BBC Anchor Zeinab Badawi is keenly looking forward to sitting down with Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Monday for the BBC’s Global Questions programme.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY Sunday afternoon, Badawi said the recording of the two programmes will take place at George Washington House.
The Prime Minister will appear at 2 p.m. and Kirk Humphrey, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy and Ashley Lashley, founder of the HEY! