• 14 Aug, 2022

The Government should not facilitate ethnic diversity in the security forces in Guyana

The Government should not facilitate ethnic diversity in the security forces in Guyana

The Government should not facilitate ethnic diversity in the security forces in Guyana

If we get a balance in the security forces in Guyana, should this lead to a balance in all sectors of the society? This apparent conclusion is non-sequitor. The government can ensure that public sectors, as far as practicable, reflect the diversity of the society.

The government has no control over individual enterprises and private sector businesses, other than providing an enabling environment. These private initiatives are open to all Guyanese who should also be willing to take the risks.

The most government could do in respect of private businesses, is to ask (not to mandate) private businesses to

(1) consider recruiting diverse workers;

(2) giving incentives for diversity hiring;

(3) making loans and grants available to ethnic groups that want to engage in private enterprise.

However, in no society could any government mandate that private enterprise hire workers based on ethnicity. Essentially private sector hires workers whom they believe will contribute to their bottom line (profits). This is the reality of business. And when there are many family businesses, this further complicates the issue.

No one stops any one or any group from engaging in private enterprise. The Opposition PNC had started to facilitate this private sector engagement since the 1970s with the establishment of Coops and attendant Coop Bank, Agriculture Development Bank, KSI, etc. These have all failed. In 2016, Afro-Guyanese launched the “Black Business Roundtable” (BBRT) to promote Afro businesses. They didn’t find it necessary to join the PSC (Public Sector Commission). Has the BBRT faded?

To suggest that ethnic diversity in hiring should apply to all sectors of the economy, including private sector, is not possible nor practicable. There is ethnic diversity in the award of house lot and housing allocations, in scholarship awards, and “Because-we-Care” grants, etc. Ethnic diversity in workforce could happen in the public sector, provided the requisite qualifications for specified positions are not compromised.

If the GPF (police) acts professionally, ethnic insecurity would diminish and we should pause on how we could make the force more balanced, if this is desirable.

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