by their colonial masters.

The commemoration, traditionally embraced by Guyanese of African origin, entails them cooking African foods, and opting to garb themselves in African wear. African songs and dances also characterised a major celebration that has for years been venued at the Guyana National Park in the capital City.  Other celebratory activities are also held in other parts of the country.

Over the years too, nationals of other races have also supported their African brothers and sisters in the celebration of Emancipation Day with some even opting to dress for the occasion and indulging in other activities centred on celebrating the end to too many years of slavery.

Although the celebration is slated for tomorrow, many persons have already started to engage activities that have already started to help bring to life an emancipated aura.

At the Giftland Mall yesterday persons were already on site to start the celebration.

Berbice Chambers of Commerce hear of setbacks to CJIA expansion works

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Currently works are moving apace on the new Arrivals Terminal Building, the extension of the runway, and rehabilitation of the existing building of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

Demonstration of vibroflotation – the process used on the runway extension

But the ongoing works have not been without some challenges. These have been centered around the demolition/relocation of existing structures and utilities; unforeseen ground conditions; renovation of the existing terminal building while in use; and extension of the runway while maintaining operations.

The disclosures in this regard were made during a conducted tour of the airport expansion project for representatives of two Chambers of Commerce in Berbice.

The 16 representatives from two Region Six Chambers of Commerce were briefed on the challenges, scope and progress of the airport expansion project on Sunday during the tour.

The visit was facilitated by David Patterson, Minister of Public Infrastructure, following requests from the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association and Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce during recent meetings.

Prior to a tour of the project, which included a visit to the temporary Arrivals Building, the representatives were informed on key elements of the project, including its scope of works. The representatives also took the opportunity to broach numerous critical questions, such as the compacting process and specifications of the runway expansion.

Officials hear about the ongoing works.

Mohammed Raffick, President of the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, was impressed with what he saw.

“It was a very informative tour. It was an eye-opener for us. The travelling public will have lots to enjoy when the airport is completed. I must commend Minister Patterson on what he is doing,” Mr. Raffick said in an invited comment.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Ryan Alexander, the President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce.

“We understand the complexities being experienced to complete the project….we have heard the frustrations from the travelling public, but it’s just a little pain for a lot of gain,” he said.

The tour was spearheaded by Project Engineer Carmichael Thorne and Consultant Tom Rosiewich.

Impact of VAT among critical issues addressed at Ministerial roundtable

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The impact of VAT on manufacturing inputs, equipment and products; the impact of imported substitutes and the need for supporting mechanisms; the UK Environment Agency Greenheart Restriction; and fiscal supporting mechanisms were among the critical issues highlighted at a recent Ministerial roundtable.

The roundtable which was held at the Ministry of Finance on Friday with the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association [GMSA] in attendance was chaired by Minister of Finance. Mr. Winston Jordan.

This initiative forms part of Government’s coordinated efforts to support the development of the manufacturing and services sectors by engaging the private sector and was born out of a proposal for its formation by the Finance Minister during his feature address at the recently held GMSA Dinner.

The proposal was accepted by the GMSA then sent to Cabinet where it was endorsed, and an Inter-Ministerial team comprising the Ministers of Finance, Natural Resources, Business and Public Infrastructure, supported by relevant senior technical officers was approved.

VALUE ADDED TAX red Rubber Stamp over a white background.

In attendance was seven-member team from the GMSA led by President Shyam Nokta. Also supporting Minister Jordan were: Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman; Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin; Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson; Director of Budget, Sonya Roopnauth, and Head of Projects, of the Ministry of Finance, Tarachand Balgobin, and representatives of the Guyana Revenue Authority.

The Government Ministers expanded the discussion to include marketing and quality assurance, integrated land use planning, training and capacity building, forest inventory, ecosystem services, certification and the utilisation of wood waste as part of introducing renewable energy technologies.

The meeting agreed that immediate solutions would focus on measures to address the competitiveness of known and lesser known species, clarifications on investment agreements and greater information sharing, road maintenance in light of heavy dual usage of roads, a review of  the applications for VAT, the creation of a consolidated dimensions stockyard and the establishment of a revolving fund which will allow stakeholders to modernise and retool their production processes and refurbish aging capital stock.

Additionally, Government committed to re-examining the impact of imported substitutes on the competitiveness and viability of the local market by relooking at existing tariffs and concessions.

A first follow up meeting to the first Roundtable is scheduled to be held on August 7, to discuss the issues related to the impact of VAT on the sector’s competitiveness.

The Inter- Ministerial Round Table will be held thrice annually.

Fans get close-up with Guyana Amazon Warriors

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As they gear for serious competitive matches starting in a matter of days, some of the players of the 17-man Guyana Amazon Warriors squad took some time out Sunday to meet fans. It was of course a ‘Kodak-moment’ with many fans, opting to take away photographic memorabilia away.

This all happened ahead of the team’s first practice match under floodlights at the Guyana National Stadium last evening, compliments of the team’s sponsor, GTT.

The Guyana team, which will represent Guyana at the Hero Caribbean Premier League [CPL] cricket matches, has during the past few days been engaged in intense preparation at the same venue under the guidance of Coach, Roger Harper and Assistant Coach Esuan.

