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Vol.1 No.1 APRIL 2018

Champion of People’s Rights

Price G$100

Winnie MadikizelaMandela dies at 81. …She is gone to Our Ancestors.

W i n n i e Madikizela-Mandela was a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle, as she fought alongside her former husband Nelson Mandela who had become President… after 27 years in prison! Her marriage with

Nelson Mandela formally ended in 1996 after four years of separation following controversies surrounding her personal and political life. She had two children with Nelson Mandela. The ANC stalwart and struggle veteran Winnie MadikizelaMandela passed away on Monday afternoon. Two

GUYANESE SHOULD OWN OIL BLOCKS

Guyana is being referred to as “Oilyana” by some…because Guyana is becoming the “new energy sector hotspot” of the world! There’s an air of expectation and hope. Guyanese seem to hear pronouncements – good and bad – every day. The Oil and Gas find was serendipitously announced at the beginning of the APNU/ AFC first term. Many in the African-Guyanese community have argued that this was an opportunity to address the injustices of the past, by ensuring that there is firm action to enable those who were excluded…when thenPresident Jagdeo was empowering a select few. Failure by the APNU/ AFC government to

provide economic justice will ensure that the victims of the Jagdeoera are permanently disemboweled! Those who were empowered have the resources to take advantage of these new opportunities – once again predominantly at the exclusion of the African-Guyanese community. For many, the hope for “Justice” is too delayed, and so have moved on to only ask for “Fairness” in this sector. Today, we make the case – not for “Justice” as we should – but for “Fairness in Oil and Gas”. As Guyanese, we join all our sisters and brothers in calling for a good deal with strong local content. This is to ensure that all our people are able to benefit from our national

patrimony. However, we demand our piece of “grass”! We want to see African Guyanese fairly represented at every level in Oil and Gas. We want jobs, training, concessions, and investment. We must be included at all levels of empowerment and participation! There’s a predictable pattern of structurallyexcluding AfricanGuyanese, expecting us to be dependent on the discretion of others for our wellbeing. The developments, to date, are worrying as we examine the landscape of Guyanese beneficiaries in Oil and Gas. The list of major investments announced to date follow a predictable pattern… There needs to be African-Guyanese representation at all

levels in Oil and Gas – including business ownership. In the case of land needed to make many of these opportunities happen, African-Guyanese need to be given land and other concessions, on the same terms as those who now have the “cream of the crop” and best locations. We need concessions for oil blocks to be in the hands of AfricanGuyanese! Opposition Leader Jagdeo – who now calls for auctioning of the remaining oil blocks – will not tell you that no AfricanGuyanese is among the Guyanese who received offshore concessions. These demands are only fair and just. AfricanGuyanese are equally entitled to the good life!

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members of the Mandela family confirmed that Madikizela-Mandela had been admitted to a Johannesburg hospital. Her condition and the cause of her illness were unknown. In January, she was admitted to Milpark Hospital with a kidney infection and exhaustion. In October, Madikizela-

Mandela underwent a procedure on her knee. Winnie Mandela (1936 - 2018) was undoubtedly an international symbol of a stoic African woman resisting white supremacy in all its formations. The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) cherishes her memory as a fellow freedom fighter and continued on pg13

“HARMONY VILLAGE” BRINGS OUT THE LOVE AND THE CULTURE…

“Ol’ Man Pappy” - Michael Khan sharing the love with Agnes Wilson (left) and Gem Roberts along with Cultural Rastafari Bredren in Harmony Village.

This year’s “Harmony Village” saw an increase of 60 additional booths to make up a total of more than 100 organizers, covering a wide crosssection of Guyana. Thousands of curious Guyanese and a smattering of tourists clogged Main Street between Church and Middle Streets to partake of the many and varied offering at the assorted booths. As the Ministry of Social Cohesion’s

Department of Youth, Culture and Sport hosted its annual Harmony Village on Thursday, April 12, the event was a more interactive one. Additionally, systems were put in place; such as the extension of the route and use of the eastern carriageway for displaying crafts and sport. This year, several media outlets and ministries opted to participate in the Harmony Village.


LOCAL NEWS

A Look at the Early Beginnings of the African Cultural and Development Association.

ABOUT ACDA The African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) is a non-for-profit organization which was first registered on the 17th December, 1992 by afro- centric Guyanese who were dedicated to the cause of nurturing African culture and creating an economically viable and prosperous African Community. The organization is open to membership to anyone who is of African descent regardless of religious or political affiliation. ACDA embraces the idea of both tradition and change as necessary elements in sustaining a vibrant African culture in Guyana. Politically, ACDA’s founding Charter has supported the idea of shared governance from its very inception. ACDA is resolutely committed to a just multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-party society in which every citizen is equal before the

law and in which every citizen enjoys freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion ,and the right to life, privacy and safety. Economically, ACDA believes Africans should pursue their own economic self-determination and should embody economic development through cultural strength. Culturally, ACDA always highlights that African culture is far more than its artistic expressions or its “cultural products”. In fact, African culture is arguably one of the most (if not the most) rich culture in the world. African culture is—-literature, language, music, dance, art, invention, sculpture, theatre, film and sport. The preservation of culture plays a significant role in the work of ACDA because it sees culture as central to one’s identity. Culture therefore is about shared patterns of identity, symbolic expressions of that common identity and common aspirations.

From the earliest days of the African Cultural and Development Association we have been actively involved in the fight to preserve constitutional rights, fairness and the rule of law. Have a look below at some newspaper clippings from as early as 1993 highlighting some of the causes we have fought for.

The Association also runs a remedial school, provides social, professional and cultural support to Africans, particularly our African youth and women, has many village groups, many weekly cultural activities and has established a nursery & Taken from a primary school. ACDA January 10th, 1993. is also a major advocate Chronicle Newspaper for the establishment and Article development of African businesses as evidenced by the recent establishment of the African Business ACDA was one of the civil society groups who played an instrumental role in Roundtable (ABR). lobbying to get the government to grant 7 Angolan refugees political asylum in ACDA also celebrates 1993. all key national and international events on the African calendar. The organization celebrates Kwanzaa from December 26th to January 1st, Black History Month throughout February, Emancipation Day on 1st August, African Holocaust Day on 12th October and the birthdays of key Africans such as Marcus Garvey, Walter Rodney and Martin Luther King.

The ‘Justice for Jermaine Group’ was one of several justice groups formed by ACDA; they protested against police brutality and the extra-judicial killing of our innocent black youth. May 28th, 1996 Photo (Stabroek News)

KURU KURU COORDINATING COMMITTEE Several residents of Kuru-Kuru on the Linden/ Soesdyke Highway have volunteered to be part of a new Coordinating Committee to help develop the community. At a meeting of the New Highway Producers Coop held in mid-February, Region 4 Chairman -

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Genevieve Allen and Regional Councilor Ernest Elliott were present and updated the residents of upcoming development works in the area and the establishing of three new Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) on the upper East Bank Demerara and

the Linden/Soesdyke Highway. The residents who make up the new Kuru-Kuru Coordinating Committee are (L to R): Ray Ferrier, Garfield Morris, Francis Little, Abiola Baker, Josiah Elliman and Ras Leon Saul. (Picture by Ras David Morrison)


OP-ED COMMENTARY

Commentary: The Coalition Government should begin closing the ever-widening economic gap in Guyana. Commentary: The Coalition Government should begin closing the ever-widening economic gap in Guyana. It’s no secret that since Independence AfricanGuyanese, despite being a large portion of the population, have not been represented adequately in the economic landscape of Guyana. This is creating a huge imbalance in economic power between the ethnic groups in Guyana. This gap in economic parity was further widened under the PPPC administration. In other words the previous administration, using the institutions and the resources of the State, took deliberate steps to empower and

uplift a select group of their supporters… while sidelining and disempowering AfricanGuyanese. For 23 years AfricanGuyanese have been marginalized, undervalued and disenfranchised by the State under the full control of the PPPC government!  In 2015, after 23 years of PPPC rule and dominance, the APNU/AFC coalition government was elected into office.  AfricanGuyanese in large numbers elected this coalition. It was primarily the African-Guyanese who had enough, who took to the streets in record numbers, and who registered and voted in record numbers…thus making it possible to usher

in a win for the coalition government. After nearly three years in office  and millions of dollars spent by this administration, AfricanGuyanese as a group have nothing much to show for their dedicated support and unquestioned loyalty to this APNU+AFC government.  Our young men and women are still unemployed in large numbers, our contractors are still kept outside of the procurement process and our business men and women are at a disadvantage when having to compete with other ethnic groups in the country, who have amassed large fortunes through massive corruption under the

