Guyana Economy : Ai & Oil
2020 was a milestone year for the planet. The spread of the novel Coronavirus and subsequent stay-at-home reaction recreated the economy that we know today.
Companies such as Zoom have come out of the woodwork to dominate our lives while Bitcoin and Tesla climbed to new highs.
A small and relatively unknown country in South America is also reaching new heights and has experienced a transformational watershed moment in 2020.
Guyana, sitting just east of Venezuela and claiming some of the world’s most beautiful coastline, saw a staggering 30.9% growth rate in their nation’s GDP.
Guyana is blessed with a superfluous amount of natural resources--from gold and diamonds to part of the Amazon rainforest.
Estimates show that Guyana has an extremely abundant amount of petroleum, especially considering its size.
Guyana has a population of less than 900,000 in a landmass equivalent to about 35% of France, where nearly 70 million people reside.
This comes out to “3,900 barrels of reserves per person vs 1,900 in the OPEC countries” according to Natalia Davies Hidalgo, a freelance Latin American analyst.
Despite its amazing natural resources and an impressive growth rate, a third of Guyana’s population still lived below the poverty line as of 2017. But estimates have that number falling dramatically over the next decade.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s economy won’t be propelled simply by petroleum, but by an investment in Ai as well. As Ai lends itself very naturally towards a number of segments in the energy sector, some energy companies that have moved into Guyana are already at the forefront of the Ai market.
Guyana has already seen a vast array of Ai companies starting to operate out of the country while other larger multinational companies employ Ai strategies on the ground.
These include the international cargo and freight company DHL, which has been using Ai in its Guyana operations for years.
Version 75 is another example.
The conversational Ai technology development firm has an office at the Guyana Nexus Hub, a not-for-profit technology and innovation center that hosts conferences and seeks to further technological development within Guyana.
The government has been instrumental in the growth of technology in Guyana.
The Minister of Education has introduced a rollout of STEM classrooms all over the country where young students might begin programming classes and older ones more advanced Ai work.
Guyana’s First Lady is one of the main public figures spearheading the nation’s drive towards tech. First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger said:
“It is estimated 90 per cent of the work women do will become obsolete because they’ll either have it online or some gadget will be doing it. Robots will be taking over. Already you have drones in agriculture, artificial intelligence in medicine, in manufacturing, in everything. So, if we’re not forward thinking, especially when you think of where Guyana is now, and where we want it to be, I think we owe it to our young people to train them so that they know they can be very comfortable in the world of ICT and this is something I want to encourage,”
This type of thinking is driving a double-digit increase in government spending on technology education initiatives every year.
Luckily the tax dollars to pay for all of this education are flowing in.
Consumer spending within Guyana has been growing at around 12-15% every year for the last 5 years even before the 2020 boom year.