Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today Inc.
This present administration is signing, stamping, and sealing a policy that will be very difficult to reverse, by stating that a minimum of 30 per cent of investment in renewable energy is set aside for locals.
In fact, the statement should read “ No less than 70 per cent of investment in renewable energy is set aside for locals”.
The original statement about “a minimum of 30 per cent” implies that a maximum 70 per cent of investment in renewable energy is set aside for foreign interests.
Any country in the throes of a damaged, defaced and disfigured economy should be using all available resources in order to rise from the still-smoldering ashes.
Barbados has millions of dollars to repay to the International Monetary Fund and should be on a journey seeking every possible means to repay rather than having to entertain foreign interests that are likely to export profits out of the country and away from the clutches of the Treasury.
There are thousands of unemployed Barbadians who are uncertain when will they ever be employed again and should be allowed the opportunity of self-employment in the renewable energy business.
This and any future administration has a duty and responsibility to create an environment in which locals firstly can be gainfully employed in an activity that will be unlike any other commercial activity in the history of the economic life of the country.
The leadership of every nation-state is always presented with opportunities to leave a legacy for succeeding generations.
We had examples of (Sir) Grantley Adams leaving the legacy of Universal Adult Suffrage, Errol Barrow securing independence and presenting subsidized education to every pupil at the secondary level and Tom Adams birthing the idea for the construction of the ABC Highway that opened up significant commercial activity between the southern, central and western parts of the island.
The current leadership of Barbados now has an opportune though enviable moment to seize by incentivizing and facilitating investment thirsty Barbadians to be producers of renewable energy.
At this particular cross-road on our journey, there is no better legacy that can be placed in the hands of this present generation of Barbadians and likely to be passed on to future generations.
Though long queues may exist, there will be no hasty “buy-ins” and “buy-outs”, simply because of the sustainability of the business of renewable energy.
Then, it makes good economic sense for our national planners to have as many Barbadians as possible multi-tasking with their hands on the plow while lifting themselves by their own bootstraps.
While beating home drums must also be part of the multi-tasking, we should not fail to recall the question English polymath Thomas Browne asked and his own response: “But how shall we expect charity towards others when we are uncharitable to ourselves? Charity begins at home, is the voice of the world; yet is every man his greatest enemy, and, as it were his own executioner”.