previous government, and who now use these fortunes to obtain political favors and preferences.   In spite of this, we African-Guyanese have been resilient and some of us continue to thrive in the face of these odds. However, while a few of us are doing well, the vast majority of our population who voted for this government continues to live in abject poverty. This is unacceptable! Moreover, if this trend continues, AfricanGuyanese will become a permanent economic underclass in this country…a country that is controlled by a government that we overwhelmingly voted for and elected, and a country that our ancestors

helped to build. This situation is untenable. It requires immediate direct government intervention in order to level the economic playing field and close the ever-widening economic gap. We are clear, AfricanGuyanese are not asking for a hand out, or for any special favors. We are asking the current coalition government to right the wrongs done to African-Guyanese under the previous government.   Our leaders must rid themselves of the notion that if they deliver economic relief to African–Guyanese they will be ridiculed publicly and loudly by the minority privileged class in the society. This

notion was not present in our politicians when they were seeking our support and votes. This minority privileged class claims that the game is fair, and that we just have to show up and compete. How can this be true when for the last 23 years African-Guyanese have been locked out of the economic system? At the same time, the commanding heights of the economy were controlled exclusively by an Indian-dominated government for the benefit of their supporters. It is time for the coalition government to recognize this inequity created by the State, and take immediate measures to address it. In fact, when a group continued on pg15

LAND REPARATORY JUSTICE AND AN ANCESTRAL RIGHTS BILL

Introduction: Slavery and the slave trade were crimes against humanity. (The Durban Declaration, September 2001). “We acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade, including the transatlantic slave trade, were appalling tragedies in the history of humanity…not only because of their abhorrent barbarism but also in terms of their magnitude, organized nature and especially their negation of

the essence of the victims, and further acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity and should always have been so, especially the transatlantic slave trade and are among the major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian

descent and indigenous peoples were victims of these acts and continue to be victims of their consequences.” R E PA R AT I O N S : “Reparation is the process of repairing the consequences of crimes committed, and the attempt to reasonably remove debilitating effects of such crimes upon victims and their descendants”. (Sir Hilary Beckles (19 June 2013). “If there was no Indentureship, Africans and Amerindians would have owned 100 % of Guyana at Independence. This would have been “natural justice”. Amerindians - because they were here when Europeans arrived in the 1600s; Africans - because of the 200-plus years of blood, sweat, tears and free labour to build Guyana and to enrich

Europeans. All others who came as indentured contractors were paid for their labour and retained their cultural identities, while the Europeans were criminally enriched.” (Eric M. Phillips –October 12, 2014, African Holocaust Day) Background: Slavery has been universally proclaimed as a “crime against humanity”. The claim of the Guyana National Reparations Committee is simple and just. It is legally defensible, morally necessary, politically wise and historically correct. Slavery was a “crime against humanity” and International Law, as well as morality, dictate that there should be reparations by the Government and Parliament of Guyana to descendants of Africans in Guyana…as also presented in the language

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By Eric. M. Phillips

of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD). 1. Slavery was a crime against humanity and a genocide of Africans in Guyana. 2. There was genocide of approximately 473,000 Africans to build Guyana over 200 years of brutal enslavement through the governmentsponsored institution of slavery, a crime against humanity. 3. There was no Amerindian genocide in Guyana. Rather Amerindians were protected by British and Dutch law and were hired and paid to hunt down escaped enslaved Africans in Guyana. This was a unique Guyanese reality where Amerindians were protected in Law, treated as human beings and enslavement/business

partners; while enslaved Africans were property with no “rights” or legal protections. 4. Enslaved Africans built the infrastructure of Guyana and made Guyana hospitable and economically profitable. 5. T h e International Community and International Law have both deemed reparations are just for crimes against humanity. The Jewish Holocaust is the most highlighted example of reparation. 6. T h e Government of Guyana has given Land Rights to nine Amerindians groups as “reparatory justice”, even though three of the nine groups arrived in Guyana 100 to 200 years after Africans were brought to Guyana and enslaved! to be cont’d in next edition


ASSOCIATION OF YOUNG AFRICANS (AYA)

A Brief History of COLAACO– by Brother Stan Cooke Like most institutions the Centre of Learning and Afrocentric Orientation had its genesis in humble beginnings. Over the years the Centre has been cultivated by hard work and determination by the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA), whose goal is to foster quality Afrocentric education at a nominal fee. COLAACO was the brainchild of Sister Violet Jean-Baptiste, when after returning from abroad saw the need to improve the education system in Guyana. Determined to make her vision a reality Sister Violet embarked on a Saturday program for children from at risk areas. Every Saturday, accompanied by her two young daughters she would conduct the classes with the children from areas such as Sophia, Tiger Bay, Agricola and Albouystown. Eventually, after years of hard work and dedication to the cause, the project which started as a simple Saturday program expanded to an afternoon program for the same target group. The afternoon program was run under the supervision of many dedicated sisters, namely; Sis Barbra Stephens, Sis Violet Jean-Baptiste, Sis Hazel Marshall and Sis Clementine Marshall. When Brother Stanley Cooke joined the organization and became the administrator of the education department, it was he who suggested that the programs be developed into something more enduring. Taking Brother Cooke’s advice ,the Centre of Learning and Afrocentric Orientation was conceptualized. In its early beginnings , the Centre was established as a Post Primary Remedial Academic Institution. This institution was ran by a Board of Directors, however, due to the lack of commitment on the part of the parents, the remedial school eventually came to an end. It was out of the ashes of the Post Primary Remedial Academic Institution that the establishment of COLAACO Primary came to pass. This organization began with two students with the vision of adding a new academic level every year with the aim to have a grade six class in ten years of its establishment. This institution was also ran by a board which lead to the development of the Education Management Committee of ACDA which is charged with the overall management of the school. When asked to comment on the teaching capacity at the school, Bro Stan Cooke stressed that all teachers are qualified and are required to comply with the requirements and guidelines set out by the Ministry of Education. On a final note, he said that education should never be a commodity , the best of which is only accessible to the rich and influential, but should be available to all.

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ASSOCIATION OF YOUNG AFRICANS (AYA)

ABOUT COLAACO The Centre of Learning and Afro-Centric Orientation (COLAACO) is an Early Childhood and Primary School located at 9 Thomas Road Thomas Lands, Georgetown. COLAACO was established by the African Culture and Development Association (ACDA) to support low-income households struggling with providing quality education to their children. The school is managed by the Education Management Committee of the African Culture and Development Association (ACDA). COLAACO is ethnic, religious and gender inclusive; which works towards providing an excellent quality of life skills and education that is distinguished by its balanced emphasis on the moral, social and cultural experience of its pupils.. It is recognized by the Ministry of Education in particular and the Guyana Government in general. COLAACO currently comprises an Early Childhood Development, Nursery and Primary Departments. The pupils are taught by certified, competent and caring teachers. This quality service which allows for such desirable achievement is provided for a nominal fee, which is significantly less than the cost of delivery. Training programmes are continually developed for students and young persons in the community. Additionally, COLAACO is equipped with a Computer Lab which provides information technology training to it primary department pupils. To manage the operation of the center, we have implemented several income-generating and training projects, such as a small farm that includes a Hydroponic Garden, Snackette & Culinary Centre within its compound. Produce from the farm & Hydroponic garden are usually sold to the members of staff and the public, while the culinary center provides meals and snacks which are similarly sold. Catering services by the culinary center are also available to the public.  These ventures alone, however, cannot sustain the full cost of operating the school, thus we seek additional funding through fundraising events, donations and grants. Our Vision The vision is to ensure all students irrespective of their religious, ethnic, cultural and social background are fully educated formally and informally, so that each child could be provided with the opportunity to fulfill his/her educational potential and make positive contribution to society

Our Mission The mission of the school is to provide excellent quality education, culturally, morally and socially. With these skills students will be able to fulfill their potential as productive and successful citizens in the modern world

Successes Every day our pupils work hard to reach their goals and COLAACO is proud when their dedication is recognized. Listed below are few of their accomplishments: At our first offering in the 2013 National Grade 2 Assessment, we have had an average student pass rate of 84.2%. One student within the Grade 2 Assessment attained an average score of 84.5% and also received more than 80% in the subjects of Reading, Mathematics, and English. Our students are also 2nd and 3rd place winners of the 2014 Mashramani Dance and Costumes competition. Academic Programmes COLAACO operates an early childhood section which includes a Play Group, Nursery One and Nursery Two departments. There’s the Primary Department that includes Grade one through Grade six. We also have an Allied Arts and Information Technology Department included in the programme. This ensures students are given the proper foundation for both the technology and arts. These programs are managed by qualified, competent and caring teachers, who are guided by the Ministry of Education, Guyana curriculum. Also, an active Parent Teacher’s Association is present. Parents and teachers share pertinent information about students. This consultation and collaboration create the climate for maximum realization of the student’s potential

COLAACO’s Computer Lab

Students enjoy a play session in the Recreation Park

Students learn how to grow their own food in the hydroponic Garden

The students of COLAACO enjoying the Children Mash 2018

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ASSOCIATION OF YOUNG AFRICANS (AYA)

ACDA ‘EXTRA AND PROUD’ AT ‘BLACK PANTHER’ PRIMERE IN GUYANA

WAKANDA FOREVER!- ACDA’s 60 person contingent attend the ‘Black Panther’ Opening at Caribbean Cinemas, Giftland Mall. ACDA Proudly declares #YESWEAREEXTRA at ‘Black Panther’ Opening

ACDA Urban Pilots Network (UPN) with the Aid of Princess Movie Theaters

hosts Movie and Fun Day in commemoration of Black History Month

On Saturday 17 February the African Cultural and Development Association along side the Urban Pilots Network and the Princess Movie Theatres hosted a movie and fun day for its youth arm in commemoration of African History Month. The movie day allowed over sixty (60) young African Guyanese to appreciate the contributions made by their ancestors across history and throughout the world. The youth were inspired to aspire higher as they progress through life and overcome adversity much like their predecessors. The African History month movie day was a continuation of the ACDA-UPN Aviation Camp which is funded by the Ministry of Education’s Youth Innovation Program grant. It began in December 2017 and focused on imparting technical skills in young Guyanese as it pertains to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math particularly within the Aviation sector. The program aims to empower young people with the necessary technical skill so that they can assume the jobs of the future which are essential to building a good life for all Guyanese.

ACDA HOSTS BLACK HISTORY MONTH EXHIBITION The Black History Month Exhibition at the AKWAABAA (Welcome) Centre is an annual event which is organized by the African Cultural and Development Association to commemorate Black History Month. In addition to the exhibition which showcases the outstanding contributions of people of African Descent and the diversity of African Culture, those who attend are afforded a short lecture on the significance of embracing their African culture; and dispelling some of the myths associated with Africa and Africans.

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BUSINESS

IMF CONCERNED WITH EXXONMOBIL’S WEIGHTY RETURNS IN GUYANA! …royalty rates well below international standards; tax laws should be revised.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expressing deep concern over oil monster – ExxonMobil’s “favorable” deal from Guyana, home to the biggest new deep water oil discovery. The concern is so overwhelming that the IMF is advising that the South American republic rewrite its tax laws, while it is also concerned that the royalty rates are well below international standards! Terms of the 2016 contract “are relatively favorable to investors by international standards,” the IMF said in a report prepared for Guyanese officials. “Existing production sharing agreements appear to enjoy royalty rates well below of what is observed internationally.” While Guyana should honor the existing deal, future contracts should ensure the influential CARICOM State gets a higher portion of crude proceeds, the fund said in a report seen by Bloomberg News. The country, South America’s third poorest with an average per capita income of around US$4,000, has little experience in dealing with multinational “leviathans” such as ExxonMobil. The IMF report recommends that Guyana: • employ a more progressive tax regime so that the government receives a higher share

of profits as projects earn more • consider eliminating interest expenses from the project’s costs to avoid “abusive use of debt” • introduce tighter ring fences to avoid costs being shared around multiple fields • bulk up its regulatory capability Meanwhile, the use of natural gas for the Stateowned Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) to generate electricity has been found to be feasible. A site has already been identified to land a pipeline to bring the fuel ashore, Minister of Public Infrastructure - David Patterson said. The gas pipeline is expected to come ashore at an East Coast Demerara village. Liza 1, the first well with commercially viable oil reserves, was located more than 120 miles off ClonbrookMahaica. Patterson said that now a location has been identified to land the natural gas pipeline, government would begin talks on the model to be used to competitively procure the power generation plants, enter into gas power sales agreement with GPL. “The main off-take of that natural gas in the initial stage will be for power generation,” he said. “The question of the natural gas site, Cabinet

Lucas Index: Stock Performance for March 2018 Stocks continued to show strong performance in the month of March. The value of the Lucas Stock Index rose during all four weeks of trading and ended with a value of 348.85. Six stocks, DBL, DDL, DIH, DTC, BTI and RBL, were active

during this period. The strongest performance was shown by DDL with 46 percent of the volume of stocks traded. DIH was responsible for 29 percent of the traded volume. The LSI has grown by 18.53 percent so far for 2018.

With files from Denis Chabrol

From Right- President David Granger, (at the time) Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, Caribbean Statesman and Advisor Sir Shridath Ramphal and Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman at the caucus.

to offer sound advice, he was not optimistic that the Government would take it on board, as the Administration has in the past rejected advice. Jagdeo was referring to the sidelining of President Granger’s Petroleum Advisor – Dr. Jan Mangal, who had said that Guyana’s contract with oil giant ExxonMobil can be renegotiated and the royalty Guyana is receiving is too low compared to global standards. Government through its Minister of State – Joseph Harmon had said that “we have dealt with “Oil industry is going to tether out in 2040, don’t invest in local oil the ExxonMobil contract refinery”- says British expert and and we are not going back Professor of Economics of Oxford University, Sir Paul Collier. on it, it was dealt with at newly-appointed GPL oil production at 500,000 Cabinet and the President has pronounced on the Chief Executive Officer, barrels. Albert Gordon. Meanwhile, the recent matter and that is the final Patterson said “High-Level Caucus on pronouncement as far as government has Oil Sector Strategy” that we are concerned.” At the opening of a been discussing with was held between ExxonMobil taking the President David Granger, special high-level Cabinet gas pipeline onshore Cabinet members and Caucus at State House, Guyana to deliver the some international the President noted that fuel. A usually reliable experts to discuss plans all of the national will and ExxonMobil official was for Guyana’s oil and gas resources will have to be not immediately aware sector on Wednesday, mobilized. “This is going that a decision has been March 21 has been to be the single largest taken. described as another industry in Guyana. Initially, ExxonMobil public relations (PR) stunt We need to ensure had said that commercial displayed by the coalition that our resources are mobilized so that every extraction of associated government. natural gas from its wells Opposition Leader Guyanese understands the offshore Guyana would - Bharrat Jagdeo was importance of petroleum. not be feasible and would adamant that even though We have to understand be used to sustain the these experts may be able that this industry from the has pronounced on a site and which obviously triggers further technical studies which have commenced and are ongoing,” he told a cocktail reception to introduce

required pressure to extract oil and then pumped back into the reservoir. ExxonMobil’s seventh oil discovery has since pushed up Guyana’s projected estimated daily

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start, is Guyanese,” stated President Granger. As the trustee of this new petroleum resource, the Head of State stressed that investment, in education, development of administration and legislation to protect Guyanese from the adverse aspects of the exploitation of the oil resources, is critical. The Head of State noted the country has to “walk on two legs” – specifically, preserving Guyana’s green state and ensuring oil production benefits current and future generations. “We need to educate ourselves as a Cabinet, as a government and as a population as a whole to take a sober approach to the exploitation of this valuable resource. We need to create the organization, the structure that will manage this resource”, the President added. The special cabinet caucus was facilitated by Chatham House (an agency of the “Illuminati”). Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman explained the sessions seek to develop a roadmap for the government in preparation for oil production in 2020.


BUSINESS

Aurora Gold Mines going after more gold underground!

