A Barbadian born male who lives in Trinidad and Tobago is the 2018 Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship winner.
Just after 3 p.m. at Government House, Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, announced that 20-year-old economist Zubin Deyal came out on top of the ten candidates interviewed for the scholarship.
The young economist who works with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said he feels blessed to have been awarded the prestigious scholarship.
“It is an amazing privilege to be able to represent the Rhodes Association and the Caribbean as a whole. It is an opportunity not only for me, but an opportunity to contribute to our own development in the region. I am blessed and grateful for this opportunity,” Deyal told members of the local media, shortly after he was announced as the winner.
Deyal, who was born to a Guyanese mother and Trinidadian father, will be studying a Masters in Economics for Development, and a Masters in Financial Economics, at an international university of his choice.
The overall aim of the young man who has lived in a number of Caribbean countries is to help to develop the economies of the Caribbean so that the region can sustain itself and not have to rely on international aid and multi-lateral arrangements.
“So, my regional perspective is one where I realize that everybody in the region, even though we are from different countries, [are] all very similar, and our cultures are very similar in itself. I appreciate that the uniqueness of the Caribbean culture is perhaps our greatest strength,” he said.
He added that in the future he hopes to play a major role in developing the capital markets of the Caribbean, including working on the stock markets and increasing those investments so there could be well functioning economies that encourage growth within the region.
“So we don’t have the situation like what is going on in Barbados now, with the measures that are necessary for the economy, but we have sustained and steady growth,” he said.
Peter Goldson, the Commonwealth Caribbean Secretary to the Rhodes Trust, who is in charge of the selection process in Barbados and Jamaica, said three candidates from Trinidad, one from Bahamas, one from Jamaica, and two from Barbados were interviewed for the scholarship this year.
Governor General Dame Sandra was the Chairman of the selection committee.
Goldson said the rigorous interviewing process started at 9 a.m. and did not finish until afternoon.
“We had interviews that lasted anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes where the committee asked the candidate about everything under the sun – their academic profile, their leadership qualities, and their interest in helping the poor. A Rhodes scholar is someone who should be fighting the world’s fight, someone who is going to make a difference in the world.
“After speaking to these amazingly brilliant and inspiring students, we made the selection of Zubin Deyal from Trinidad and Tobago, who is the youngest candidate, but we think he will make an outstanding contribution to the Caribbean,” Goldson said. (AH)