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UWI’s Conference On The Economy (COTE) 2015 – a necessity of progressive development

For Release Upon Receipt - October 1, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. October 1, 2015Managing Development in Caribbean Economies: The Key Role of Health, Public Policy and Social Security is the theme of this year’s COTE. Not only is the theme consistent with the work of its honouree this year, the distinguished Professor Karl Theodore, but it calls stakeholders to continuously reflect on economic and social policies that drive development and decision-making. COTE 2015 is scheduled for October 8-9, 2015 at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), on The UWI St. Augustine campus.   

COTE is an annual feature-event in the calendar of activities of The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine’s Department of Economics. The conference highlights what the Department sees as the key economic issues facing Trinidad & Tobago in particular, and the wider Caribbean region by extension, in light of the present global environment. This year’s conference honours former Head of the Department, Professor Emeritus Karl Theodore. 

Professor Theodore is also the current Director of the, Centre for Health Economics (HEU) where he has led a multidisciplinary team of professionals in producing a number of technical reports for governments and international agencies. The work of the HEU team has been one of the main contributions to a better understanding of the economic issues linked to Health in the Caribbean, and a better estimation of the cost of responding to health threats. Over the years, Professor Theodore has also been an advisor and/or consultant to a number of governments and/or state agencies across the region. Professor Theodore is also responsible for training a number of young economists to in every country of the region. 

The Keynote presenter for COTE 2015 is Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). She will deliver her address during the Opening Ceremony on October 8. Dr. Etienne was elected Director of PAHO by the Member States of the Organization in September 2012 and began her five-year term in February 2013. During her tenures at WHO and PAHO, Dr Etienne led the efforts to renew primary health care and to strengthen health systems based on primary health care, promoting integration and improved functioning of health systems. She has also spearheaded policy directions for reducing health inequalities and advancing health for all through universal coverage, people-centred care, the integration of health into broader public policies, and inclusive and participatory health leadership. In her native Dominica, Dr Etienne began her career as a medical officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital, where she eventually became the Chief Medical Officer. She has also served in other high-level posts in Dominica, including Coordinator of the National AIDS Program, Disaster Coordinator for the Ministry of Health, Chair of the National Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS, and Director of Primary Health Care Services. 

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About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)