The fifth edition of CPL opens on Friday August 4 in St. Lucia with the St. Lucia Stars taking on the Trinbago Knight Riders at the Darren Sammy National Stadium while Guyana Amazon Warriors will get into action the next day in Lauderhill, Florida against the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

Guyana Amazon Warriors Full Squad includes: Martin Guptill, Rayad Emrit, Sohail Tanveer, Chadwick Walton, Babar Azam, Rashid Khan, Jason Mohammed, Steven Taylor, Veerasammy Permaul, Roshon Primus, Gajanand Singh, Assad Fudadin, Steven Jacobs, Keon Joseph, Steven Katwaroo, Keemo Paul andMuhammad Ali Khan.

Gold Board gets assessed by visiting Canadian team

July 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) recently hosted a visit by a team from its refining partners, the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM).  Mr. Steve Higgins, Director, Storage and Refining Solutions led the team which included Mr. Derek Hall, Manager of Compliance.  The scope and focus weighed heavily on GGB’s policies and procedures relative to anti-money laundering supervision and the source of gold purchased.  The principal objective was to foster a level of assurance on the robustness of oversight processes of all gold declared from mine to market.

RCM’s team reviewed GGB’s files, interviewed employees, visited a gold dealer, and met with members of the agency’s board of directors.  In a subsequent meeting with Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Raphael Trotman, Mr. Higgins indicated that he was pleased with some of the due diligence efforts implemented at the GGB, and the other strides embarked upon to tighten existing GGB AML/CFT policies and procedures and adherence to them.  Mr. Higgins articulated that this was positive and bodes well for strengthening the longstanding RCM-GGB relationship of over thirty years.  Both parties agreed that there is work that remains to be done in several areas, and which must be pursued diligently.

Minister Trotman welcomed Mr. Higgins and stated that RCM’s presence can only be mutually beneficial.  The minister looked forward to building further the partnership, and invited Mr. Higgins to make candid recommendations in the written report to him and the board of directors, and to identify areas where support could be offered.  In an indication of the importance of the strong relationship between the two entities and the two countries, this meeting was also attended by His Excellency, Pierre Giroux, High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana.

GGB’s Chairman, GHK Lall, noted that, amidst the positives and developing  comfort levels attained with GGB’s AML compliance efforts and overall supervision, there is room for improvement through increased monitoring and greater reconciliation with sister organization the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), where RCM also held discussions.  Both the chairman and Miss. Eondrene Thompson, acting General Manager, committed to continuing efforts to remedy existing shortfalls.  It is believed that this visit from RCM, and its encouraging preliminary report could go far in strengthening public confidence and trust in the work of the GGB.

The RCM team also held discussions with other state agencies, as well as executives from the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association.

Royal Dutch Football Association representatives call on Foreign Minister

July 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Minister of Foreign Carl Greenidge was on Friday paid a courtesy call by Suriname’s Vice Director at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs Kenneth Jaliens and The Netherlands Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) Instructor Andre Simmelink. They spent the last week with 26 football coaches from around Guyana developing their skills both on and off the field.

The Government through the National Sports Commission (NSC) is benefiting from the training provided by the Government of the Kingdom of The Netherlands through the WorldCoaches and International Social Programme of the KNVB. The week-long training programme concluded today.

Minister Greenidge noted that Jaliens and Simmelink’s visit was rather timely as the country was in need of assistance in sports, especially in areas such as football.

“The lack of equipment needs to be urgently addressed because of the number of young Guyanese is an issue here. Systems must be in place to raise morale and provide opportunities to develop their skills at sports,” Minister Greenidge said.

During the week-long training programme, Simmelink found while the coaches were open to learning new methods, he understood the challenges they faced with the lack of equipment. “In this situation, it is better to play smaller groups to facilitate more complex playing and decision-making in the field,” he explained.

Simmelink shared that while the training focused on developing coaching methods on the field, yesterday the coaches also participated in an exercise to demonstrate their ability to impact players beyond football. “You are more than a coach,” Simmelink said. “You can influence players by addressing problems and social issues that they have.”

Diplomatic relations between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and The Kingdom of the Netherlands were established on 15 May 1970.

Mash 2018 Theme competition begins

July 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Even as Ministry of Education, Department of Culture as part of a National Mashramani Central Executives committee has commenced meeting to chart the way forward for the successful hosting of Mashramani 2018 the search for the theme has commenced.
Open to all Guyanese citizens interested persons are asked to identify a “Theme” for Mashramani 2018 and the winner will walk away $50,000.00.
The forms are available on the Ministry of Education’s website. Interested person aside from identifying their recommended theme must also ensure that they also offer a brief explanation of its meaning.

Among the competition rules, the theme must be reflective of the spirit of the Mash Festival, can be less but not more than eight words and accompanied by a brief explanation,

The Competition closes on Monday, July 31, 2017, at 4:00 pm.
a point to note is that the judging of the themes selected will be done by a panel chosen by the Central Mashramani Committee.

The winning entry will become the property of the Mash Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport. The prize for the winner will be handed over at the Launching of Mash 2018.
Entries must be addressed to Mash Coordinator, Mashramani Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, 71-72 Main Street, South Cummingsburg or email to mashsecretariat@gmail.com NB: Interested candidates are advised to complete an entry download which can be downloaded from the Ministry of Education website www.education.gov.gyor uplift a form from the Mash Secretariat located at Lot 71-72 Main Street, South Cummingsburg

Persons online are advised to click on the link below for details on how they can get a Mashramani 2018 theme competition form and all other details regarding the rules for submission of their Mashramani 2018 Theme idea. The form was also published in the Sunday, July,16 editions of the four daily newspapers.

(Article and photo by Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth & Sport)

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