The World Bank and Guyana’s Government officially signed an agreement on Friday for a US$44 million Human Capital Development Project to improve access as well as learning conditions in secondary education. It is also intended to improve access to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) aligned with identified labour market needs.
Witnessing the signing and receiving the project for implementation was Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, while signing on behalf of the World Bank was World Bank Resident Representative to Guyana, Diletta Doretti. The signing occurred at the Ministry of Finance in the presence of technical teams from both the Ministries of Finance and Education.
Following the signing exercise, Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh was keen to note that there is no investment that is more important at this juncture of Guyana’s history than those which will be made in building the capacities of its people.
Dr. Singh said, “We are signing this US$44 million project on Human Capital Development as a significant part of a much broader and comprehensive policy agenda relating to investment in the people of Guyana. There is a lot of understandable excitement and anticipation about the rapid transformation that our country is going through—the economic and structural transformation. There is a lot of excitement about what’s happening in the oil and gas sector, what’s happening in the support services sector, what’s happening in the non-oil economy.”
He added, “The reality is that a very different workforce is going to be needed in the near future to meet the needs of this new economy.”
Dr. Singh alluded that with the explosion of growth that will occur in oil and other traditional sectors, citizens need to be equipped with the skill sets to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.
Dr. Singh reasoned that there is a very explicit link between local content requirements in the oil and gas sector and the need to invest in ensuring the Guyanese people can take up the job opportunities that are going to be created. On this premise, he said this project is an important investment that fits into that broader agenda of investment in human capital.
World Bank Representative for Guyana and Suriname, Ms. Diletta Doretti, in her remarks, noted that Guyana is investing heavily in its citizens, with education and vocational training playing a key role as the country is at a key juncture of its growth. She added that “This project complements other education initiatives that the World Bank is supporting, as the government is working to ensure that more people can acquire the needed skills to benefit from the ongoing economic transformation.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Singh thanked Ms. Doretti and her team for their support as well as for taking special interest in the project. He also expressed gratitude to the technical teams from both the Finance and Education Ministries for their hard work at developing and designing the project.