I was planning to write this week about the recent parliamentary debates over the role of the Bank of Guyana in the financial system and foreign exchange market. However, I will discuss the more recent appointment by President David Granger of the new head of the fledgling agency, the Department of Energy (DoE). There is heightened interest in the DoE, given the massive crude oil discoveries in Guyana’s Atlantic waters. President Granger selected Dr Mark Bynoe to head the DoE. There have been mixed reviews of the appointment. However, I feel there is much merit in the appointment, but also a few caveats.
I would like to make it clear I have never met Dr Bynoe, but I have heard of him and came across a few of his academic papers over the years while doing my own research. We exchanged a few emails several years ago. I am sympathetic towards his appointment, not because he is an economist, but mainly because of his broad training. In previous writings, I mentioned the need for leaders to have a broad training and perspective because proper decision making requires synthesizing a wide amount of information and data, both qualitative and quantitative.
I also like the idea that his bachelor’s degree from the University of Guyana, awarded in 1991, is a double major in economics and geography. Interestingly, the 1991 graduation implies he is around 50 years old, thus presenting an interesting break from the age trend of Granger’s previous employment choices. However, Dr Bynoe appears to have a long-running relationship with the president, given his numerous publications on several important topics relating to geography, in the Guyana Review going back to 1996. The Guyana Review was managed for many years by Mr Granger before he was President. Dr Bynoe is well-published, however, in regional and international journals…..