GUYANA
   
Also known as: Land of Many Waters (Root:  Guiana (Carib))
 
Motto: One People, One Nation, One Destiny
 
Location: On the northern coast of the South American continent bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north, Brazil to the southwest, Suriname to the east and Venezuela to the northwest. 
History: Guyana was originally inhabited by Amerindians. It was settled by the Dutch in the 16th century and changed hands between the Dutch, British and French from the late 16th to early 19th century, and was finally ceded to Britain in 1814. Independence was achieved in 1966 and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana established in 1970.
 
Elections: Last elections 2006.   Next elections due 2011
Ruling Coalition:  People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C)
Major Political Parties:  People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), People's National Congress/Reform (PNC/R), Guyana Action Party/Working People's Alliance (GAP/WPA), The United Force (TUF), Rise, Organise and Rebuild (ROAR)
 
Economic Summary:  The Economic Recovery Programme introduced heading into the 1990s brought a market turnaround in the country's economy.  Spurred by foreign investment, the major productive sectors responded favourably to the market-oriented policies.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors are important areas of economic activity, with Guyana being a major producer of rice and sugar. 
Forestry has become more significant, and is a potential growth sector.
The mining sector is also important with gold and bauxite production leading the way.
Manufacturing, mainly the processing and refining of agricultural products, continues to be of importance to Guyana.
 
Airport:  Cheddi Jagan International
Status: Cooperative Republic.  Independence - 26 May  1966; Republic - 23 February 1970
Capital: Georgetown 
Head of Government: 


H.E. Donald Ramotar

President
 

Date of Birth:  22 October 1950

Marital Status:  Married

Education
BSc (Economics), University of Guyana

Professional/Political Career:
1966-1975- GIMPEX, Commercial Arm of the People's Progressive Party (PPP)
1975 - Manager, Freedom House, People's Progressive Party (PPP) Headquarters
1983- 1988 - Member of the Editorial Council of the magazine, Problems of Peace and Socialism
1988 -1993 - International Secretary, Guyana Agricultural Workers Union
1993- Executive Secretary, People's Progressive Party
1997 - 2011 - General Secretary, People's Progressive Party
2011- Presidential Advisor to President Bharrat Jagdeo

Area: 216,970 km2 (83,000 miles2)
Population:  751,400 (2004)
Currency: Guyana Dollar
GDP:  EC$2,100 (2004)
GDP Per Capita:  EC$2,795 (2004)
Total Exports:  EC$1,484.6 Mn (2004)
Total Imports: EC$1,707 Mn (2004) 
Intra-Regional Exports: EC$303.6 Mn (2004)
Intra-Regional Imports: EC$499.8 Mn (2004)
Business Hours: Commercial: 08:00-16:00 hrs Monday to Friday; 08:00-12:30 hrs Saturday
Government: 08:00-16:00 hrs Monday to Thursday; 08:00-15:30 hrs Friday
National Holidays: New Year's Day (01 January); Republic Day (23 February), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day (01 May), Phagwah (as decreed), Eid-ul-Azah (as decreed), Youman Nabi (as decreed), CARICOM Day (first Monday in July), Freedom Day (01 August), Diwali (as decreed), Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December)
Holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed the following Monday
Date of CARICOM Membership:  1 August 1973
National Anthem: Dear Land of Guyana
Dear land of Guyana, of rivers and plains
Made rich by the sunshine, and lush by the rains,
Set gem-like and fair between mountains and sea -
Your children salute you, dear land of the free.

Green land of Guyana, our heroes of yore
Both bondsmen and free, laid their bones on your shore;
This soil so they hallowed, and from them are we,
All sons of one mother, Guyana the free.

Great land of Guyana, diverse though our strains,
We are born of their sacrifice, heirs of their pains,
And ours is the glory their eyes did not see -
One land of six peoples, united and free.

Dear land of Guyana, to you will we give
Our homage, our service, each day that we live;
God guard you, great Mother, and make us to be
More worthy our heritage - land of the free.

(Words by A.L. Luker, music by R.C.G. Potter)
Highest National Award: Order of Excellence
Favourite Dish: Guyana Pepperpot; Guyana Cook-up; Curry and roti
Government web page: http://www.op.gov.gy
National symbols:
   
 

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[September 2006]

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