New York, United States – (March 18, 2019) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, last evening, met and addressed members of the Ex-Guyana Defence (Ex-GDF) Officers Association as he continues his engagement with members of the Guyanese diaspora in New York, United States. 

Speaking at a meeting with the organisation at its Jamaica, New York office, Minister Harmon updated the members on what is taking place in Guyana, touching on the oil and gas industry; the December 21, 2018 no-confidence motion against the Government; preparations for Regional and General Elections; the legitimacy of the Government and the opportunities that are available for investment. 

He noted that like every other member of the Guyanese diaspora, there is a place for the ex-GDF members to return and contribute to the development of Guyana, through investments, community development projects and other areas that they may be interested in. 

The Minister said that what Guyana needs now more than ever, is a surge in entrepreneurship and for its own people to come home with their capital and technical ‘know-how’ to play their part in the local economy. 

“There are so many developments taking place in Guyana at this current time. In addition to ExxonMobil’s discovery, there are other oil companies conducting works, which I am very confident will yield positive results. So many of you who would have left Guyana for [better opportunities], you can now find yourselves back in your country and contribute in a more positive way.  That is where everything is going to [be] taking place in the coming years,” Minister Harmon said. 

Further, he noted that the Government of Guyana recognises the crucial past, present and future roles of members of the Diaspora in the nation’s affairs.

“Our administration, led by President Granger, has used every opportunity to emphasise the importance of the Diaspora to our country’s development. Our Administration also recognises that the Guyanese diaspora include some of our brightest, most talented and best trained people, who possess enlightened work ethics from being in more developed societies and that constitutes a vast reservoir of resources and talents needed at home to help to confront the challenges of development,” he said.  –PTO–

Minister Harmon said that Guyana’s development has been constrained due to various factors but Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which the Diaspora has access to, can be a means through which the quality and standard of education can be improved and other developments can be realised. 

During the session, members of the Diaspora were also able to pose questions and seek clarity on events taking place in Guyana. 

President of the Association, Mr. Lennox Pyle said that the entity welcomes the visit and interaction with the Minister of State; noting that the Diaspora rely mainly on news articles coming out of Guyana to understand what is taking place. It is refreshing, therefore, for the updates to be given from the Government itself so that there is a clear picture of what is happening in the country, he said. 

Meanwhile, Minister Harmon also met with Mr. Lennox Allen, a native Guyanese, who won the World Boxing Association’s Super Middleweight Gold Championship. During their meeting, the two discussed areas of collaboration and ways in which the sport can be advanced in Guyana. 


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