Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan, on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 signed a Technical Assistance Grant for the infrastructural enhancement of the University of Guyana’s library. The CDB had previously assisted the institution with a Technical Assistance to examine its governance and other structures.
Other signatories to the agreement were President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Warren Smith, and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG), Dr. Ivelaw Griffith.
The US$149,985.00 grant was approved by the Board of Directors of the CDB at its Annual meeting held in March this year. It will fund a comprehensive assessment of, and prepare final designs and cost estimates for the construction of a modern, gender-responsive, socially-inclusive and environmentally resilient facility. This grant will also help to address the adequacy and suitability of the current infrastructure. The new library will be situated on a plot of land west of the current library. The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and UG will contribute approximately US$26,000 towards the full realization of the project.
Over the years, UG has had difficulty accessing funds to maintain the present library, its other buildings or to construct newer buildings to cope with its ballooning student population. Despite this though, UG has made incremental changes to the library including the removal and disposal of asbestos from certain areas of the library in 2009; the construction of a fire escape in 2010; the renovation of the roof of the new wing of the library and grilling of windows in and general reading room in 2012; the rewiring of the library in 2015 and the physical upgrade of the learning resource centre in 2017. However, the library still suffers from infrastructural challenges and weaknesses in staff capacity.
The infrastructural enhancement project which will begin immediately will be implemented by UG through the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning and International Engagement. A Project Steering Committee (PSC) will have responsibility for the coordination and overall guidance of the project.
The partnership between Guyana and the CDB most recently resulted in an agreement by the Bank to blend its resources with that of the United Kingdom/Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF) to fund the waterfront renewal in Georgetown; upgrade the first phase of the much anticipated Linden to Lethem Highway; and construct a bridge across the Essequibo River, at Kurupukari.
It has also committed an estimated US$6.145 M to the 9th Cycle of the Basic Needs Trust Fund, which will be expended on projects and activities that contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty in poor and rural communities, improve access to critically-needed services; and enhance the quality of life in the remote and interior areas of Guyana.
The CDB is currently hosting its 48th Board of Governor’s meeting in Grenada. In attendance are Minister Jordan, Dr. Griffith and other senior functionaries of the Ministry of Finance.