Guyana achieved its independence on May 26, 1966 when it broke awayfrom Britain. Land and ResourcesGuyana has three different major geographical regions. These consist ofa belt of soil which ranges from five to forty miles, a dense forest area whichmakes up about four-fifths of the country and a region of savanna. The countryalso has many rivers that have some spectacular waterfalls and one river has thehighest single-drop waterfall in the world. These rivers are navigable from thesea to about one-hundred miles inland, after that they are no longer navigabledue to rapids and falls.
Natural ResourcesThe lands of Guyana have many valuable natural resources. Within thelands you can find gold, diamonds, kaolin, manganese and bauxite. If you were totravel a little ways off shore, you could also locate some petroleum. Thesenatural resources are very important in helping out the economy of this poorcountry. The lands have much resource also found in the vegetation and theforests. The plants and trees are documented for their abnormal size and density.
Guyana has an excellent lumber industry, they sell some of the finest greenheartas well as mora. Within the forests are a big variety of wildlife which canrange from deer to anteater and a few types of monkeys. The birds are verydiverse, they consist of for example sugarbirds, cotingas and manakins all whichfeed on Guyana’s vast array of insects. Population , Education and CultureGuyana has an estimated 800,000 people or on an average of 3.
8 peopleper square mile. Georgetown is the capital and it holds a few hundred thousandpeople. Being the capital, it is the main port city and holds the majoreducational institution in Guyana. The University of Guyana is the best highereducation and there are many schools throughout the country. In the past fewyears the country has taken education to much higher level. Guyana was settled by East Indians, many still speak Urdu, Hindu andTamil dialects.
The official language is English. The culture is close to theSuriname and French Guiana than to the rest of South America. All of thesevarious cultures have remained fairly distinct and in today’s society each grouphas its own style of life and culture. EconomyIn 1966, Guyana was in the early stages of developing its resources.
TheBritish drew up an economic plan to continue development with the help ofexperts from the United States as well as Canada. The economy in the late 1980’swas dominated mainly by agriculture and service industries. These industriespulled in an average revenue of approximately 164 million dollars per year andan average expenditure of 284 million dollars per year. The agriculture is about one-fourth of the countries gross domesticproduct.
Sugar and its by-products and rice account for most of the exports. Coconuts, coffee, citrus fruits’ ,corn and other tropical fruits and vegetablesare grown mainly for consumption. Another major crop that is raised on the plushsavanna lands arelivestock such as cattle, hogs, sheep and chicken. Along the coast is where much of the cultivation takes place. Thetremendous strips of alluvial soil are very rich in nutrients.
A big problemthat these coastal lands see are much flooding and irrigation problems such asdrainage. This happens because much of this land is below the high-tide mark ofthe sea and the rivers. Guyanian government is trying to help this problem byreclaiming some land for cultivation. MiningBauxite is one of Guyana’s major elements. They are a very big producerof this as well as gold, manganese and diamonds which I mentioned earlier. Manufacturing and EnergyManufacturing is limited to food products, beverages, constructionmaterials, clothing, soap and cigarettes.
In the late 1980’s they installed somenew technology such as electricity which was generated through thermalfacilities. They also have a great capacity for generating hydroelectricity. TransportationThe country has about 6000 miles of road which are mainly near the coast. They have about 70 miles of railroad tracks in use and their main seaports arein Georgetown and New Amsterdam. The river system are a major part in the routeto the interior.
Guyana has a national airline called Guyana Airways whichservices domestic as well as international flights. GovernmentThe country is governed under a constitution which was adopted in 1980. The head of state as well as the chief executive is a president. He is electedinto a five year term by the National Assembly. The cabinet is appointed by thePresident and ran by the Prime Minister. The legislature is controlled by the unicameral National Assembly whichconsists of 12 members, nonelected.
The other 53 members are elected to a five-year term. The Judiciary is based on English common and statute law. TheSupreme court is divided into branches which are a court of appeal as well as ahigh court. The Local Government is divided into ten different regions and eachis governed by a council. HistoryIn 1499, Spanish explorers charted what is now Guyana.
The British heldpossession in 1814 but did not gain control until 1831. During the British rule,the Native American population was reduced to a minority due to a large influxof African and East Indian peoples. In 1928, Guyana received its firstconstitution under the British administration. In 1961 they received a full internal self government.
Under theleadership of Cheddi Jagan, the PPP gained majority in the legislature. Jaganmade a poor call in 1962 which caused mad riots and a strike. He made a programof complete economic austerity. The British sent in their troops and gainedcontrol to make order once again. The British and Guyanese in 1962-1963 held conferences.
The PPP lost tothe majority and the British introduced the Peoples National Congress to form acoalition government. In 1965, a conference met and a new constitution was formed. In 1966,Guyana was an independent nation. They joined the United Nations and they becamea member of the Caribbean Free Trade Area.
In February 1970, Guyana wasproclaimed a republic under the new president Arthur Chung. In the 1970’s, diplomatic relations were gained with China. By 1976 thecountry aimed for a self sufficiency in agriculture. In 1974, the governmentgained control of all foreign trade.
In anticipation of a new constitution, the National Assembly extendedthe five year limit . A new socialist constitution was in effect by 1980 and thePNC regained control of the assembly under the leadership of Desmond Hoyte. Hecontrolled until 1992 until an international election. Jagan regained controland put his party, the People’s Progressive Party back into power.Category: History