The National Development Strategy (NDS) sets out priorities for Guyana's economic and social development policies for the next decade. The draft document contains careful technical analysis of problems and future prospects in all sectors of the economy and in areas of social concern.
The draft NDS is the result of over 300 hours of meetings by 23 "technical working groups" consisting of over 200 Guyanese. These efforts were co-ordinated by the Ministry of Finance, but the contributors came from a wide cross-section of organisations including the private sector, government agencies, non-government agencies, and the University of Guyana. The Carter Center assisted the Ministry of Finance with the overall co-ordination of the exercise.
The draft NDS was launched on Monday 6th January, 1997 by the late President His Excellency Dr Cheddi Jagan. Soon after this, the NDS Secretariat was established to manage the public consultation phase and, in the near future, the Secretariat will be organising public consultation workshops in various regions of the country. This web site has been established to allow wider access to the NDS, and to encourage comments on the draft document.
The NDS contains six volumes. Volume 1 presents the overall objectives of the NDS and includes summaries of the technical chapters. Volume 2 deals in-depth with macro-economic policy. It looks at issues such as taxation, reform of the public sector and banking policy. Volume 3 includes forward looking policies for the social sector. It considers important areas such as poverty, the environment, gender and Amerindian issues. Volume 4 contains chapters on the productive sectors. It examines issues such as rice development, forest management, the role of the private sector and tourism. Volume 5 examines the infrastructure sectors and deals with areas such as the energy sector and transport development. Volume 6 contains recommendations for legislative changes and a programme of public investments.
The NDS Secretariat has also developed a series of summary leaflets. The first leaflet summarises the origins of the NDS, its objectives and the way in which people can participate in the consultation process. The other leaflets look at the various sectors covered by the NDS.
The NDS is unique in its scope and depth, and its policies are strong and sure enough to carry forward Guyana's rapid economic expansion and make all its citizens measurably better off.