With files from Denis Chabrol of Demwaves.

blast to create the tunnel to reach the gold deposit amounting to 2.2 million ounces of gold located at about 1.2 kilometers below sea level. The company said contractors would initially be hired to begin the underground work and train Guyanese to be drillers, loader operators and truck operators. “This type of deposit extends for a very long way underground. We are not drilled out to the full extent right now but at some point the economics will determine how deep we can actually go for this main ore body,” a company official told reporters. Junior Mine Geologist - Gordon Lashley said workers would drill the

Assistant General Manager of Aurora Goldmines/ Guyana Goldfields - Vic Rozon Aurora Gold Mines all engineered and we (AGM) has given the test those roof bolts to assurance that its planned determine how much underground mining stress or how much would include safeguards pressure they will take against a collapse of the so in that we will assure tunnel leading to the gold that our people can work deposit of more than two safely underground,” the million ounces! top official disclosed. Miners are not expected “That begins with geotechnical engineers to reach the gold-bearing determining how wide ore until another year. we can mine without a Estimated yield is about collapse,” Mine Manager - Clyde Gillespie told reporters during a tour of the mines site. “So we engineer the solution and we also put roof bolts into the top and we can vary how close or far apart those roof bolts are, the length of the roof bolt and then we can put wire mesh so depending on the Aurora Gold Mines Manager - Clyde Gillespie. ground conditions. “There are many three grammes per ton. underground tunnel from different types of ground The company has Mad Kiss Pit to access support we use but it’s already decided to drill and

the ore deposit at Rory’s Knoll. The company said underground mining would extend the life of the mine located just off the Cuyuni River to 2033. Latest estimates are that at Rory’s Knoll pit, there are 2.2 million ounces of gold underground and Mad Kiss pit contains 107,000 ounces of gold underground. The company official says investments in remaining open pit mining as well as underground mining would amount to US$599

Guyana Goldfields recently rejected suggestions that all of the gold it produced is not declared. The company also gave the assurance that its workers can operate safely underground, and the Aurora gold mines workers’ Committee is functioning well. Officials said the vault in the refinery is under tight video surveillance and those who have access to the combination lock codes for the vault are 90 percent Guyanese.

Administration Manager at Aurora Gold Mines - Peter Benny speaking with workers on labor relations shortly after speaking with the media. million from 2018 to 2033. Open pit mining at Rory’s Knoll is expected to continue for the next three and half years, smaller pits to 2031 and then underground mining would begin in 2018 and last until 2033. The highly-successful Aurora Gold Mines/

Administration Manager - Peter Benny said representatives of the Guyana Gold Board, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the Guyana Revenue Authority go to gold mine once monthly for the declaration and collection of gold bars at an average of 5,000 ounces per

month. “They come to verify, they stamp it, they tag it and they accompany it,” he said. “Whatever we produce is stored, is numbered and stored,” said Benny, who recalled that there had been a lot of complaints against Omai Gold Mines –‘that the expats, the white people were stealing the gold’ but only persons who do not understand the system would level such claims.” Benny said there had been instances in which workers at Omai Gold Mines had stolen the precious metal, but he could not see how that would be possible at Aurora. Asked whether the production at the point of gold pouring into bars is recorded electronically or manually, Assistant General Manager of Aurora Goldmines/ Guyana Goldfields - Vic Rozon said the final process is measured manually. Guyana Goldfields produced 160,500 ounces of gold last year at Aurora Gold Mine with a gross revenue of US$199.5 million of which eight percent was paid to the government as royalty.

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BUSINESS

The “Ujamaa Challenge” Pitch Competition

Winner of the “UIjaama Challenge” – Ras Jacobs. Included in his gifts was a cash prize of $300,000.

Participants of the “Ujaama Challenge” Pitch Competition The African Cultural Development Association (ACDA) proudly presented the “Ujamaa Challenge” Pitch Competition to Guyana, which was focused at celebrating the spirit of cooperative economics among African-Guyanese youths in the business

community. The business pitch competition took place on February 11 at ACDA’s Centre Thomas Lands, Georgetown, and involved 14 persons. This “Ujamaa Challenge” was intended to take on a “Shark Tank” and “Dragon’s Den” set

up, where the youths presented their business ideas to experienced judges for constructive critique. From this the youth benefited by: Improved public speaking skills; receiving constructive

criticism for experienced business owners and gaining clarity and guidance through mentoring by successful entrepreneurs. This project was aimed at helping them to bring their business ideas to life or for their established

businesses to grow, and to provide opportunities for the participants to network with mentors and establish meaningful business links with other entrepreneurs. This Challenge was also for entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 to 35 years: *In the start-up stage of business

development and *Established business that need guidance. Several of the young business persons took part in the mentoring aspect with one on one discussions about what their business ideas were, or what they need to further develop their current businesses

AYA member imparts vital skills on CV and Resume building to local Guyanese students

A participant of the Ujamaa Challenge - Ms. Athalyah Yisreal (Left) receives a trophy and certification for her entrepreneurial idea. She was among 11 finalists that gave their innovative Idea Pitch to a panel of affluent and accomplished Guyanese entrepreneurs

Participants Mark Junor and Nateica Garraway in a social media campaign for the Ujamaa Challenge.

9


BUSINESS

Ex-Finance Minister Ashni Singh, Ex-NICIL Head Winston Guyana Business Growth Seminar Brassington charged with corrupt G$900 million land sales! ATTENTION: SUCCESS-ORIENTED BUSINESS OWNERS.. By Denis Chabrol 

the accused men were not present in court. However, the witness swore to the evidence in the case whose Special Prosecutor is Attorney-at-Law, Michael Sommersell. The Chief Magistrate deferred the case until May 7, 2018 for report to allow the defence Ex-Finance Minister lawyers to contact their - Dr. Ashni Singh clients concerning the and ex-Head of the charge of “misconduct in National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL)/ Privatisation Unit Winston Brassington were Thursday, April 12 given until early next month to make an appearance in connection with the sale of three plots of land for a total of more than G$900 million! public office” contrary to Three charges of common law. alleged misconduct in Appearing for Dr. Singh public office were not was Attorney-at-Law read by Chief Magistrate - Anil Nandlal. Brassington Ann McLennan when the is represented by veteran case was called because Attorney-at-Law - Stanley

Moore. “People make bad judgment all the time; you don’t go to jail for that,” remarked Nandlall. In the charges seen by Demerara Waves Online News, Singh in his capacity as then Finance Minister and NICIL Chairman - and Brassington on May 14, 2011 by way of an agreement of sale and purchase “acted

recklessly when they sold Multicinema Guyana Inc. a 10-acre tract of State land at Turkeyen for G$185,037,000… without first having procured a valuation from

a competent valuation officer. Similarly, they are accused of selling 103 acres of State land, by an agreement of sale and purchase, to National Hardware Guyana Limited for G$598,659,398 (VAT exclusive) without first procuring a valuation. The third and similar charge also has to do with the sale of 4.7 acres of land for G$150 million to Scady Business Corporation, “knowing that the said property was valued at G$340 million by Rodrigues Architects Associate, a competent valuation officer. Nandlall said persons would assume that, for example, Eddie Boyer of National Hardware obtained the land cheaply; but “you should have seen the land when the man went there”, including the presence of squatters.

Vishnu Doerga (Left) addresses a seminar

.Here’s How to Make Your Business Work in 2018 So That You Don’t Have To! Come to our “6 Steps to a Better Business” seminar and you’ll learn all of these things and more. Don’t you owe it to yourself to invest some of your time learning how your business can reach its full potential? Of course you do. Myriad business owners and entrepreneurs in 75 countries trust ActionCOACH to help them to systemize their businesses and get more out of life…

Now it’s your turn… What You’ll Learn at 6 Steps to a Better Business: • How to work ON your business instead of IN your business. • How to turn your advertising and marketing into an investment instead of an expense. • How to recruit, motivate, educate, and retain exceptional employees. This is a public event hosted by Vishnu Doerga and ActionCOACH Guyana on Friday, April 20 at 4 pm to 7.30 p.m, at ActionCOACH Guyana, 122 Parade Street Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana

Allison Butters-Grant BREAKS NEW GROUND

operation in September last year and has more than 15 persons from in and out of the community in her employ. Global Seafood Distributors is located at the West Ruimveldt Industrial Site, where they process all local fish. Butters-Grant said she grew up in the fishing industry, since her parents were owners of seven shrimping trawlers. They have since passed away. She decided to return to Guyana and open her own business, one she is passionate about and her parents have left footsteps for her to follow. Allison Butters-Grant was born in Guyana the only English-speaking country in South America Allison Butters-Grant is Pioneering fish entrepreneur – Allison Butters-Grant presenting President Granger with a sample of her product. the only Black African Allison Butters-Grant own and operate a fish- She jointly operates the This re-migrant stated female in Guyana to is the only Black African processing plant where plant with her husband – that she returned to her own and operate a fishfemale in Guyana to standard is the hallmark. Kerwin Grant. homeland and started full processing plant where

10

standard is the hallmark. She jointly operates the plant with her husband – Kerwin Grant. This re-migrant stated that she returned to her homeland and started full operation in September last year and has more than 15 persons from in and out of the community in her employ. Global Seafood Distributors is located at the West Ruimveldt Industrial Site, where they process all local fish. Butters-Grant said she grew up in the fishing industry, since her parents were owners of seven shrimping trawlers. They have since passed away. She decided to return to Guyana and open her own business, one she is passionate about and her parents have left footsteps for her to follow. Allison Butters-Grant continued on pg11


