President Irfaan Ali said that the community of Buxton is included in the government's programmes and policies designed to bring prosperity to every Guyanese.
"I know what it is like to respect every single Guyanese as Guyanese. I know what it is like to celebrate each other as Guyanese. And, I'm going to lead a battle that includes Buxton for the upliftment of every single person, and let me be very clear, every single one of you, every single Guyanese, is welcome on board."
The Head of State gave this assurance as he delivered remarks while extending congratulatory greetings during the ceremony to commemorate the Buxton- Friendship Museum, Archives & Culture Centre's 4th Anniversary as well as the graduation of the first-ever computer programme at the Centre on Saturday.
Economic Empowerment for Buxton
President Ali said government is actively working on a number of initiatives in several areas, including agriculture, that will bring economic empowerment and improve the livelihoods of the residents of the community.
"I've already tasked the Minister of Agriculture. He has outlined a clear pathway on developing the farm-to-market road and developing the drainage canals, and I said to him, ‘we must work, as my brother from the school of entrepreneurship said, we must work to make Buxton, a bread basket of food production."
He assured those gathered that the administration is ready to work in advancing the potential of agriculture in the area.
"Let's get this body to bring the farmers together to deploy the land that you have here collectively so that we can advance the potential of that land into opportunities in agriculture. I am saying you are knocking at open doors. We are ready to work with you on advancing a project like this."
The President also pointed to the importance of history and culture in shaping the understanding that we are all part of the family of humanity.
"I know how important it is for you and these young people. I know how important history is, I know how important culture is, and history and culture should shape us to an understanding that we are one part of a singular whole, and that is the whole of humanity. Every culture, every system, every history points us to that singular whole that we are part of one family, the family of humanity."
Given this rich historical tapestry, he told those present that even as they celebrate, they must do so in "the true context of the facts" and recognise the contribution of our African Guyanese brothers and sisters towards the development of Guyana continues today.
"This country is blessed, and part of that blessing is the rich contribution of our African brothers and sisters to the development and advancement of our country, and this contribution has not stuck in history. This contribution has continued up to today."
He recognised several notable Afro-Guyanese who serve in government, the judiciary, and public service, among other institutions.
President Ali told the first graduates of the Buxton- Friendship Museum, Archives & Culture Centre computer programme that their achievements are linked to job creation.
"I'm very happy today that we have all these young people graduating in technology, but how do we link that to job creation? I'll tell you how. Right now, I'm working with an African Guyanese who did exceptionally well at Amazon. And what is she doing for us? She is developing a tech platform in which we can certify young Guyanese to work at Amazon in tech field. Jobs are coming to you, and we're going to invest in that program. We are now working out the modalities of that program, and who is developing it? A young African Guyanese. Let us celebrate them. Let us honour them."
Advancing a 'One Guyana'
The President reiterated that he is willing to work, with hands extended, with everyone in moving the country forward.
"Let us get real. Let us get honest. Let us get dignified. And, I can speak to you so openly because my message is constant, and it's clear because I believe in one Guyana and moving this country together as one Guyana. Every single hand that is willing to shake my hands, I am ready to shake that hand and move this country forward, and for every single hand that is not ready to shake my hand, I give them the time and space to do so."
The Head of State said that the government would continue to work hand in hand with all the people of Guyana to advance economic and social development. He said this would be achieved by addressing livelihood issues through training and development, education, empowerment, and access to capital, improving healthcare and education.
"We are together as one. We are ready to work with you. Let us for a moment remove biases; let us for a moment remove propaganda and narrative that are inhibiting growth and development. Let us allow ourselves a little space to give an opportunity so that we can create a better future for those that will come behind."
Following the ceremony, President Ali and the delegation joined guests for a walk-through of the museum and a viewing of the exhibits.
Several cabinet ministers joined President Ali in celebrating with the community, including Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, and representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.