Cooperative Republic of Guyana
CAPITAL : Georgetown
FLAG : A red triangle at the hoist extending to the flag's midpoint is bordered on two sides by a narrow black stripe; extending from this is a golden arrowhead pointing toward the fly and bordered on two sides by a narrow white stripe. Two green triangles make up the rest of the flag.
ANTHEM : Begins "Dear land of Guyana, of rivers and plains."
MONETARY UNIT : The Guyanese dollar ( G $) of 100 cents is a paper currency tied to the US dollar. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 cents, and notes of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 100 Guyanese dollars. G $1 = US $0.00514 (or US $1 = G $194.5; as of April 2003).
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : Guyana officially converted to the metric system in 1982, but imperial weights and measures are still in general use.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Republic Day, 23 February; Labor Day, 1 May; Caribbean Day, 26 June; Freedom Day, 7 August; Christmas, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable religious holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, Phagwah, 'Id al-'Adha, Yaou-Mun-Nabi, and Dewali.
TIME : 9 AM = noon GMT.
An estimated 50% of the population is of East Indian descent and 36% of African descent. Those of Amerindian ancestry constitute 7%; white, Chinese, and mixed descent make up about 7%.
English is the official language and is used in government, the schools, the press, and commerce. Also spoken are Chinese, Portuguese, Amerindian languages, Creole, Hindi, Urdu, and a patois used mainly by those of African descent.
Guyana's system of local government was restructured after independence. Guyana is divided into 10 regions, each of which is administered by a chairman and council. City and village councils administer the local communities.
The Combined Guyana Defense Force numbered 1,600 full-time officers and troops in 2002. Reserves consisted of the paramilitary force, Guyana Peoples Militia, numbering 1,500. Army personnel numbered 1,400; the navy and air force numbered 100 each. The armed forces also manage a national service corps (1,500) for community development projects. Defense expenditures in 1998 were $8 million or 1% of GDP.
Guyana became a member of the UN on 20 September 1966 and belongs to ACP, C, Caricom, CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO and WTrO.
Livestock in 2001 included 120,000 head of cattle, 130,000 sheep, 79,000 goats, 15,000 hogs, and 11,200,000 chickens. Other important domestic animals are goats, horses, mules, and donkeys. Extensive work is carried on to improve cattle productivity by importing breeding stock and providing artificial insemination and veterinary services.
As of 1995, there were at least eight insurance companies operating in Guyana.
Guyana has no territories or colonies.
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