We need to disentangle business from politics

Dear Editor,

Many persons know that I hold a view that Guyana has the potential to become the Singapore of South America, however, on our way there, we have to make some fundamental changes. One major change has to be, to disentangle our business and to some extent the way we do development from our politics.

As a people, we play politics, development and business on the same field essentially using the same rules. This is equivalent to playing cricket, basketball and lawn tennis on the same field or court and applying the same rules. This approach will work to some extent, particularly if you are playing at the local community level, but if we are really aspiring to compete regionally and internationally, we would be required to play by the regional and international rules, particularly as these relate to the way we do development and business.

Our politicians have to realise that many of them are not development practitioners, many of them are not business-oriented either (and I am not talking here about buying and selling or a bit of trade, I am talking about serious business intelligence), and they do not have to be so, but they have to allow their thinkers and strategists in these areas to influence their decision-making. Professionals genuinely want to support, but their expertise has to be taken seriously.

When politicians mix politics, development and business, politics (power) takes precedence over business and the way development is done. In this context citizens are too often viewed as voting blocs to enable that power, as against being viewed as a resource to be developed to contribute towards their individual growth or that of their communities and country. Citizens are the human resource of a country and its development and businesses will be as successful as the quality of its human resource (of course along with other factors).

Even if our politicians do not wake up, our citizens need to wake up and realize that we are bringing about our own demise in many ways. Many of our citizens must desire to be more than part of an electorate, and to equip and enable themselves to contribute to the growth of the economy so that Guyana can really be competitive.

The time has come for us to seriously disentangle our politics from the way we do development and particularly our business. The business sector is a part of an internal system that will be more and more influenced by pressures and trends of the wider external system where the rules for politics and development and business are becoming more and more different, very different.

Yours faithfully,

Audreyanna Thomas

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