BUSINESS

Allison Butters-Grant BREAKS NEW GROUND

…the only woman to operate a local fish-processing plant! continued on pg 1

Allison Butters-Grant

continued from pg10 was born in Guyana the only English-speaking country in South America experiences in Corporate America in a variety of industries including Investment Banking and the exposure of living in the United States of America over 29 years, the determination to continue the legacy just loomed as to timing – today Allison Butters-Grant is the only black woman who owns and operates a fish processing plant in her home country of Guyana continuing the legacy and walking in the footprints laid for her by her parents She migrated to the US in 1986 for college and after spending 29 years there, returned home and invested in a business after managing to convince her spouse to join her. Butters-Grant said: “My husband left Guyana since he was 10 years old and never thought of coming

back here, since all of his family has migrated; but I asked Allison ButtersGrant is the only Black African female in Guyana to own and operate a fishprocessing plant where standard is the hallmark. She jointly operates the plant with her husband – Kerwin Grant. This re-migrant stated that she returned to her homeland and started full operation in September last year and has more than 15 persons from in and out of the community in her employ. Global Seafood Distributors is located at the West Ruimveldt Industrial Site, where they process all local fish. Butters-Grant said she grew up in the fishing industry, since her parents were owners of seven shrimping trawlers. They have since passed away. She decided to return to Guyana and open her own business, one she is passionate about and her

parents have left footsteps for her to follow. Allison Butters-Grant was born in Guyana the only English-speaking country in South America to Leslie and Alma Butters, the son of a rice farmer from the Essequibo Coast and the daughter of a fisherman from the Capital, Georgetown who became the pioneers in Guyana from the early 70s in the fishing & shrimping industry, farming, and mining industries in Guyana. Coming from a strong entrepreneurial background with a degree in Business

with operations such as processing, drying, packaging and storing taking place under one roof. Butters-Grant revealed that their business supplies several local supermarkets including Nigel’s, Real Value Supermarket and Rossignol Butchery with fresh seasoned and unseasoned fish that is packaged and ready to be cooked in their branded “Butters & Grant” sealed plastic bags. Butters-Grant added that they are also looking at more new and innovative ways to enhance the business and

Former Prime Minister Ptolemy Reid and Banker John Yates [extreme right and second from right respectively] in the company of Allison’s parents back in the day.

Administration and the nicely and he accepted after some convincing and his support is more than needed, especially in the daily operations, in the background work.” Global Seafood Distributors is registered with the relevant agencies and has had the necessary safety measures implemented

to have newer products to satisfy the needs of their customers, both local and overseas. She said their products can be sourced at most supermarkets countrywide already filleted, seasoned and ready for the pot - and at an affordable price. The mother of two Tiffany and Tricina, added that the undertaking has

11

Allison and her husband - Kerwin Grant.

been challenging, since it is a business dominated by men, but she has rallied to her cause and is doing fairly well. She deals with the administrative and procurement aspects of the business, while her husband handles the operations of the plant. “I would have worked in so many different industries…I’ve worked at BBDO, which is one of the largest advertising companies in the US; I worked as a paralegal, an accountant, a consultant at the Morgan Stanley Investment Bank, and I even worked at the Kings County Hospital in child psychiatry. I gained an array of knowledge within different industries,” Allison shared. In fact, she revealed that with each additional exposure she would consider how best she could utilize it in Guyana. In addition to

contracting the services of many artisanal fisher folk, Global Seafood has within its employ a daily staff complement of approximately 20 individuals, many of whom were recruited from West Ruimveldt and other areas within proximity. However, some staff members come from as far as Victoria on the East Coast of Demerara, an area where Global Seafood is slated to soon introduce yet another fish processing facility.“If I can give back to anybody in order for them to build capacity or to basically upgrade their lifestyle or take care of their kids, that means a whole lot to me,” confided Allison, She is now satisfied that she has not only returned to her homeland, but has been able to contribute in a meaningful way to its development.


BUSINESS

Charles Ceres Invests US$8 Million In GUYANA’S FUTURE!

Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge (third left), Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Inc. proprietor Charles Ceres (second right) and his two sons Abdel and Assad look on as his daughter -Chidimma cuts the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the company’s Liliendaal office.

When a visibly-proud and emotional Charles Ceres opened his US$8M office at Liliendaal on the East Coast of Demerara on Saturday, March 3rd last, he committed to supporting youth development. The veteran and highlyexperienced geotechnical engineer also celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Inc. (GSEC), a company he built from scratch. The new GSEC office, at a cost of US$8 million, will house a staff of 33 persons, as it continues to nurture young people to ensure they are responsive to the development thrust of Guyana. The company provides services in geotechnical engineering and groundwater hydrology, in addition to environmental compliance. The upper Corentyneborn Ceres, who was hailed by Romanex Guyana Exploration Limited, Guyana Goldfields and Fugro, as a man of impeccable professional character, told those present that he started his company 25 years ago on February 27, after recognizing that it

was critical for the country to develop an engineering culture. Ceres said the company, in fulfilling its commitment to Guyana, places major emphasis on youth development in the field of engineering. Over the 25 years, Charles Ceres posited that GSEC has directly expanded the horizons of engineers in areas of geotechnical engineering. “We only ask that they be self-starters and demonstrate a sense of humility. Humility is important, since it recognizes that knowledge is not something over which we are granted exclusive domain. Knowledge is something which we are responsible to share with others, including colleagues and clients. Humility also creates a thirst for additional knowledge, because we fear failure and the associated consequences,” he explained. “Our staff members are the only persons in Guyana who have been introduced to the intricacies of numerical modelling of groundwater flow and contaminant

transport. We plan to expose additional members of our staff to surface-water flow and transport and air-quality modelling to address the immediate needs of our practice,” the expert engineer pointed out. He added: “We have provided soils and materials laboratory training for young Guyanese in a state-ofthe-art soils and materials laboratory, to the extent that we have provided support on most major

Sandspring Resources, Huawei 4-G Project and the Cheddi Jagan Airport expansion. “Some of these young professionals,” he further pointed out, “have had the privilege of working on projects in the Gulf of Mexico and on the East Coast of the U.S., in addition to the Caribbean.”Three staff members were recentlydispatched to Houston, Texas, for additional training. But Ceres made

family and friends. After achieving the “American Dream”, Ceres and his two sons - Abdel and Assad returned to Guyana to start all over again. “One element of that desire was to not be residing outside of Guyana on my 40th birthday. Another was the sense of being Guyanese and contributing to Guyana’s development, motivated by the vision of Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham who, like all individuals, myself included, was not without his faults. “It also includes the vision of the now deceased Haslyn Parris, who granted me authority as a 26-year-old to start a geotechnical services department at the then Guyana Bauxite Company,” he told his audience. Being from Springlands, Berbice, is also critical to the success of Ground Structures, he added, noting that some in the U.S. had criticized his decision. “These persons were unaware of the strengths I possessed, instilled in me by people from Springlands, Corentyne,

Charles Ceres gets the attention of Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs – Carl Greenidge (centre) and

projects in Guyana, starting with Skeldon II and including Amaila Falls, Guyana Goldfields,

it clear that the success of his company would not have been possible without the support of his

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Berbice. Some of these people are here today and I wish to thank them and to recognize them for those

strengths. “Uncle Ernest and Auntie Norma, teacher Joyce then (granny now), Ms. Doreen Ferdinand (Auntie Doreen). We would not be here today if I was not nurtured and influenced by you. You represent the people of that small but loving village and I would like to thank you. Shine rice and tilapia work, as my good friend and fellow countryman Keith Lowenfield can verify,” he pointed out. His company’s success is a result of both assistance and adversity, Ceres said, noting that adversity being probably the greatest motivator of all. Meanwhile, VicePresident and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge joined Ceres, his family and friends to commission the multimillion-dollar facility, which will be a training ground for engineers in the field of geo-technology and groundwater hydrology. Delivering the keynote address, Minister Greenidge underscored the importance of nurturing a country’s human resource intellectual capital at all levels of society. He said it was that support that Ceres received that allowed him to enter the private sector, “undertake, establish, run and maintain” a business for 25 years. Ceres, he added, has not only maintained the business, but has adapted to changing technology in a field that is rapidly evolving. “I am pleased, very much pleased to see the extent to which Charles [Ceres] in setting up his business seems to bring youth, relatives, other skills into the enterprise, so that it can remain vibrant and relevant,” Minister Greenidge posited.


