News Releases

Sir Hilary says UWI is aligned to help drive the region out of recession

For Release Upon Receipt - April 29, 2015

St. Augustine

Forum on the Future of the Caribbean

The Forum on the Future of the Caribbean will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.  The next two days of the Forum, May 6-7, will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain. It will present a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform to mobilise the Caribbean to establish a cohesive strategy as well as a practical agenda to solve its own problems. It is intended to provoke and generate disruptive thinking that can lead to innovative, actionable ideas and solutions.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, is the Moderator for Session 4 on May 6th: ‘New Thinking for New Times’.  In commenting on the upcoming Forum, Sir Hilary said:

"After 50 years of concerted effort, with poor to moderate results, Caribbean post-colonial development paradigms have climaxed.

Required now are radically different development ideas to structure new options. This forum is an opportunity for the region to dig in, unearth, and emerge with the energy required to privilege different approaches to economic growth and social empowerment. It will be a moment to mobilize our best strategic minds to create an aggressive resource mobilization in which the Caribbean is conceptualized not only as one of the world’s most globalized economic zones but an integrated survival space for its citizens.

We are faced with three interlocking challenges, all within the remit and purview of The UWI and the network of tertiary level institutions. This is the time for unleashing a culture of research and innovation in order to drive the competitiveness of our existing economic base. Allied to this is the need to directly sponsor software engineering curriculum to facilitate communications technology industries. Such a development will give rise to a new commercial and industrial sector capable of empowering younger generations of entrepreneurs and investors.

Critically, we must align more aspects of our education system with the imperative of wealth creation and redistribution. Driving our economies out of this recession must be a top priority."

Session 4 includes a high level round table featuring The Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; the Honourable Frederick Audley Mitchell Jr, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas; Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Dr. the Honourable Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of St. Lucia; and the Honourable Michiel Godfried Emam, Prime Minster of Aruba.

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