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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. April 24, 2024: The President of Guyana, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, was among six honorees at the recent American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) fundraising gala, held on April 18th in New York City.

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Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali, second from left, receives the AFUWI Legacy Award from UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, second from right and Guyana born actress CCH Pounder, r.

Ali was presented with the Legacy Award by Guyana-born actress, CCH Pounder of  NCIS New Orleans fame.  In accepting the award, the President announced that a University of the West Indies Medical School will be built in Guyana.

He also reflected on the profound impact of colonization on the region and reiterated the imperative need for reparatory justice and praised the University of the West Indies and Vice Chancellor Sir Hillary Beckles, for its efforts in advancing this cause.

President Ali also emphasized the significance of investing in and leveraging indigenous resources as pivotal for fostering collective development amidst the region’s ongoing healing journey from colonial legacies. Underscoring Guyana’s commitment to regional and global obligations, the President, who is also the current chairman of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, stressed that the nation’s prosperity is intertwined with that of the wider Caribbean.

The 27th annual legacy gala raises funds in the US Diaspora to open doors for Caribbean students from underprivileged backgrounds to pursue the dream of higher education.

The other honorees were:

  • Don Christian, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, who received the Caribbean Luminary Award;
  • Antony Mark Desnoes Hart, the executive chairman of Caribbean Producers Jamaica Ltd., who was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Business Leadership and Community Engagement;
  • Attorney Darren Skinner, the Jamaican born partner and co-general counsel of the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter, who received the Pinnacle Award;
  • Michele Chow-Tai, the managing director of Business Development at Fairview Capital Partners, who was presented in absentia with the Vice Chancelleor’s Achievement Award, and;
  • Rev. Patrick Perrin, who from Jamaica to New York, has dedicated most of his life to guiding his congregation and youth, received the Pelican Award.
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