Guyana 1999Guyana

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Guyana - Introduction 1999
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Background: Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966 and became a republic in 1970. In 1989 Guyana launched an Economic Recovery Program which marked a dramatic reversal from a state-controlled socialist economy towards a more open free market system. Results through the first decade have proven encouraging.

Guyana - Geography 1999
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Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela

Geographic coordinates: 5 00 N, 59 00 W

Map referenceSouth America

Total: 214,970 km²
Land: 196,850 km²
Water: 18,120 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Idaho

Land boundaries
Total: 2,462 km
Border countries: (3) Brazil 1,119 km; , Suriname 600 km; , Venezuela 743 km

Coastline: 459 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to mid-August, mid-November to mid-January)

Terrain: mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m

Natural resources: bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 2%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 6%
Forests and woodland: 84%
Other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,300 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: flash floods are a constant threat during rainy seasons


Guyana - People 1999
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Population: 705,156 (July 1999 est.)
Growth rate: -0.32% (1999 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Guyanese

Ethnic groups: East Indian 49%, black 32%, mixed 12%, Amerindian 6%, white and Chinese 1%

Languages: English, Amerindian dialects

Religions: Christian 57%, Hindu 33%, Muslim 9%, other 1%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 30% (male 109,156; female 105,017)
15-64 years: 65% (male 230,624; female 227,677)
65 years and over: 5% (male 14,684; female 17,998) (1999 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: -0.32% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 18.23 births/1000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 9.04 deaths/1000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: -12.43 migrant(s)/1000 population (1999 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 48.64 deaths/1000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 61.82 years
Male: 59.15 years
Female: 64.61 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.09 children born/woman (1999 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Total population: 98.1%
Male: 98.6%
Female: 97.5% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Guyana - Government 1999
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Country name
Conventional long form: Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Conventional short form: Guyana
Former: British Guiana

Government type: republic

Capital: Georgetown

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

Dependent areas

Independence: 26 May 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Republic Day, 23 February (1970)

Constitution: 6 October 1980

Legal system: based on English common law with certain admixtures of Roman-Dutch law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Janet JAGAN (since NA December 1997)
Head of government: Prime Minister Samuel HINDS (since NA December 1997)
Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, responsible to the legislature
Elections: president elected by the majority party in the National Assembly after legislative elections, which must be held within five years; legislative elections last held 15 December 1997 (next to be held NA 2000; this date was part of a negotiated settlement between the two main political parties following a dispute over the December elections); prime minister appointed by the president

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (65 seats, 53 popularly elected; members serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held on 15 December 1997 (next to be held by March 2000; this date was negotiated following a dispute over the December elections)
Election results: percent of vote by party_PPP 54%, PNC 41%, AFG 1%, TUF 1%; seats by party_PPP 36, PNC 25, AFG 2, TUF 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Judicature

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OIC (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Ali Odeen ISHMAEL
In the us chancery: 2,490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 265-6,900
In the us consulates general: New York
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador James F. MACK
From the us embassy: 99-100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 10,507, Georgetown
From the us telephone: [592] (2) 54,900 through 54,909, 57,960 through 57,969
From the us FAX: [592] (2) 59,497

Flag descriptionflag of Guyana: green, with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between the red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between the yellow and the green

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Guyana - Economy 1999
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Economy overview: In 1997, Guyana, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, posted its sixth straight year of economic growth of 5% or better, with the advance led by gold and bauxite mining and by sugar growing. Favorable growth factors have included expansion in the key agricultural and mining sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiative, a more realistic exchange rate, a moderate inflation rate, and the continued support of international organizations. However, a severe drought and political turmoil following the 1997 elections contributed to a negative growth rate for 1998. Serious underlying economic problems will continue. Electricity has been in short supply and constitutes a major barrier to future gains in national output. The government must persist in efforts to manage its sizable external debt and extend its privatization program.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: -1.8% (1998 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 37%
Industry: 22%
Services: 41% (1997 est.)

Agriculture products: sugar, rice, wheat, vegetable oils; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; forest and fishery potential not exploited

Industries: bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, fishing (shrimp), textiles, gold mining

Industrial production growth rate: 7.1% (1997 est.)

Labor force: 245,492 (1992)
By occupation agriculture huntingandforestry: 30.2%
By occupation commerce: 16%
By occupation manufacturing: 11% (1992)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 12% (1992 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $253.7 million
Expenditures: $304.1 million, including capital expenditures of $108.8 million (1997 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $593.4 million (1997 est.)
Commodities: sugar, gold, bauxite/alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses
Partners: Canada 25.9%, US 20.4%, UK 22.7%, Netherlands Antilles 8.4%, Germany 4.3% (1996)

Imports: $641.6 million (1997 est.)
Commodities: manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
Partners: US 27.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 17.7%, Netherlands Antilles 12.1%, UK 10.7%, Japan 4.2% (1996)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.5 billion (1997)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Guyanese dollars (G$) per US$1_163.7 (December 1998), 150.5 (1998), 142.4 (1997), 140.4 (1996), 142.0 (1995), 138.3 (1994)

Guyana - Energy 1999
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 325 million kWh (1996)
By source fossil fuel: 98.46%
By source hydro: 1.54%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1996)

Electricity consumption: 339 million kWh (1996)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity imports: 14 million kWh (1996)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Guyana - Communication 1999
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 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)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Guyana - Military 1999
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $7 million (1994)
Percent of gdp: 1.7% (1994)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Guyana - Transportation 1999
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 48 (1998 est.)
With paved runways total: 4
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 1 (1998 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 44
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 7
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 35 (1998 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 4
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 1 (1998 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 44
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 7
Under 914 m: 35 (1998 est.)



Total: 88 km (all dedicated to ore transport)
Standard gauge: 40 km 1.435-m gauge
Narrow gauge: 48 km 0.914-m gauge


Waterways: 6,000 km total of navigable waterways; Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo Rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km, respectively

Merchant marine: total:2 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,340 GRT/4,530 DWT (1998 est.)

Ports and terminals

Guyana - Transnational issues 1999
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Disputes international: all of the area west of the Essequibo River claimed by Venezuela; Suriname claims area between New (Upper Courantyne) and Courantyne/Kutari [Koetari] Rivers (all headwaters of the Courantyne)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for narcotics from South America_primarily Venezuela_to Europe and the US; producer of cannabis

Qatar Airways

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