Guyana, located on the northern coast of South America, is the only English-Speaking country in the hemisphere. Sparsely populated, with 750,000 people in a land mass of 83,000 square miles, the country possesses significant natural resources: arable land, fresh water, vast tracts of rainforests, varied mineral resources and rare earths, and most recently discovered, vast reserves of petroleum. The country's colonial history, however, has defined a trajectory common to most of the post-colonized world: systemic underdevelopment.
Despite its natural resources, the county's development in key sectors of infrastructure, education, agriculture and food, health care, value-adding industrialization, technology, etc. significantly lags behind many of its South American and Caribbean neighbors. One of the several factors contributing to this relates to a paucity of foreign direct investment, leading to a capital-starved underdeveloped economy. As as result, skilled and qualified individuals from Guyana have migrated to the North America and Western Europe in large numbers, creating a brain drain which has also contributed to under-development.
With the advent of significant commercial petroleum discoveries, Guyana's reserves of petroleum are currently estimated to be higher than 6 billion barrels of oil. With exploration increasing at an exponential rate, the country is poised for massive economic growth, but faces a serious challenge with respect ot absorptivity for this growth among the local population and in the non-petroleum sectors.
Simultaneously, successive Governments have underscored an urgency to guide the country's economic growth in a sustainable trajectory; the country has adopted two major guiding policies in the recent past: the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS). In summary, the GSDS articulates the harnessing of capital inflows from the Petroleum Sector to capitalize growth in the sustainable sectors of the economy. Pivotal to this vision is the creation of Highly Qualified Personnel who are trained in the state of the art of the sustainable sectors of the economy and who are vested in the country itself.
CGX Energy Inc. (CGX) is widely regarded as Guyana's pioneering indigenous oil and gas exploration company. It has maintained an enviable reputation in the country through its careful investment in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its highly respected and visible local leadership, who are intimately embedded in the social fabric of the country. Recently CGX partnered with Frontera Energy Corporation (FEC) in a joint commitment to social responsibility, local content and good corporate citizenship. As such, CGX, FEC, the University of Guyana, and Trent University have joined together in this program that is designed to enable the creation of Guyanese Highly Qualified Personnel in the sustainable sectors of the Guyanese economy, who are vested in Guyana's development.