Government & Economy - Wilderness Explorers

Government & Economy

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Government and Economy

dg1The head of government is President David Granger. The President appoints the Prime Minister, an office currently occupied by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo. His election in 2015 signalled the first change from longstanding rule of the People’s Progressive Party since 1992

A Cabinet of Ministers is appointed by the president and answers to the legislature. The President is elected by popular vote as leader of a party list in parliamentary elections, which must be held at least every five years (no term limits). The most recent presidential election was held in August 2011.

Members of the unicameral assembly of 65 seats are elected by popular vote.

A Supreme Court of Judicature, consisting of the High Court and the Judicial Court of Appeal, provides for a final appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice

The country is broken into ten administrative regions: Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, and Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo.

The Government of Guyana’s Public Information Agency, GINA, indexes a variety of public information and current-affairs items for truly dedicated newshounds. The website for the Office of the President is a good starting point to learn about Guyana’s Ministries and Foreign Affairs agenda.

The Economy

The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in the first deccade of this century, based on expansion in the agricultural and mining sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiatives, a more realistic exchange rate, fairly low inflation, and the continued support of international organizations. Economic recovery since the 2005 flood-related contraction has been buoyed by increases in remittances and foreign direct investment. Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure. The government is juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment.

In March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana’s principal donor, canceled Guyana’s nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to nearly 48% of GDP. The bauxite mining sector should benefit in the near term from restructuring and partial privatization, and the state-owned sugar industry will conduct efficiency increasing modernizations. Export earnings from agriculture and mining have fallen sharply, while the import bill has risen, driven by higher energy prices. Guyana’s entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) in January 2006 has broadened the country’s export market, primarily in the raw materials sector. The annual trade show known as GuyExpo is a driving force in expanding regional and international market connections and turns out to be an interesting walk-through for the curious traveler.