Guyana: Georgetown

Georgetown is the capital of Guyana, located in Region 4, which is also known as the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is the country's largest urban centre. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed 'Garden City of the Caribbean.'

Georgetown serves primarily as a retail and administrative centre. It also serves as a financial services centre. The city recorded a population of 200,500 in the 2016 census.

It was renamed Georgetown on 29 April 1812 in honour of King George III. On 5 May 1812 an ordinance was passed to the effect that the town formerly called Stabroek, with districts extending from La Penitence to the bridges in Kingston and entering upon the road to the military camps, shall be called Georgetown.

The ordinance provided that the various districts of Georgetown shall be known by their own names. The supervision of Georgetown was to be done by a committee chosen by the Governor and Court of Policy. Estimates of expenditure were to be prepared.

By 1806 the owner of Vlissingen asked to be exempted from the responsibility of maintaining the road which is now called Camp Street, but the Court refused the request. In 1810 the maintenance of the roads in the area called Georgetown cost 11,000 guilders per annum.

The governing body of Georgetown was once a Board of Police. The Board of Police was chosen by the governor and the Court of Policy. It came into existence as the result of disputes among various organisations which controlled the districts.

The Board met monthly but what was discussed is not on the records between 1825 and 1837. Newspapers in the colony were prohibited by law from reporting public matters.

The post of Commissary of Police was not regarded as important. People elected to the Board invariably declined to attend meetings and never gave reasons for their refusal.

Georgetown is Guyana's largest urban centre, containing a large portion of its commerce. It is an important city for Guyana and the Caribbean. Within the metro area there is the CARICOM headquarters, the Administrative Arm of the Caribbean Regional Integration Organisation. Georgetown also is home to a seaport. Guyana's international airport, Cheddi Jagan International Airport/Timehri, an hour south of Georgetown is a destination for Caribbean Airlines (the airline formerly known as BWIA or ""bwee""), LIAT, META, and Travel Span GT.

Closer to the city is the newly expanded Ogle Airport, with a terminal facility geared to handle regional, international and inter-Caricom flights, connecting CARICOM states with the CARICOM Secretariat. The city has many highway projects under construction although the four-lane East Coast Highway was completed in 2005. Georgetown accounts for a large portion of Guyana's GDP.

To the south of this region is where the neo-Gothic City Hall (1889) is to be found, as well as the Victoria Law Courts (1887), the Parliament Building (1829–1834), the large Stabroek Market (1792) containing the prominent cast-iron clock tower that dominates the city sky line, the Roman Catholic Brickdam Cathedral, City Engineer House, the Magistrate's Court, St. Andrew's Kirk (1818) and Independence Arch.

The northern area of the city near the Atlantic coast contains Splashmins Fun Park, Fort William Frederick, a park and the Umana Yana, a conical thatched building built by Wai-Wai Amerindians using traditional techniques. It was built for the 1972 Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference. The Georgetown Lighhouse is a famous landmark.

The City is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by the Georgetown Seawall.

Georgetown is the seat of the University of Guyana and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat which are both located at Turkeyen, on the city's outskirts.


Power is supplied by the state-owned and controlled Guyana Power and Light.
Water and solid waste disposal is handled by state-owned Guyana Water Incorporated.
Telephone and high-speed Internet access are supplied by U.S.-owned Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company.
Cellular services are also provided by Digicel and U.S.-owned Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company.
Satellite television services are offered by Sky Digital Networks (Guyana) Inc.
Satellite television services are offered by DirecTV Caribbean.
Wireless Internet and Communication services are provided by Java Technologies and Globespan Technology.

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