Afro-Guyanese must get into business; don’t depend on handouts- Opposition Leader

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2023, 7:49 by Denis Chabrol

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton on Saturday advised Afro-Guyanese to get involved in business and urged communities to support them so that they can continue to thrive.

He stressed the critical importance of creating a business class in each village in which villagers buy and sell from each other to generate wealth within.

“The African Guyanese needs to focus on business. We need to make all our villages sustainable where people in the village should be able to find everything they want or most things they want in the village,” said Mr Norton who is also the leader of the People’s National Congress Reform and Chairman of A Partnership for National Unity.

Guyana’s medium and large-scale business community appears to be dominated by non-Afro Guyanese who are part of the organised private sector through business organisations and their umbrella Private Sector Commission.

In issuing the call at an Emancipation 2023 Concert at Dartmouth, a predominantly Afro-Guyanese village in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), he discouraged Afro-Guyanese not to become hooked on handouts. “We are operating at a time when there is the tendency for people to give handouts. Now, handouts cannot solve our problems,” he said.

The incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic -led administration has been doling out a number of cash grants to Guyanese which Mr Norton is on record as encouraging Guyanese to accept as it is their monies from the national coffers.

Mr Norton, instead, said a special system was needed to establish businesses and counter the big problem of poverty. “What will solve our problems are structured programmes to put our people into business. It is proper levels of employment so people can earn and mind their families,” he said.

He also called on villages, parents and others in the community to ensure that their children get “a good education” as an avenue towards emancipation. “I believe that education is one of the ways to emancipation,” he said.

He restated that the PNCR-APNU’s anti-poverty strategy would include a rent-to-own housing programme, a minimum livable income, and hot meals for students.