News Releases

UWI launches Year of Sir Arthur Lewis

For Release Upon Receipt - January 3, 2008

St. Augustine

On Monday 7th January, 2008, The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine will launch its Year of Sir Arthur Lewis. A former UWI Lecturer and Vice Chancellor (1959), Sir William Arthur Lewis was knighted in 1963, and won The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1979.

The first event in the Year of Sir Arthur Lewis celebrations will be a one-day symposium on Wednesday 20th February, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Faculty Lounge. Speakers will include Professor Dennis Pantin, Dr. Patrick Watson, Dr. Sandra Sookram and Dr. Hamid Ghany. The symposium will be followed by a Distinguished Lecture at 7:00 p.m. at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC).

Sir Arthur Lewis, who was born in Castries, St Lucia, on January 23rd, 1915, became Director of the Caribbean Development Bank in 1970. His prize winning work is an economic model that examines the problems facing developing nations. His landmark dual sector model explains why in developing nations wages typically remain low and capital rents high, even as development continues at a pace. In 1991, he died and was buried on the grounds of the St Lucia community college named in his honour.

The University’s celebration of Lewis’ life and works is part of the ongoing UWI Nobel Laureate Celebrations, which began in 2007 with the Year of V.S. Naipaul, and which is scheduled to end in 2009 with the year of Derek Walcott. In April 2007, Trinidad-born Nobel Laureate Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad (V.S.) Naipaul, was a guest of honour at the St. Augustine campus. One of the region’s most celebrated writers, Sir V.S. Naipaul was awarded the Trinity Cross, the country’s highest honour, in 1989, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.

The University also plans to celebrate Derek Walcott in 2009. An alumnus of The University of the West Indies, Derek Alton Walcott has been heralded as the “Homer and Ulysses of our time.” Walcott, who has been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry (1988), the Trinity Cross (1993) and the Premio Grinzane Cavour (2006), received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature "for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment."

For more information on the UWI Nobel Laureate Celebrations, please visit the official Nobel Laureate Celebrations website at For more biographical information on Sir Arthur Lewis, please visit the official Nobel e-Museum: