An aerial view of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana (File photo)

World Bank predicts growth for Guyana

An aerial view of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana (File photo)

 A World Bank report has predicted that the Guyanese economy will grow by 51.7 per cent overall for this year.

In a semi-annual report on Latin America and the Caribbean, titled ‘The Economy in the Time of COVID-19’, the international financial institution also projects that Guyana’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 8.7 per cent and 2.6 per cent in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

“Guyana’s economy expanded by 4.7 per cent in 2019, with anticipated oil revenues spurring an expansion in non-traded sectors. Oil production is projected to boost GDP growth to unprecedented levels in 2020,” the report stated.

The Valaris EXL II drilling for oil in the Carapa-1 well offshore Guyana. (Photo: Oil Now)

While this could transform Guyana, the report said, however, “there are risks, as illustrated by a still incomplete election outcome and compounded by falling oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic. Weak public service delivery and monitoring systems constrain the development of policies to reduce poverty and protect the vulnerable.”

Electoral deadlock

The South American country remains locked in an electoral disagreement between opposing parties over a month after citizens cast their ballots on March 2, 2020. With weeks of litigation ensuing, the election recount process has returned to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

A request for a national recount of the ballots cast in the National and Regional Elections by President David Granger last month is coming to bear, albeit without the “supervisory role” of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Granger had requested the assistance of CARICOM Chairman and President of Barbados Mia Mottley to have a team from the regional organisation recount votes from the election. This, he said, would end all speculations of fraud as purported by the political opposition.

Supporters of presidential candidate David Granger, of the National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) party, cheer and wave flags in front of their house in Georgetown, Guyana, on March 1, 2020. (Photo: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images)

That request, however, was later challenged by private citizen Ulita Grace Moore and the Appeal Court subsequently ruled that the elections body should not allow any outside element to undertake its constitutionally mandated responsibility. The court did not bar the recount.

GECOM is currently in the preparatory stages of the national recount and will meet again today to continue the process.

Fighting coronavirus

In the meantime, the Government of Guyana is reporting successful handling of its fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

President Granger on Saturday said his Administration is becoming better prepared to fight the virus. While the country has embarked on a path of improved public health, there are still many challenges ahead before the disease is defeated, he explained

Guyana’s President David Granger (Photo: cbc.bb)

He said his Government is better equipped to provide proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the medical staff carrying out testing and treatment along with materials and equipment such as beds, respirators and ventilators for those who become critically afflicted.