Guyana Country Profile
Dutch and British colonization made an indelible mark on Guyana, leaving behind a now dilapidated colonial capital, a volatile mix of peoples and a curious political geography. The country's natural attractions, however, are impressive, unspoiled and on a scale that dwarfs human endeavor. Guyana has immense falls, vast tropical rainforest and savanna teeming with wildlife. If the government doesn't destroy the environment in a bid to pay off its huge foreign debt, Guyana could be the eco-tourism destination of the future. Right now, it's the place for independent, rugged, Indiana Jones types who don't mind visiting a country that everybody else thinks is in Africa.
The World Bank in its June 23, 2003, country report on Guyana stated that the government of Guyana is "weak and unable to deal with crime and imbedded corruption."
Violent crime is on the rise in Guyana. There is social and political instability due to alleged racial discrimination by the government. The capital city, Georgetown has been a center of sporadic demonstrations and disturbances. Violence against foreigners is not uncommon.
The Following data is updated as of March, 2003, and supersedes any other information published on this site.
Area: 215,000 sq km (83,850 sq mi)
Capital city: Georgetown (pop 350,000)
People: 45% East Indian, 40% Afro-Guyanese, 9% Mixed, 4% Amerindian, 2% Others, including Europeans & Chinese
Official Language: English
Religion: 57% Christian, 33% Hindu, 9% Muslim, 1% Others
Government: Elected by free elections but marred by claims of racial discrimination, marginalization and oppression of African Guyanese.
President: Bharrat Jagdeo
Prime Minister: Samuel Hinds
GDP: US$1.8 billion
GDP per head: US$2500
Major industries: Sugar, bauxite, alumina, gold, rice, timber and shrimp
Major trading partners: UK, USA, Canada, France, the Caribbean and Japan