EDITORIAL: The launch of a unique ‘partnership’
Tue, June 19, 2012 - 12:00 AM
THE PARTNERSHIP roles in regional integration in which the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) are two vital players, is once again being demonstrated at a two-day conference in Jamaica that involves leading international and Caribbean financial institutions and donor agencies.
The event will conclude this evening with the formal launch of a unique Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) which has as its central objective the identification of policies and initiatives to induce growth and promote employment.
Uniqueness of the CGF resides in the composition of its regional and international partners. Involved, from the outset, in the conceptualization of the Forum that is to be collectively pursued over a 15-month period, with the CDB and UWI are the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
For the CDB, the Forum’s inauguration is taking place as it valiantly moves to correct a slight downgrading from the Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s investment rating agencies, with a drop from a long held and cherished triple-A status to that of AA+ (S&Ps) and Aa1 (Moody’s). It plans on overcoming by year end this temporary “risk management” setback – with which it has already expressed reservations with the two rating agencies..
So far as the UWI is concerned, recognized as the major source of human capital at the tertiary education level in the CARICOM region, the launch of the CGF coincides with arrangements for the formal opening of the institution’s new regional headquarters in Jamaica.
In preparation for its participation in the CGF’s inauguration, the UWI decision-makers felt constrained to consider how it, and the communities it serves, can collaborate with governments, private sector, multilateral and bilateral funding agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) to be better aligned to “drive sustainable economic growth” and more broad based social and economic development in this region.
The launch of the CGF at this time of global economic crisis could well prove a valuable stimulus for a region afflicted by staggering social and economic problems with manifestations of a criminal rampage, spreading corruption and youth unemployment, in addition to narco-trafficking and gun-running.
The people of the Caribbean will anxiously await the results of the CGF’s labour to come forward with enlightened proposals to enable the envisaged sustainable economic growth to also boost job creation.
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