Trip to Guyana to Discuss Oil-Led Development in the 21st Century

In the week starting March 7 2022, I was in Guyana, South America, to discuss strategies for oil-led development in the 21st century. I had a very engaging exchange with the business community, scholars, students, the media, policymakers and development partners on the opportunities and challenges that newfound oil/gas resources present to Guyana. As you know, the country is one of the world’s “youngest” oil producers experiencing a major oil boom.

I presented a paper entitled, “Beyond Revenue Management: Principles for Oil-Led Development in the 21st Century”.

My key message: Guyana must focus beyond transparent revenue management to proactively focus on economic diversification and structural transformation. Few countries have done this well, unfortunately. The good news, however, is that Guyana can draw lessons from the successes and failures of other oil-rich countries around the world, *but* in doing so it should seek to forge its own path. Our role as “international experts” is not to prescribe what countries like Guyana should/shouldn’t do, but to provide frameworks to empower citizens/decision-makers arrive at solutions that work for their specific context. “Copy and paste” policy prescriptions hardly work anywhere.

I had several enlightening conversations around investment priories, the pros/cons of building domestic refining capacity, sectoral strategies, labor market dynamics, local content and private sector development, the stabilisation vs. savings function of the sovereign wealth fund and to tie all these together, the political coherence and societal consensus on a long-term development strategy using hydrocarbons wealth as a springboard.

Guyana adds to but also challenges, in important ways, our prevailing frameworks for how countries can manage their natural resource wealth. I have learnt so much myself in these past couple of days just by being on the ground. More to come in this space…

Many thanks to my hosts at the Centre for Local Business Development Guyana and DAI Global for facilitating this engagement and of course to the wonderful people of Guyana for such a warm reception.

Here are links to the media coverage of the visit:

This is from the Oil Now Journal

This is from News Room Guyana

6 thoughts on “Trip to Guyana to Discuss Oil-Led Development in the 21st Century

  1. What an excellent presentation? Keep up we are proud of you, may Allah guide you and protect you, amin. I will advise as Muslim you can do better in your dressing though is ok but you can improve it

  2. Apt i will say. For me I think the foundation has to do with the political will of their leaders. if it is there, they can get your suggestions done. Since they are just starting…

  3. Zainab,Aslm Alkm. Good and enlightening read! Well done. Are you in Dubai or still out there? Tried your Dubai number but wouldn’t go through.

    We arrived Dubai yesterday and will be here till 29th or 30th In Shaa Allah. Suraj

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Hi Zainab
    My name is Don Roos from South Africa. I watched your tv interview and were highly enlightened with your knowledge to our continents standing to the world at large. I contact you for a referral to investment for my innovation project.
    I won a R2 million grant with the DTIC for three technologies embedded in a hygiene machine. This machine cleans with foam, rinses and vacuum, providing a complete cleaning cycle, avoiding the mop and cloth drying. The FoamVac saves 80% water, 50% detergent and 40% labor time. I completed the prototype successfully and need to build the product to market with suppliers waiting. But I require R300 000 contribution to comply with the DTIC. Could you be so kind as to assist me?

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