Where is Guyana located?
• Guyana is located on the northeast coast of
South America, along the Atlantic Ocean. It
shares a 600-kilometer (373-mile) border
with Suriname to the east, a 743-kilometer
(462-mile) border with Venezuela to the
northwest, and a 1,119-kilometer (695-mile)
border with Brazil to the south and
southwest. The capital, Georgetown, is
located on the coast.
Flag, Motto Anthem:
• Dear land of Guyana, of rivers and plains,
MOTTO Made rich by the sunshine, and lush by the rains,
One People, One Nation, One Destiny Set gem-like and fair between mounts and sea-
Your children salute you. dear land of the free.
Green land of Guyana, our heroes of yore,
Both bondsman and free, laid their bones on your shore,
This soil so they hallowed, and from them are we,
All sons of one mother, Guyana the free
Great land of Guyana, diverse though our strains,
We are born of their sacrifice, heirs of their pains,
And ours is the glory their eyes did not see -
One Land of six peoples, united and free.
Dear Land of Guyana, to you will we give
Our homage, our service each day that we live;
God guard you, great Mother, and make us to be
More worthy our heritage - land of the free.
• Cricket is the national sport of
Guyana. Other sports played
in Guyana include
basketball, North American
Football, golf, badminton,
tennis, field hockey, cycling,
Guyana's economy is dominated by the production and processing of primary commodities, of which
sugar, gold and bauxite are the most important. Much of the country is undeveloped, with more than 90% of the
population and almost all of the agriculture concentrated in the narrow coastal plain. The interior is sparsely
settled, and communications are poor. The bulk of the population is engaged in agriculture, either as laborers on
sugar plantations or as peasant cultivators of rice. Although sugar and rice continued to be important export
earners, bauxite and gold share comparable percentages of national exports. The government plays a direct role
in the sugar industry; the nation's leading sugar producing company was nationalized in 1976.
Beginning in the late 1970s, Guyana's economy suffered a severe decline, attributable both to the
increasingly high costs of imported oil and petroleum products (39% of Guyana's merchandise imports in 1983)
and to sagging production and prices of Guyana's exports. In 1982 there were serious shortages of basic
commodities, foreign exchange reserves dwindled, and Guyana was forced to reschedule its debts. In 1985, the
IMF declared Guyana ineligible for further loans because of noncompliance with fund conditions and high arrears.
However, Guyana's economy improved dramatically under the Economic Recovery Program (ERP) launched by
the government in April 1989. The program, which was designed with the assistance of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and
World Bank officials; was supported by Canada, the UK, and the US. It marked a drastic reversal in government policy away from
a predominantly state-controlled, socialist economy towards a more open, free market system. The government reformed its
monetary and fiscal policy establishing a free market in foreign currency, which was designed to stabilize the exchange rate and
put an end to runaway inflation. The exchange rate remained stable at G $125 to the dollar and inflation dropped from a 1989–91
annual average of 60–100% to only 14% in 1992. The growth rate reached 6% in 1991, after 15 years of decline. The government
also eliminated price controls, removed import restrictions, promoted foreign investment, and divested itself of 15 of 41 state-
owned enterprises by 1997.
Real GDP growth of 6.2% registered in 1997 marked the seventh consecutive year of strong recovery, with all of
the key sectors demonstrating significant increases in production. Growth was particularly strong in the major export industries,
including rice and sugar. Inflation had fallen to 4.2%. In July 1998, Guyana entered into a 31/2 year arrangement with the IMF
under a program which combined both the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and the Poverty Reduction and
Growth Facility (PRGF) with a credit line of about $70 million. However, a severe drought and political turmoil due to the 1997
elections combined to produce a contraction of -1.7% in 1998. Real GDP grew a reported 3% in 1999, but as the pace of structural
reform slackened, the currency appreciated, and the country's overall terms of trade weakened, inflation jumped to8.7%, up from
4.7% in 1998. In May 1999 the country received some debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative
mounting initially to $92 million. In 2000, real GDP contracted 1.4% though inflation declined to 5.8%. In early 2001, the IMF
suspended the ESAF/PRGF program with only 46% of the money paid out due to slippages in the government's implementation of
fiscal and structural reforms that sent the budget deficit soaring to 6.3% of GDP in 2000 and 7% of GDP in 2001, respectively,
even after grants. Real GDP growth in 2001 was 1.4%, and inflation declined to 1.5%. In September 2002, Guyana entered into a
new three-year arrangement under the IMF's PRGF supported by a credit line of $73 million. The GDP was estimated to have
grown 1.8% in 2002, with inflation at 4.3%.
• Janet Jagan:
• She was the executive president of
Guyana from December 19, 1997 to
August 11, 1999. She previously
served as Prime Minister of Guyana
from March 17, 1997 to December 19,
What do you or your peers like
the most about Guyana?
• My peers like the
natural water falls of