While supporting and endorsing the objectives of the USAID $300M Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) yesterday urged a resumption of dialogue between the Guyana and US governments to find common ground for its implementation.
In a statement, GCCI urged both sides to resume the discussion concerning the project to identify “mutually feasible, pragmatic common ground so that the project can be implemented effectively.
After meeting with representatives from both sides, it noted that all parties were ready to engage officially on the issue and also that the Donald Ramotar administration’s prerequisite for a re-engagement—that implementation of the project be halted—is reasonable.
“The government has one precondition that must be satisfied before the dialogue can proceed and that is the US government should halt the current implementation of the project until the points of concern are resolved.
The Chamber believes this is a reasonable request that the US Embassy should consider,” it said.
Despite the government’s rejection of the project, based on the claim that it was not consulted on it, the US says it will continue its implementation. The project aims to boost citizens’ engagement with local parliamentarians and improve overall governance.
The Chamber yesterday stated that it believes that when implemented, the project will strengthen political institutions and enhance citizen understanding of how individuals can engage in the larger civic and political discourse in their communities and countrywide.
Bolstering the operations of the National Assembly was also another objective singled out.
The GCCI noted that elements of LEAD will give parliamentarians the essential tools for delivering effective representation and policy formulation. GCCI stated that it sees the LEAD project as instrumental in meeting the need to foster an environment where compromise and cooperation in the country’s interests comprise the cornerstone of good policy making.
Recently, Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman and the Private Sector Commission stated that there should be dialogue between the two sides so that the project could move ahead.