Opportunities for young Guyanese: Athea Allicock reflects on Guyana Upstream

I am Athea Allicock, I am fifteen years old. I attend Queen’s College. I am the only child of my
parents. I grew up in a rural community called Nabaclis with an extended family. I am very family
oriented, I do enjoy spending time with my family. During my free time, I usually play
basketball or steelpan. Currently, I am on the Queen’s College female basketball team. I
have a passion for debating. In addition, I am a very outspoken person who firmly believes that
we should all be able to voice our options respectfully.

Most, if not all, Guyanese crave to live in an economically developed country. No one wants to be unsure of where our next meal is coming from. No one wants to know that he or she is not prepared by society to attain a particular job. Additionally, no one wants to know they would work in an unpleasant, unclean environment. No one wants to know that the roads they must traverse are dangerous and condemned. Moreover, no one wants to feel like a prisoner in their own country.

Everyone wants to wake up knowing where their breakfast and next meal are coming from—knowing that they are preparing to work in a safe and healthy environment. In addition, knowing that the roads their vehicles will be driving on are safe and well-constructed and that when they step out of their homes, they are entering a safe and crime-reduced society.

Yes, all of this is possible to achieve. Diane McLaren states, “Nature has given us all the pieces required to achieve exceptional wellness and health but has left it to us to put these pieces together.” We were given so many pieces on this earth to acquire wealth. In this scenario: the many oil discoveries on Guyana’s offshore. Nevertheless, it is left upon us to put it into good use, on the government to make wise decisions, and lastly on the citizens of Guyana to listen and adhere to rules and regulations from those in authority.

After reading through this article and listening to the video, it made me feel very optimistic about not only my future. But instead, the future for all Guyanese and the next generation to come. According to this article published by Dr. Terrence Blackman, “The Guyana government take is estimated to reach $7.5 billion per year by 2030, and $157 billion, cumulatively, by 2040.” Considering this fact, the first thing many of us may say is, “Oh, that’s a lot of money,” “that money will last long,” and “there is so much that we can do with that amount of money.” And yes, I agree with these statements. But, still sadly enough, due to the repressive nature of our society and the lack of proper management skills of those in power, that estimated $157 billion can quickly turn into $1 billion in a blink of an eye.

All those barrels of oils that are being discovered and still yet undiscovered belong to Guyana. They belong to us, Guyanese, the rightful owners of this land. However, we are not the ones in charge. We are not the people who extract it, and we are not deciding how it is extracted or what ought to be done with the money from the extracted oil. Those tasks lie solely in those in power and the government’s hand. Yes, there is only so much we as Guyanese can say or do regarding the oil industry. Unfortunately, the most we can do is trust that those in authority, those holding the responsibility, will place all Guyanese interests at the forefront of their decision-making. In addition, we must have faith that whatever decision they make will go towards the development and furtherance of our dear Guyana.

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