BUSINESS

GUYANESE BUSINESSMEN URGED

MEETAFRICA’SNEWESTBILLIONAIRE… ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESS MAGNATE STRIVE MASIYIWA

TO SET UP A NATIONAL AIRLINE

Minister of State - Joseph Harmon

Guyanese businessmen at home and abroad are being encouraged by the Guyana government to explore the setting up of a national airline. Minister Harmon acknowledged that he would like to have a local airline that would see Guyanese not being charged exorbitant airfares. The advice was given by Minister of State in the Office of the Presidency – Joseph Harmon,

while interfacing with faithful party members of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and other Guyanese at a Town Hall meeting, organized by the North American Region of his PNCR party. Minister Harmon said government has already pulled in Caribbean Airlines and Fly Jamaica to express concerns about price gouging of persons flying the Guyana

route. The State Minister bluntly expressed that, “the government is not going to bring back no Guyana Airways”; but he told the attendees: “you bring it and we will sanction it”, so that they could provide a quality service and become rich! Responding to a call by an attendee for Guyana to re-establish a national airline because he and other Guyanese “are tired of being exploited”, Harmon ruled out government running commercial businesses. Instead, he called on the large number of Guyanese to take up the challenge of establishing an indigenous Guyanese national airline. “The question of airline is an opportunity which exists for our Guyanese people to explore and exploit,” he said.

network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his country of birth in 1998.” In essence, he was engaged in a 5-year court war with his former employer, the country’s only telecom business at the time, before being awarded a mobile telecoms license to operate the company that would later expand into a global empire. On Masiyiwa’s wealth and assets, FORBES notes: • He owns just over 50% of the publiclytraded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is one part of his larger Econet Group. • Masiyiwa also owns just over half of private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa. • His other assets include stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho, and

investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa. Masiyiwa is also a prolific philanthropist. He founded the Higherlife Foundation together with his wife, Tsitsi. The foundation pays the school fees of some 40,000 orphaned or low-income students in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho. The telecoms magnate is also at the helm of the Ambassador Andrew Young Scholarship, which enables African students to attend the Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, US. Masiyiwa was named one of Time Magazine Most Influential Person in 2002. In 2014, he was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. He is a friend to many world leaders, often spearheading conferences with the likes of U.S. President Barack Obama.

national liberation struggle. They infiltrated her social work programmes and planted agents among

a leadership figure in United Democratic Front her own right. Her - an internal organ of the neo-liberal and sell out ANC. colleagues could not

Soweto and Free Statebased youth. They set her up with saboteurs and forced her hand into excesses. Winnie Mandela was

muster the courage to denounce her enough. Shame on them! They engineered her divorce from Nelson Mandela and expelled her from the

Secretary of Defence in the PAC and commander of Apla forces - in February 1994. May her soul Rest In Peace,” stated Kenneth Mokgatlhe - Secretary for Publicity and Information (Spokesperson), Pan Africanist Congress of Azania. Winnie kept Nelson informed about the wellbeing of their children, progress on the ground and reports from the ANC and current levels and intensity of the resistance against the Apartheid regime. In these verbal reports, contents would have been the price being paid by the ordinary people on the ground, particularly children and young people, who were also pivotal in the campaigns by South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement.

Strive Masiyiwa founder and chair of the Econet Group, just made the 2018 FORBES list of African billionaires as Zimbabwe’s first billionaire! FORBES estimates Masiyiwa’s net worth at $1.7 billion, ranking him 14th among Africa’s 23 billionaires. Econet Group owns Econet Global, Econet Wireless Africa, Econet Wireless International, Econet Media, and Econet Entreprises and Liquid Telecom Group. Masiyiwa’s journey to building these businesses has not been without toils. FORBES notes that he “overcame protracted government opposition to launch mobile phone

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies at 81. continued from pg1

struggle stalwart at the pinnacle of women’s heroic involvement. She grew up from humble beginnings in the rural Pondoland villages and became a powerful figure who assumed the position of spokesperson for all those incarcerated during the apartheid years. Not once did she flinch from confronting the hardships of raising her own children on her own during difficult times. Her husband Nelson Mandela was founder and commander of “Mkhonto we Sizwe”. In her Orlando West home, she welcomed all without sectarian interest and made friendship with Pan Africanists and Black Consciousness cadres. She expressed her ideas of African Nationalism in many open platforms,

including interviews with journalists. She was loved by all in the struggle for liberation which is why the monicker of “Mother of the Nation” was not questioned. Winnie Mandela was a beautiful woman. She earned respect in Africa and from many African people in the diaspora. White supremacists hated her with passion. They could not countenance the beautiful image of an anti-imperialist and anticolonialist who looked damn good. They wanted to bring her down…but failed dismally. The work of a special unit of the security branch police called Strategic Communication (StratComm) resulted in a campaign to vilify and disparage her for the good work she was doing in the

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“We, in the PAC, will always remember her for supporting and making herself available at the funeral of Comrade Sabelo Phama - the fallen


FEATURE

Breaking the recycling stables of street crime from old to now... Setting up a Cultural Industries Secretariat

The paradox of the sugar workers bring to light the twisted politics of race hate and vindictiveness of using an ethnic work force in the party power line to their own detriment - to strike, burn the cane, to undermine the administration of “the other”. Now, as the pendulum swings, their future is to be addressed without malice by the same “other” in the twilight of the forewarned fall of sugar. But such is the invisible laws that time and time again manifest before us, yet we seem not to learn that “Karma” exists. In the context of the concerns of populations trapped by history in sub-culture stables,in the UN International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD), it is the social construct of old Georgetown that must now be re-examined, because Georgetown is the home to almost 30% percent of the population of Guyana, and home to a large youth population. Let me offer some background to what I’m referring to. The town of Stabroek that became Georgetown emerged

from the shipping wharves/water fronts and trade of the 1760s to the 1890s. From Le Penitence to Cummingsburg (Tigerbay-Kingston)… before Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow – (a National Hero who was a Stevedore), to the decline of the stevedores in the early 1980s, these water front areas provided a major income sustenance for the congested wards of Georgetown. Like all water front areas, these were tough communities –(Critchlow himself was a stickfighting champion), of tough men and women like Doris Schoreder who fist-fought robust sailors. They worked and fought hard. The congested reservation-type wards they lived in inhibited their ambitions and expectations...narrowing their world view, where physical prowess and street cleverness became the tools of survival. Not to say that there were no exceptions that reminded the wider society that this was a human pool of talents and skills beyond physical toughness, they were also the keepers of

grass root culture. Bill Rogers – the famous pioneering Shanto singer came out of Charlestown. Many of the youth passing through the courts today hail from these areas. A social mythology has long developed to say “what they are, is their choice”, yet the prisons publish the talents of prisoners, within the confines of that controlled environment, but when they step out of the system, there is no interception, no platform to engage, thus they return to the same stables with its hovering devils of hopelessness. This is where the broke, hemmed in souls are recruited for hit jobs. A classic example is the killer of Godfrey “Saga” Scipio. Aubrey Bobb of Kitty - who with confidence, said “I didn’t want to do this, I had planned when ah come out ah jail fuh sell weed”. The other reference is “Mazaruni prisoners graduate from groundbreaking courses”…that is where the “Cultural Industries Secretariat” comes in. This would be a Secretariat to develop markets and economic

directions for the Arts, Crafts, Artisans, Culinary products and to educate on techniques and production competitiveness. This idea I had written about before, and recently in discussion with the current acting Director of Culture - Tamika Boatswain, we both concluded that it was a positive and necessary development, an ideal interception to make good with what we have. The “interception”, in relation to our focus on law breakers, does not only involve these citizens but the wider arts community, who have not had a Minister and team in the third of the Ministry dedicated to Culture. Not to say that the Ministers were not capable in their own career fields, but culture, though revered in all the countries we hold in high esteem, has failed to inculcate its relevance in subsequent administrations beginning in the Hoyte era…with the most distant being the PPP’s 23 years. They were coerced to doing and to comply with certain cultural regimentations but

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By Barrington Braithwaite

Barrington Braithwaite

without any holistic intent. I have long advocated that Culture deserves its own realm, which it had post-Independence. That period laid the foundation for all that still exists of now, though fragmented and populated with hunter-gathering cultural practitioners. With the reality of an inevitable transforming economy (oil or no oil), based on a must adhere to copyright and the decline of the traditional GOP earners, no potential should be left unattended. Culture, like oil, belongs to worlds on their own, popular academic accolades (except for those honed in contract and IPR procedures) are not the criteria for the engagement and enhancement of culture towards Cultural

