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Introduction Guyana
Originally a Dutch colony in 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and importation of indentured servants from India to work sugar plantations. This ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from UK in 1966, but until early 1990s it previously ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN previously elected president, in what is considered countries first free and fair election since independence. Upon his death five years later, he previously succeeded by his wife Janet, who resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, previously reelected in 2001.
Geography Guyana
Northern South America, bordering North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Geographic coordinates:
5 00 N, 59 00 W
Map references:
South America
total: 214,970 sq km
water: 18,120 sq km
land: 196,850 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Idaho
Land boundaries:
total: 2,462 km
border countries: Brazil 1,119 km, Suriname 600 km, Venezuela 743 km
459 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 NM or to outer edge of continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to mid-August, mid-November to mid-January)
mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m
Natural resources:
bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Land use:
arable land: 2.44%
permanent crops: 0.08%
other: 97.48% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
1,500 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
flash floods are a constant threat during rainy seasons
Environment - current issues:
water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of selected agreements
Geography - note:
third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; substantial portions of its western and eastern territories are claimed by Venezuela and Suriname respectively
People Guyana
Total Population:
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 27% (male 96,775; female 93,077)
15-64 years: 67.9% (male 240,305; female 236,378)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 15,755; female 19,810) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 25.7 years
male: 25.2 years
female: 26.3 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
0.44% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
17.87 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
9.27 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
-4.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
Population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 37.55 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 33.26 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 41.64 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 63.09 years
male: 60.51 years
female: 65.79 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.07 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
2.7% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
18,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,300 (2001 est.)
noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Guyanese
Ethnic groups:
East Indian 50%, black 36%, Amerindian 7%, white, Chinese, and mixed 7%
Christian 50%, Hindu 35%, Muslim 10%, other 5%
English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Population: 98.8%
male: 99.1%
female: 98.5% (2003 est.)
Government Guyana
Country name:
conventional long form: Co-operative Republic of Guyana
conventional short form: Guyana
former: British Guiana
Government type:
republic within Commonwealth
Administrative divisions:
10 regions; Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo
26 May 1966 (from UK)
National holiday:
Republic Day, 23 February (1970)
6 October 1980
Legal system:
based on English common law with certain admixtures of Roman-Dutch law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Bharrat JAGDEO (since 11 August 1999); note - assumed presidency after resignation of President JAGAN
head of government: Prime Minister Samuel HINDS (since NA December 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by president, responsible to legislature
elections: president elected by majority party in National Assembly following legislative elections, which must be held at least every five years; elections last held 19 March 2001 (next to be held by March 2006); prime minister appointed by president
election results: President Bharrat JAGDEO reelected; percent of legislative vote - NA%
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (68 seats, 65 elected by popular vote, 1 elected Speaker of National Assembly, and 2 nonvoting members appointed by president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 19 March 2001 (next to be held NA March 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PPP/C 34, PNC 27, GAP and WPA 2, ROAR 1, TUF 1
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Judicature; Judicial Court of Appeal; High Court
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Guyana or AFG (includes Guyana Labor Party or GLP and Working People's Alliance or WPA) [Rupert ROOPNARAINE]; Guyana Action Party or GAP [Paul HARDY]; Guyana Labor Party or GLP [leader NA]; People's National Congress or PNC/R [Robert Herman Orlando CORBIN]; People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Bharrat JAGDEO]; Rise, Organize, and Rebuild or ROAR [Ravi DEV]; United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR]; Working People's Alliance or WPA [Rupert ROOPNARAINE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Civil Liberties Action Committee or CLAC; Guyana Council of Indian Organizations or GCIO; Trades Union Congress or TUC
note: GCIO and CLAC are limited and active but not well organized
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Ali Odeen ISHMAEL
chancery: 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: [1] (202) 232-1297
telephone: [1] (202) 265-6900
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald D. GODARD
embassy: 100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown
telephone: [592] 225-4900 through 4909
FAX: [592] 225-8497
Flag description:
green, with a red isosceles triangle (based on hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between yellow and green
Economy Guyana
Economy - overview:
Guyanese economy has exhibited moderate economic growth in 2001-02, based on expansion in agricultural and mining sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiatives, a more realistic exchange rate, fairly low inflation, and continued support of international organizations. Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure. government is juggling a sizable external debt against urgent need for expanded public investment. bauxite mining sector should benefit in near term by restructuring and partial privatization.
buying power parity - $2.628 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.1% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $3,800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 35%
industry: 21%
services: 44% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.7% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
418,000 (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
9.1% (understated) (2000)
revenues: $227 million
expenditures: $235.2 million, includes capital expenditures of $93.4 million (2000)
bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Industrial production growth rate:
7.1% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
852 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 99.4%
hydro: 0.6%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
792.4 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
11,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
sugar, rice, wheat, vegetable oils; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish (shrimp)
$500 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
sugar, gold, bauxite/alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber
Exports - partners:
Canada 21.1%, US 17.9%, Netherlands Antilles 12.9%, UK 10.4%, Jamaica 5.3%, Portugal 4.2% (2002)
$575 million c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
Imports - partners:
US 23.7%, Netherlands Antilles 20.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 15.2%, Italy 6.3%, UK 5.1%, Cuba 4.2% (2002)
Debt - external:
$1.2 billion (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$84 million (1995), Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC) $253 million (1997)
Guyanese dollar (GYD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Guyanese dollars per US dollar - NA (2002), 187.32 (2001), 182.43 (2000), 178 (1999), 150.52 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Guyana
Telephones - main lines in use:
70,000 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
6,100 (2000)
Telephone system:
general assessment: fair system for long-distance calling
domestic: microwave radio relay network for trunk lines
international: tropospheric scatter to Trinidad; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 3, shortwave 1 (1998)
420,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
3 (one public station; two private stations which relay US satellite services) (1997)
46,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)
Internet users:
95,000 (2002)
Transportation Guyana
total: 187 km
standard gauge: 139 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 48 km 0.914-m gauge
note: all dedicated to ore transport (2001 est.)
total: 7,970 km
paved: 590 km
unpaved: 7,380 km (1999 est.)
5,900 km (total length of navigable waterways)
note: Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km, respectively
Ports and harbors:
Bartica, Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Parika
Merchant marine:
total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 2,929 GRT/4,507 DWT
ships by type: cargo 2 (2002 est.)
51 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
under 914 m: 5 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 43
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 34 (2002)
Military Guyana
Military branches:
Guyana Defense Force (including Ground Forces, Coast Guard, and Air Corps), Guyana Police Force, Guyana People's Militia, Guyana National Service
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 207,890 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 156,174 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues Guyana
Disputes - international:
all of area west of Essequibo (river) claimed by Venezuela; Suriname claims area between New (Upper Courantyne) and Courantyne/Kutari [Koetari] rivers (all headwaters of Courantyne); territorial sea boundary with Suriname is in dispute
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for narcotics from South America - primarily Venezuela - to Europe and US; producer of cannabis