ATLANTA – The Government of Guyana is to finalize shortly a comprehensive Diaspora Development Plan, Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon said Saturday (May 28).
Speaking in Atlanta at the Ex Guyana Defense Force (GDF) Reunion 2017 Dinner, the retired army colonel now government minister advised that just last week the administration of President David Granger outlined its Diaspora strategy which will now be transformed into a plan.
“It is the intention of the Government to put our engagement with our citizens in the Diaspora on a firm footing,” Harmon told the gathering of some 250 Guyanese, mainly former officers and ranks of GDF. Harmon pointed out that Guyana again is on the rise “and with this has seen renewed interest in national life by all our people at home and in the Diaspora.”
Harmon told the defense force veterans that President Granger, himself a retired Brigadier and former commander of the GDF, “has made a commitment to examine and correct the circumstances under which our veterans live”. To this end he made reference to a just completed Commission of Inquiry which has resulted in 79 recommendations which are now being considered for action.
Harmon updated his audience on developments in Guyana including the discovery of oil and gas and plans for drilling, as well as about infrastructure development. He also identified areas open for investment and encouraged Guyanese abroad to pursue some of these opportunities.
Three retired top GDF officers, Colonel “Pluto” Martindale’ Colonel Carl Morgan and Lt. Colonel Arnold Godette received awards from the Ex-GDF Officers Association for their distinguished service to the military. Tribute was also paid to some 100 deceased officers.
Hundreds of Guyanese, if not thousands, are converged in Atlanta, Georgia for celebrations of Guyana’s 51st Independence Anniversary which coincides with the Memorial Day weekend and Caribbean Carnival here.
Harmon is representing Guyana’s President David Granger who was invited for the celebrations. He has been attending several events as well as having meetings with non-profit and business organizations.
On Friday evening he attended a meet and greet hosted by the Guyanese Association of Georgia which attracted hundreds.
On Saturday Minister Harmon was hosted to brunch by Dr. Charles Steele Jr, president of the National Southern Christian Leadership Conference (NSCLC) and a team from the conference that included the vice mayor of the City of College Park, Joe Carn.
The discussions focused on possible investment in Guyana by minority owned businesses as well as promotion of Guyana’s eco-tourism product. A team from the NSCLC is expected to visit Guyana shortly.
On Saturday, Harmon also visited MEDSHARE, a non profit organization headquartered here which facilitates access by governments and non-government organizations to bio medical equipment and supplies. These discussions focused on the Guyana government and NGO’s accessing the equipment and supplies through the organization’s programs.
Harmon was scheduled to address Guyanese at a brunch Sunday and later in the day participate in the annual Guyana Family Day put on by the Guyana Association in Atlanta.