The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) is hosting a symposium on ‘The political and economic challenges ahead for Guyana’ today at 4.30 pm at the National Library to mark the 35th anniversary of the assassination of renowned scholar, political activist and founder member Dr Walter Rodney.
“The WPA feels that given the recent change of government after 23 years and in light of the challenges the new government faces at the political and economic levels, it is important that the country engages in an ongoing public discourse on the way forward,” according to a press release. “This “Grounding” with the people was an important part of Walter Rodney’s intellectual and political praxis and continues to be part of the WPA’s practice.” Further, the WPA believes that “a new beginning must be guided by a new approach aimed at democratizing the relationship between the governors and the governed.”
The panel will comprise Professor Clive Thomas, Dr Maurice Odle, Rishi Thakur and Turhane Doerga and the moderator will be Chairperson of the Walter Rodney Youth Movement, Tabitha Sarabo. The presenters “are all highly skilled in their respective areas and will bring diverse experience and perspectives to the Symposium,” the group said.
Professor Thomas is a retired Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Guyana, is a prolific writer, columnist and commentator and is considered an authority on sugar and monetary economics. He will speak on some of the challenges and threats facing Guyana and offer his recommendations on meeting them.
Dr Odle, like Thomas and Rodney earned his PhD at the London School of Economics. He started his career in academia, becoming Professor of Economics at the University of Guyana and preceded Dr Thomas as Director of the Institute of Development Studies. He was also a fellow at the University of the West Indies and taught at a number of other universities.
Dr Odle also worked with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and recently retired from the Caricom Secretariat as Economics Adviser to the Secretary-General. Dr Odle’s contribution will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals post 2015 and their relevance to Guyana.
Additionally, Thakur is a long-serving faculty member at UG’s Tain Campus and has a strong interest in agriculture. He has worked with the communities in fishing and rice and has an interest in the economic and social impact of the Guyana Sugar Corporation.
Doerga is a retired CEO of the Alesie Rice Group which played a role in the expansion of rice sale into European Union in the 90s. He has recently been travelling to Caribbean countries looking for markets for the huge increase in rice production which Guyana is experiencing.
The forum makes provision for audience participation.