Non-Aligned Movement has stressed on building an inclusive development framework that leaves no one behind. In line with these principles, Guyana’s national development plan, the Green State Development Strategy reflects the Government’s firm commitment to leaving no one behind and outlines a vision for building an inclusive and prosperous country – a country that is capable of providing a good quality of life for all citizens, including persons with disabilities, based on adequate infrastructure, sound education and social protection, low-carbon resilient development, justice and political empowerment.
The Strategy was developed from a multi-layered, nationwide, stakeholder consultation process. A first-level produced the Framework1completed in 2017 that prioritised Guyana’s long-term development within seven themes. In the following year, seven multi-stakeholder, thematic expert groups with 116 participating professionals from Guyana’s public and private sector and civil society groups, were formed to deliberate on the development themes. Their work established the policy trajectory under each theme. A third layer of consultations ensured input from Guyanese citizens through meetings held at 33 cluster sites in coastal and hinterland areas, drawing participation from more than 1,600 citizens in surrounding communities and villages.
The Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 not only aims to foster sustained economic growth that is low-carbon and climate resilient, but a socially cohesive citizenry, based on better business and job opportunities, improved health and education systems, capable institutions that can execute well their mandates to build a resilient, diversified and internationally competitive economy. The Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 is based on three key objectives. The first objective pertains to managing natural resource wealth. This incorporates formulating a fiscal and monetary policy for managing development of the country’s natural resource wealth. The Strategy further identifies sustainable management of land resources as another critical component of the first objective. Further, resolving the land rights issues of indigenous peoples has also been recognised as an integral element. Overall first objective aims to ensure that the country’s natural wealth must not be lost to economic growth but managed with a long-term perspective that embraces the principles of sustainable development.
The second objective pertains to supporting economic resilience. The Strategy states that economic competitiveness and resilience will be achieved through green and inclusive economic diversification. Agricultural producers will be assisted to overcome persistent barriers and to make the switch to more sustainable techniques (e.g. organic farming), while also expanding into processing, thus increasing value added. Supporting emerging and high value-adding service industries to compete in international markets is also essential for providing sustainable and decent employment opportunities for the local workforce. Moreover, this objective calls for improving the operating environment for businesses through monitoring of the performance of key public institutions and reviewing outdated business regulation. A major component of the second objective is building resilient Infrastructure, green towns and urban public spaces. The theory of change of the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 describes infrastructure development –including power generation from renewable energy sources, as a key driver of the economic transformation.
The third key objective of the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 is to build human capital and institutional capacity. The Strategy states that healthy, educated and socially cohesive population provides the foundation for human capital development. To that end, a key objective is to ensure equal and universal access to quality healthcare and education. The consistent recruitment and retaining of top-quality personnel in the health and education systems with better compensation packages, associated with performance measures has been identified as a priority in this respect.
Moreover, as part of strengthening institutional capacity, the Strategy identifies that a comprehensive stocktaking of Guyana’s transparency and accountability architecture needs to be undertaken, in partnership with civil society and include the political opposition, with a view to modelling best international practice. Implementing the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 involves phasing-in activities sequentially in order to prioritise investment and drive outcomes, appreciating the interdependency of strategic actions, along with the required and available capacity, skills and technology.