Guyana lauds India’s ‘green energy’ drive

President David Granger; Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. KJ Srinivasa; and Ms. Ashwini Gowdara Siddeshwara cut the Republic Anniversary cake as Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo looks on (Elvin Croker photo)

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By Gabriella Chapman
AS India celebrates 70 years since its transition from a British Dominion to a Republic, President David Granger lauded the many achievements that came as a result of Guyana’s collaboration with India.

The High Commissioner of India, Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, hosted a Reception at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Sunday evening, at which President Granger delivered an address.
The President overtly applauded India for setting the example in alleviating impacts of climate change and promoting solar energy. This, he said, is what Guyana has to align with in order to achieve the ‘green’ transformation.

A toast to the collaboration between India and Guyana

“We are collaborating, today, as advocates for combating the adverse effects of climate change. India has been a leader in its commitment to working towards mitigating the impact of climate change at the international level. India’s proactive approach is evident in its role in the establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), focused on the mobilisation of resources to produce cleaner and cost-effective renewable energy,” President said.

Guyana, he said, is in the process of transforming into a ‘Green State’, which will place greater emphasis on the protection of the environment, the preservation of biodiversity and the promotion of renewable energy, including through the generation of solar energy and the adoption of practical measures to ensure climate adaptation.

A cultural dance presentation at the India Republic Day celebration

“I am happy to note Guyana’s partnership with and participation in the ISA [International Solar Alliance] which will contribute to the advancement of our Green State Development Strategy. This partnership moves Guyana closer to achieving its objective of becoming a ‘Green’ State,” President Granger said.

He noted, too, that the two countries have forged a strong alliance through interaction at the Joint Commission and, at the Ministerial level, through consultations between the Foreign Ministries.
“Guyana and India concluded the signing of two memoranda of understanding in 2018 to encourage and promote cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy for mutual benefit and to enhance cultural cooperation. India’s assistance, by providing scholarships and training opportunities under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) initiative, moves Guyana closer to achieving its objective of becoming an ‘Education Nation’,” Granger posited.

High Commissioner of India, His Excellency,
Dr K.J. Srinivasa

Additionally, Guyana and India’s Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology signed an agreement in May 2017, paving the way for the establishment and operation of a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology here.

To this regard, President Granger said “I was pleased to commission this Centre on the University of Guyana Campus in June 2019. This Centre moves Guyana closer to achieving its objective of becoming a Digital State.”
Amidst the list of achievements, the President disclosed that the two governments are working to finalise the first phase of the East Bank-East Coast Road Linkage Project “as we embark on our Decade of Development.”

The East Bank-East Coast road link network is expected to alleviate traffic congestion on the East Coast and East Bank of Demerara, and this project amounts to nearly US$50M.
Echoing similar sentiments, the Indian High Commissioner said Guyana and India share a strong relationship between governments and the people, which they are looking to further strengthen.

“We’re expected to reach new heights in the near future. India is very happy to strengthen the level of collaborations with Guyana. That is why we all need to work together and think about ways and means for furthering the avenues of collaboration between the two countries,” the High Commissioner said.

The National School of Dance performing at the Reception celebration

He noted, too, that January 26 is a significant day in India, and it is a celebration of its democracy.

“On the 26 of January 1950, the India constitution was formally adopted and this celebration aims to reiterate and reunite the citizens of India to values and principles expressed in the Indian Constitution, and we encourage all Indians in India and abroad to play their rightful role in the strengthening of Indian democracy,” the High Commissioner said.
Following the toasts between countries, the attendees were entertained with cultural presentations.