Georgetown, Guyana – (April 24, 2018) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, on Sunday evening, declared open the Linden Town Week 2018 activities, which will run from April 22-29, 2018, Linden, Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten), where he said that better days lie ahead for Linden but an enabling business environment and innovative solutions to address the myriad challenges that beset the town must be created.
Addressing regional officials and residents, Minister Harmon said that in 2016, at the unveiling of the Centennial Arch, President David Granger had charged the town to be much more than a place for bauxite mining, which it has always been known for. The Minister of State said that he is happy to note that two years later, the town is making strides in fulfilling this mandate.
“I am happy to see that the citizens of Linden are aggressively pursuing the mandate given by His Excellency and venturing into various forms of manufacturing. Some of the exhibitors are those entrepreneurs, who have been utilising the financial facilities of the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN). As Linden continues along the road of regional economic diversification and development, I look forward to seeing a wider range of products of the ‘Made in Linden’ brand as part of the ‘Made in Guyana’ brand. I will also like to see by Town Week 2019, the Linden Business Community, the Regional Chamber of Commerce and indeed the entire town of Linden, in the process of repositioning themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that will come with the influx of visitors and business opportunities that will result from the completion of the highway between Guyana and Brazil,” Minister Harmon said.
Noting that the task ahead of building the town into an economic hub is a tall order, the Minister of State said that a collective effort is necessary to make this possible. He, therefore, noted that the regional officials must work in tandem with the Mayor and Town Council and ensure that every citizen and business person is engaged and involved in the process. “No sector, no individual, no political party or institution has all the answers to the myriad challenges confronting Linden but no one else knows that better than you. Therefore, with your combined experiences, energies, talents and creativity you must create an enabling environment and find innovative solutions to better the lives of all the residents of this great town,” he said.
Minister Harmon noted that the event has become a prominent feature in the Region’s annual calendar of events and Guyanese from all walks of life, travel to the town to participate in the festivities. “It is a time of coming together, a time of reflection and celebration of your heritage and rich history, a time to reminisce on your struggles and review your progress, a time to demonstrate your solidarity with your local leaders and to show appreciation for their hard work. A time also to plan, setting new benchmarks for the next year and at the same time recommitting yourself to the task of development and consolidating the progress made over the past years. Linden is poised for better days,” he said.
Minister Harmon also used the opportunity to encourage manufacturers and entrepreneurs to become organised and to join organisations such as the Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association so that they can become exposed to trainings and opportunities, which can add to the marketability of their products and services.
Mayor of Linden, Ms. Waneka Arindell, in her remarks said that as the Town celebrates 48 years, there is much to celebrate. She, however, pointed out that it is critical for Lindeners to use this time to invest in the future development of their town for the benefit of the next generation. “Celebrating 48 years as a town does not only come with happy moments. It is imperative that we as a Town continue to uplift Linden’s core values. It is our firm belief that investing in each other is an investment for tomorrow. We are asking that you strive with us to provide Lindeners with the necessary knowledge, job training and experience that they will need to transition into 48 years and beyond. The Town of Linden is strategically placed and from this moment, we are the heart of Guyana. We can no longer sigh about those glory days and sit back. We need fresh and innovative ideas for the way forward. We need to continue to build a town that we can all continue to be proud of,” she said.
She noted that the Mayor and Town Council has planned several projects for the development of Linden including the creation of a boardwalk, development of green open spaces, changing the general aesthetics of the town and under bushing.
The event included several cultural performances, as well as renditions from the National Steel Pan Orchestra. A parade was mounted by members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Fire Service and the Community Policing Group.