Industries. This requires specific intellectual and “burnt fingers know how”, acquired through experience. The setting up of the Cultural Industries Secretariat will not solve crimes, but will ease the annual G$150 million spent on feeding “yard fowl” remand prisoners as (entitled prisoners will have food delivered). This Secretariat will enable the expansion of talents including mine. The 2018 Budget proposed building a Creative Institute, but I can’t get any information from any one in authority on what it is supposed to do. I however, have outlined (with many ideas retained) what the Cultural Industries Secretariat wil


FEATURE

BRITISH RUBBING “SALT

IN THE

WOUND” ON REPARATION ISSUE The Caribbean R e p a r a t i o n s Commission says that what might have been an innocent recent

mistake on the part of British authorities, has now given it additional evidence and renewed impetus to make Britain and other European nations compensate Guyana and other Caribbean nations for making millions of African Blacks work on

agricultural plantations in the region without a cent in payment! Successive British administrations had argued that the slave trade was so yesterday’s news that the region should just accept it as a cruel mistake of history and move on, while openly vowing not to pay a dollar to the descendants of slavery going forward. Payments, compensation or reparations, they say, will come through big grants, concession loans and free trade nuggets that Britain and the European Union have given to the Caribbean in the past and

for the future. British officials had confidently said that no court would award payments for something done nearly 400 years ago. Worse yet, slavery was not illegal in the United Kingdom at the time. Now, Sir Hilary Beckles, the respected regional academic that CARICOM governments have identified to lead the fight for reparations, in late February accused London of rank dishonesty, in putting forward reasons why it does not plan to compensate the region for the African slave trade. He said that a recent British Treasury tweet and other documents now show that a loan from the British government, that had been used to compensate former slave owners in the Caribbean, was still being paid by British taxpayers as

recently as 2015. That makes everything about this case current and justiciable! This also means, Sir Beckles argues, that many of the estimated 300,000 Caribbean nationals who now live in the UK and are slave descendants, were themselves forced to pay reparations to former slave owners in what is clearly a cruel fate of irony. But London is reluctant to compensate their fore parents for slavery. “This transfer of public money to the private holders of the slave bond makes it a presentday activity. It also implies that the 300,000 West Indian people who have been living in Britain, their taxes were being used to pay back the slavery loan, which suggests that you are speaking of a double payment,” Beckles said. Countering the

argument that slavery is an old issue, he now is contending that the revelation in the tweet makes this “a present day issue. We consider this to be an immorality. It is the greatest act of political immorality”, said the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. For more than 180 years, London had been quietly forcing its citizens, including those from the Caribbean, to repay the slavery abolition loan. The issue was touted to be discussed at the recent CARICOM leaders’ summit in Haiti. Governments have already hired a British legal firm which had won millions for Kenyan tribesmen, who were mass murdered by British soldiers in the colonial era, to fight its case. The clear advice from the team is that the region has a very

strong case. So letters of demand to discuss the issue and payments have already been sent to Britain, Spain, France, Portugal, Denmark and The Netherlands. Some have signaled a willingness to talk, while some have not replied. The region could take the case to the World Court if Europe fails to act in two years. Sir Hilary had also hinted that someone at the British Treasury might have mistakenly posted a tweet on February 9, indicating that “millions of you helped end the slave trade through your taxes”, noting that this was the type of lawless and immoral confirmation that the region needed to help boost its case. Calculated today, that Sterling 20 million would be equivalent to 15 billion pounds!

Commentary: The Coalition Government should begin closing the ever-widening economic gap in Guyana. continued from pg3

of people has been disenfranchised by the State under a previous administration, it is the responsibility of the current administration to use the institutions of the State to make them whole.   It is disingenuous for members of the Coalition to go to African-Guyanese communities and ask for a plan or to make promises with no intentions of fulfilling them.  In fact, this government should be embarrassed to do so when some of the same businessmen who benefited under the PPPC government are being empowered by this

15

government…and they have never been asked to produce a plan. In spite of this, African-Guyanese have put forward several plans - only to have them on fall on deaf ears!  The coalition government must ensure that African-Guyanese are represented in every industry as it relates to government dollars being spent. They can start by acting on some of the plans they have already received. Our youths need jobs, our communities need infrastructure developments and our business people need access to all State

opportunities equal to local and foreign interests. Some members of the past administration have begun to visit our communities and make promises that they would provide jobs and assistance to AfricanGuyanese, should we vote for them in the upcoming elections.   We have to take great care that a minimalist and defeatist perspective does not take hold and becomes widespread within our communities, rendering the struggle and clamor for parity and economic justice for 23 plus years futile.  


STYLE AFRO

ROOTS & CULTURE

146 Albert & Regent Street, Georgetown, Guyana

Outfits by ‘‘Makeda’’

QUEEN MOTHER NANAYAA ASANTEWAA

OF WEST AFRICA’S ASHANTI EMPIRE

The story of Queen Mother Nana Yaa Asantewaa is a story of the modern history of the nation of Ghana. Asantewaa was the Gatekeeper of the “Golden Stool” (Sika ‘dwa) during the powerful Ashanti Confederacy, an independent federation of Asanti tribal families that ruled from 1701 to 1896.  In 1896, Asantehene

(King) Prempeh I of the Asanteman federation was captured and exiled to the Seychelles islands by the British who had come to call the area the British “Gold Coast.” In 1900, British colonial governor Frederick Hodgson called a meeting in the city with the local rulers. At the meeting, Hodgson stated that King Prempeh I would continue to suffer an exile from his

native land and that the Ashanti people were to surrender to the British their historical, ancestral Golden Stool - a dynastic symbol of the Ashanti empire. In fact, power was transferred to each king by a ceremonial crowning that involved the sacred Golden Stool. The colonial governor demanded that it be surrendered to allow Hodgson to sit on the

Sika ‘dwa as a symbol of British power. Upon hearing some of the male leaders entertain surrender to the British demands, it is reported that the Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa rose and said the following: “Now I have seen that some of you fear to go forward to fight for our King. If it were in the brave days of Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anokye, and Opoku Ware, leaders would not sit down to see their King taken away without firing a shot. No white man could have dared to speak to a leader of the Ashanti in the way the Governor spoke to you this morning. Is it true that the bravery of the Ashanti is no more? I cannot believe it. It cannot be! I must say this, if you the men of Ashanti will not go forward, then we will. We the women will. I shall call upon my fellow

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women. We will fight the white men. We will fight till the last of us falls in the battlefields.’’ She then grabbed a gun and fired a shot into the air, and that evening, she and all the chiefs “drank the gods” (i.e. libations, drinks poured out as an offering) and took a solemn oath to rid the Ashanti of British rule. Yaa Asantewaa also subverted the common view of the Ashanti women not being allowed on the battlefield, and in the early days of the War, was often viewed on the battlefields holding a gun, though she did not fire herself. Another powerful psychological strategy Yaa Asantewaa employed was the use of the Ashanti talking drums to convey to the British several messages during warfare; one beat was reported to mean “prepare to die”, three beats meant

“cut the head off”, and four beats meant “the head is off”. This was said to have caused much fear among the British. Eventually though, the British proved victorious, by conquering Ashanti villages one-by-one, with the help of Hausa and Sikh armies that they recruited and imported into Ghana from their vast colonial empire, and the help of several treacherous Ashanti chiefs and everyday men who revealed her tactics and hideouts to them for rewards. Despite the eventual defeat ,Yaa Asantewaa is known as a patriotic defender and a strategic leader of the Ashanti Confederacy army in the fifth AngloAshanti War. Her legacy lives on and cements her place in history as a powerful woman.


ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS

Drum Fest billed for June

Drummers young and old across Guyana are gearing up to participate in the country’s firstever “Drum Fest 2018” - reviving widespread support for the art form and preparing to win some G$1.5M in cash, trophies and other prizes! At a press conference

held on Sunday, March 4th to promote the event organized by Corwyn Fitzroy Williams (CFW) Entertainment, several individuals and drumming groups showed up to demonstrate their eagerness to participate. Bearing different drums and clad in various

Vice President, Marlus Hendricks, said there is a need for more recognition to be drawn to the art of drumming locally. “I am of the view that more emphasis should be placed by the relevant authorities on drumming and more methods implemented to effectively promote, develop and sustain the traditional art of drumming, not only in Guyana but the Caribbean,” Hendricks said.With the right efforts, he believes that Drum Fest is set to become an annual event and a platform to promote Guyana’s wide variety of culture. “Drum Fest 2018 is also geared at bringing all our drummers together in unity, as well as ensuring that this tradition is

uniforms and cultural wear, some of the groups who turned out hailed from Pouderoyen, Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara, Belladrum, West Coast Berbice, New Amsterdam, Victoria and Buxton, East Coast Demerara. CFW Entertainment

“Sports an essential part of youths upbringing,” says VNET Head

GCA President - Roger Harper (third from right) collects the sponsorship cheque from a young Sheriffudeen. Co-sponsors, cricketers and GCA executives also share in the moment. VNET Communications CEO -Safraz Sheriffudeen is third from left. (Delano Williams photo) The official launching ceremony of the Fourth Edition of the VNet Communications/ Georgetown Cricket Association Under-13 cricket tournament was held at the VNet’s Delph Street, Campbellville

location. Guyana Cricket Association (GCA) President - Roger Harper sees the tournament as skill development for young cricketers. Harper thanked VNet

Communications along with the four co-sponsors - Cerulean Inc., Guyana Trading Company, Eco Atlantic International Investment Inc.; and Give Another Chance Foundation for their

support. GCA’s Vice-President Neil Barry in brief remarks, pointed out that the tournament will be used as a foundation to develop the skills of young cricketers and, at the same time allow players to defend their wickets and going through the basics of the game. Playing under the theme “Cricket - our game our culture”, the tournament will feature seven teams that will compete on Saturdays at various venues in Georgetown. The seven teams that will be gracing the field when the competition commences on April 7 are - Demerara Cricket Club (DCC), Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), Transport Sports Club (TSC), Gandhi

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CFW Entertainment Vice President - Marlus Hendricks, (left) tells of the rationale for the festival. Also at the table are CFW Entertainment President, Corwyn Williams (centre) and Public Relations Officer (PRO) Alex Williams (right)

escalated to the very top of the recognition ladder where it so rightfully belongs,” he said. Pleased to be a part of the event was Public Relations Officer (PRO) Alex Williams, who revealed that the projected date of the festival is June 3 and it will be hosted at either the Durban Park or National Park.

The festival is divided into two segments, individual and group performances with the restriction that a drummer can only represent one location. Williams reiterated that the event aims to resuscitate the practice and showcase local talent.

Commonwealth Games: Gold Coast event starts with colorful opening

The Carrara Stadium was illuminated by fireworks at the climax of the ceremony 2018 Commonwealth Games. Venue: Gold Coast, Australia Dates: April 4-15 The 21st Commonwealth Games are officially under way after a spectacular opening ceremony on the Gold Coast on April 4. More than 2.4 billion people - nearly a third of the world - will be represented over 12 days in Australia! More than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations

and territories will be competing for 275 gold medals over the 11 days of competition. A crowd of 35,000 packed into the Carrara Stadium, normally the home of Australian Rules football side Gold Coast Suns. However, there were protests outside the stadium by indigenous rights activists who earlier disrupted the Queen’s baton relay as it made its way to the stadium. The first gold medal of the Games was awarded in women’s triathlon on Thursday, April 5.


ROOTS & CULTURE

RASTAFARI CORE GROUP ESTABLISHED

Several meetings were recently held between representatives of the Guyana Rastafari community and officials from the Ministry of Social Cohesion. A “RASTAFARI CORE GROUP” was also formed, comprising representatives from eight organizations within the

Rastafari community. The Rastafari Core Group (to coordinate Rastafari activities nationwide) will be headed by Ras Aaron Blackman (Chairman) with Ras Reuben as the Vice Chairman. The Secretary/Note-taker is Sister Esther Gittens, with Ras Judah aka Ida as her

deputy. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for April 26. The collaboration initiative between the Rastafari community and the Ministry of Social Cohesion is designed to “resolve challenges” and define “critical roles” to be played in understanding and fulfilling the needs of

the Rastafari community; while the members of the eight organizations are to be the “eyes and ears” for the community. On Thursday, March 15 Minister Dr. George Norton addressed the Rastafarians at the Racquet Centre on Woolford Avenue, Georgetown. This sensitization session

and workshop was followed by a meeting on Thursday, March 22 with Technical Director Pamela Nauth and others in the boardroom of the Ministry of Social Cohesion on Main and Quamina Streets to bring the representatives of eight Rasta organizations up to date on plans for the second

“Harmony Village” billed for April 12. Meanwhile, the Rastafari community, spearheaded by the House of Nyahbinghi, will participate in its second “Ganja March” this year, marking “World Marijuana Day” on April 20 from the Parade Ground to the National Park.

THE SISTERS IN UNITY Sisters in Unity is the women’s arm of the African Cultural and Development Association. The group provides assistance to disadvantaged and vulnerable women in society, particularly single mothers.

Sisters in Unity teach the young girls of The Association of Young Africans (AYA) to make Foo– Foo FOO-FOO RECIPE Foo-Foo is a staple food of the Asante and Fante tribes of the Akan people of Ghana. It is made by boiling starchy foods such as cassava, yams and plantain, then pounding them into a dough-like

consistency. It is usually eaten by taking a small ball of it and then dipping it into an accompanying soup or sauce. Ingredients 2 lb Plantains 1 lb cassava Instructions

Wash, peel and boil the vegetables until tender. When cooked, leave in boiling water. Remove the central fibrous “string” from the cassava, and pound the Plantains and yams separately.

Combine the mashed Plantains and yams, and pound to a fine texture until completely mixed — smooth and firm but not too stiff. Tip: use some of the same warm water as a dip to wet the mortar stick

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while pounding the foofoo, to bring it to the right consistency Dip a spoon or ice cream scoop in some clean warm water and remove the foo-foo in ‘balls’ from the mortar. Cover and keep warm,

serving in soup or with Pepperpot. Note: A food processor can be used instead of a mortar, since the objective is to get the smooth, creamy but firm consistency that foo-foo requires.


SPORTS

FEATURE

LeBron James: NBA legend Anthony BREAKS Michael Jordan’s Joshua wins double-digit scoring record by unanimous LeBron James has broken Michael Jordan’s all-time

NBA record of scoring at least 10 points in consecutive games after achieving the feat in his 867th successive

fixture! The three-time NBA champion, 33, broke the record with a dunk in the first quarter of Cleveland’s 107-102 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. James, who finished with 27 points, started his streak on January 6, 2007. “It means a lot for me,” the Cavaliers small forward said. “That’s a good moment, a special moment not only for myself b u t

for my family and for so many kids that look up to me for inspiration to know that you can actually go out there and do it.” James was honored with a standing ovation by the 20,500-strong crowd at the Quicken Loans Arena, and was handed the game ball. Six-time NBA champion Jordan, 55, achieved the previous record between March 1986 and December 2001. Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is third in the record books with a streak of 787 games.

Masters 2018: Tiger Woods Commonwealth Games says Augusta return is “crazy”! 2018 day six: Semenya,

Makwala win gold.

Caster Semenya cruised to 1500m gold on the track and Isaac Makwala won the men’s 400m title

Championship in August 2015. “I thought prior to surgery, I’ll have a nice comfortable life but I’ll ever swing a club like I used to,” he said. “But all of a sudden my body and speed and timing are back.” Woods won the last of his Green Jackets in 2005 and the most recent of his 14 major titles came at the US Open in 2008.

World heavyweight boxing – Anthony Joshua beats Joseph Parker on points • Joshua outpoints Parker in a recent heavyweight unification fight • British champion calls out opposition, wants “Wilder or Fury” next The official cards of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 were wider than the Guardian’s unofficial score of 115113, but Joshua was the winner. The 28-year-old now holds three of the four heavyweight title belts!

On April 5, 1984 Kareem AbdulJabbar breaks NBA all-time scoring record!

Tiger Woods attracted huge galleries on his return to playing at Augusta on Tuesday, April 3. Tiger Woods says it is “crazy” he is playing at this year’s Masters, never mind being considered a favorite, given he could barely sit through last year’s annual champions dinner. The four-time champion, 42, had back surgery under a year ago but is among an 87-strong field at the 82nd Masters. Woods is playing in his first major since missing the cut at the US PGA

decision!

Caster Semenya celebrates winning gold in the women’s 1500m final. Photograph: Michael Steele/ Getty Images

Isaac Makwala celebrates winning gold as he crosses the line. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers scored his 31,420th point, breaking the NBA’s career scoring record, which was previously held by Wilt Chamberlain.


The African Business Roundtable (ABR) is designed to promote the interests of African business enterprises in Guyana and to serve as an organized conduit to Government and other stakeholders in society.

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