August 2022

By Julieta Gomez

President Mohamed Irfaan Ali visited Washington the last week of July with a delegation that included Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and members of his cabinet, alongside U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch. During his visit, President Ali met with business leaders, politicians, and academics, among others. In a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the two discussed the importance of creating a sustainable energy future, strengthening food and energy security, addressing climate change, and promoting good governance and inclusive growth. President Ali also spoke on the phone with Vice President Harris about investing in agriculture to increase food production.

During the week, he participated in several panels, discussing his administration’s multifaceted strategy for economic advancement. The strategy aims to stimulate growth by targeting investment in these sectors:

  • Infrastructure – Ali wants to strengthen Guyanese infrastructure from top to bottom, with plans to build new roads, bridges, hospitals, and schools.
  • Health & Education – Guyana needs a healthy workforce trained in the new technologies that will define their growth, which can only be achieved through investment in the medical and education systems. The Ali Administration wants to specifically focus on training the workforce in robotics and technology to accelerate the country’s progress.
  • Agriculture – Building food security is a key part of Ali’s plan, facilitated by driving investment and partnerships in Guyanese agriculture.
  • Energy – Guyana has significant oil reserves, but its domestic energy distribution network is incomplete and unreliable. As Guyana partners with allies to harness its energy potential, strengthening the Guyanese energy grid will facilitate growth in other sectors and allow for energy innovation. President Ali recognized the improvements made in the system over the past 20 years, but believes there is still much work to do.

President Ali’s visit to the States comes at an important moment, as Guyana currently has more than 11 billion barrels of oil, with over 6 million cubic meters in reserves. As countries focus on developing strategic supply chains and moving away from reliance on Russian oil and gas, Guyana is set to be a strategic partner for many countries, including the United States, both in oil and in the other industries involved in the development of Guyana’s infrastructure.