Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has emphasised the importance of training and capacity building for Caribbean nationals to secure the future skills bank and growth prospects for the region.
Ms. Mottley made this suggestion as she participated in a panel discussion entitled: Capacity Building Partnerships for a More Resilient Caribbean, a forum hosted by the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) for its 20th Anniversary celebrations at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, yesterday.
She told the in-person audience and those online that the time was approaching “in the next decade or two when we will start to question the size of small island states for all kinds of reasons”.
Ms. Mottley reasoned: “But in the interim, we have to be able to build the capacity and what we are seeing more and more in this region is a combination of factors that explain why our growth has been so anaemic and why we have not performed as well as we could have, and one of those is lack of capacity… and lack of capacity is real.”
She also pointed to problems with developing the expertise of technocrats in the various ministries across the region, who were being “pulled in different directions” to fulfil a multiplicity of roles in various areas, and this hampered the development of their expertise in one area.
“The second problem we have is that they don’t have the ability therefore, to do over and over and repeat and develop the level of expertise that comes from repetition and singular focus on issues. The third thing we have is… that it also means that our engagement for continuous training and continuous exchanges to be innovative and on the cutting edge is compromised, because they’re not literally able to have the time to focus on those other issues…,” Ms. Mottley underlined.
The Prime Minister credited CARTAC for bringing additional capacity to regional countries, particularly in financial, insurance and customs-related matters.
Other panellists included Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, and Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Timothy Antoine.