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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Guyana

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Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. This ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was reelected in 2001 and again in 2006. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

The guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in 2001-07, based on expansion in the agricultural and mining sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiatives, a more realistic exchange rate, fairly low inflation, and the continued support of international organizations. economic recovery since the 2005 flood-related contraction has been buoyed by increases in remittances and foreign direct investment. chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure. the government is juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. in march 2007, the inter-american development bank, guyana's principal donor, canceled guyana's nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to nearly 48% of gdp. the bauxite mining sector should benefit in the near term from restructuring and partial privatization, and the state-owned sugar industry will conduct efficiency increasing modernizations. export earnings from agriculture and mining have fallen sharply, while the import bill has risen, driven by higher energy prices. guyana's entrance into the caricom single market and economy (csme) in january 2006 will broaden the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector.

Environmental Issues

Water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation

Government Type



770,794 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to aids; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (july 2008 est.)


Northern south america, bordering the north atlantic ocean, between suriname and venezuela


Total: 214,970 sq km land: 196,850 sq km water: 18,120 sq km

Slightly smaller than idaho

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: cooperative republic of guyana conventional short form: guyana former: british guiana


Name: georgetown geographic coordinates: 6 48 n, 58 10 w time difference: utc-4 (1 hour ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

International Disputes

All of the area west of the essequibo river is claimed by venezuela preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; guyana has expressed its intention to join barbados in asserting claims before unclos that trinidad and tobago's maritime boundary with venezuela extends into their waters; suriname claims a triangle of land between the new and kutari/koetari rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the courantyne; guyana seeks arbitration under provisions of the un convention on the law of the sea (unclos) to resolve the long-standing dispute with suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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