H. E. President David Granger: Master of Ceremonies, Ron Robinson; Ministers of the Government, Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton; Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Noel Holder; Mr. William Boyle, Chief Executive Officer; Dr Karen Boyle, Dr. David Singh representing the Ministry of Natural Resources; invitees, staff, and in thanking EML I also congratulate them in taking a step, which I am sure will be imitated by others.
I was honoured a fortnight ago to benefit from EML’s latest edition to its laboratory services; the ancestry genealogy testing. I eagerly await the results of my tests. I am sure that it will complement what I already believe and of course, it will help me to understand my ancestral roots.
Ancestry testing is a welcome addition to the range of medical laboratory services offered to the people of this country; it is a sign of progress in the field of medical services. Ancestry testing has been made possible because of the advances and development in DNA technologies. The use of DNA testing has been further extended and includes, of course, the mapping of the human genome.
This development is considered the most important scientific development of the 21st Century. The mapping of the human genome represents a dramatic leap in human scientific knowledge. Ancestry testing is one of the many uses of DNA technology. DNA testing is also used in criminal investigations to establish the identity of someone, or the involvement of that person in a criminal act.
Ancestry testing will allow our local medical professionals to make a more comprehensive assessment of the health characteristics and predispositions of their patients. It is known that certain medical conditions are more pronounced in groups which share common ancestry than in others. Guyana, thanks the EML, now joins those countries which offer ancestry and other DNA testing services; this capability has been made possible because of globalization of business.
The economies of the international community are becoming more integrated and interdependent; this is the result of the unifying effects of information and communications technology and the links in partnerships that are promoted by globalisation. These links allow for the transfer of information and technologies to countries which have not invented or do not own or possess certain technologies.
Ancestry testing has come to Guyana because of its partnership; the partnership of EML with a foreign laboratory. This partnership linked to the services it provides locally is a useful business model worthy of emulation by other service providers. This model would allow Guyanese to benefit from modern innovative technologies.
Solar power technologies are now the source of technology transfer from which Guyana is benefiting from partnerships with external service providers. This building that was declared open this evening is fully solar powered. It is a model which reflects a green trajectory of energy development. Renewable energy sources are an integral part of Guyana’s drive towards achieving a green economy.
As you have heard before I signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change last week at the United Nations in New York. Guyana has obligations under this agreement to which I committed you and these include: achieving one hundred per cent of our energy needs from renewable sources of energy.
Dr. Singh incorrectly said by 2025 but when I saw the number, I changed it to in the near future. That’s what I signed to… you signed to 2025. Prudence, prudence learnt by years of experience but I’m confident that Guyana can satisfy all of its energy needs from renewable sources. Irradiation levels in Guyana are sufficiently high to promote the development of massive solar farms. EML is leading the way in terms of hydropower Guyana has more than a hundred sites which can be tapped for electricity generation.
Wind energy has been utilized in Guyana. When I was growing up at Whim, all of seventy years ago rice farmers; rice millers were already using wind-charges. Even in the Rupununi, many of the ranchers were using wind-charges but now unfortunately we have developed an addiction to petroleum and we’ve forgotten our old cheap sources of energy but we can overcome that addiction I’m sure.
Guyana has since the 1970s also developed appropriate biogas technologies. At the GDF’s farm at Garden of Eden with the assistance of a large number of pigs we were able to produce enough biogas to allow the soldiers to cook without supplying them with electricity or petroleum bagasse is now used to produce power on a commercial scale. Ethanol made from molasses is also a possible commercial source of fuel. Guyana needs financing and technology to catalyse the development of green energy and green technologies.
In a few hours’ time I will be attending the US Caribbean Central America Energy summit in Washington DC where I hope to advance discussions with official and private sector parties on securing the necessary financing and technologies to help Guyana to tap into the unquestionable renewable energy sources.
I congratulate EML. A green economy must be driven by green technologies and this drive is not confined to government. The private sector, as we see this evening, has an important role to play in introducing green technologies for our country. EML has shown that it is possible to fully power its laboratories from solar power and this is a directive I’ve given to all of our ministries, particularly the ones with hospitals throughout the country.
The technology, (that’s you George) the technology was imported and local expertise to equip and maintain it, resides locally. I encourage more businesses, more ministries, more enterprises, schools, all buildings to go green. Green technologies also represent a possible lucrative business opportunity for Guyana’s commercial sector as the country transitions to greater use of renewable energy in homes and businesses.
A green economy is a good economy and a good economy is the pathway to a good life; it is a clean economy. It will reduce environmental pollution and allow us to use our own renewable energy sources. The transition to more renewable sources of energy will yield considerable savings in foreign exchange for Guyana because it would mean less use of imported fossil fuels.
This evening I’m happy to be here to congratulate, to commend EML for making this investment in green technology and for being a pioneer in the provision of biomedical laboratory services in Guyana.
Thank you Doctor and Mr. Boyle, I wish you all the success in this enterprise in the future.
May God bless you and bless this enterprise.