JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — The finance ministers of Guyana and Suriname, Winston Jordan and Gilmore Hoefdraad, will lead their respective delegations to the 42nd Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) meeting, which begins Sunday, May 14 to 18 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The alternative governor of Suriname to the Islamic Bank, Dr Anwar Lall Mohamed, will also be part of the Surinamese delegation.
Currently, Guyana has filed six projects for financing at the IsDB, and other projects are in the pipeline; however, Guyana is concerned about the “slow pace” of the bank’s review and approval of its project proposals and will use its presence in Jeddah to push forward these projects.
According to Mohamed, Paramaribo is robustly working to advance and commence pending projects with the bank, including, among others, the healthcare strengthening project; detailed design of the new academic hospital, two education projects and the work program for 2017-2020.
Suriname has a longer history with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the IsDB, whereas Guyana was the second country in the Americas to join the multilateral organizations.
Guyana and Suriname share many similarities and have huge development potential, Mohamed said.
In many areas of development, Guyana is ahead of Suriname and in other areas, Suriname is ahead of Guyana. Both countries are cooperating in “reverse linkage” or technology transfer on rice with Malaysia and “reverse linkage” with Indonesia on livestock, Mohamed noted.
“By and large our two neighbouring member-countries have an excellent cooperative spirit that we share with each other in development of our countries. We are two member countries of the OIC that are strengthening south-south cooperation,” he added.
With the future development in the oil sector, Guyana will become one of the important players in the oil industry. Suriname also has the potential to find vast quantities of oil off its coast. However, it is yet tap a major reserve.
Intensive preparations are under way for the annual meeting of the Islamic Bank group under the theme ‘Youth Economic Empowerment’.
The agenda of the meeting of governors includes a youth summit, aimed at shaping the future of youth and enhancing youth engagement in socio-economic development. Participants include senior officials and major youth influencers, and youth groups of different specializations from member countries, according to an Islamic Bank press release.
“Inclusive human development is a key element of our ten-year strategic framework. The 42nd annual meeting under the theme ‘Youth Economic Empowerment’, comes as a major occasion to achieve this by sharing experiences and best practices on education initiatives, and strengthening partnership with the private sector on youth empowerment,” said Dr Abdulhakim Elwaer, IsDB Group spokesperson.
“The annual meeting will offer a broad platform for decision makers from all our member countries to discuss the challenges and opportunities in education and skills development, and recommend strategies to provide youths with the relevant skills and competencies to meet the demands of the 21st century labour market,” Elwaer added.
The meeting will give a chance to youth from member countries to take part in the workshops and different events in which high-level experts from private and public sectors, academia and the civil society will participate.
In recent years, the IsdB has offered assistance in creating a medical education and research institute in Jakarta, Indonesia; supported education initiatives in Senegal and Somalia; provided electronic education facilities for two million children in Syria; and helped build better schools in Togo and Tajikistan.
Originally published on www.caribbeannewsnow.com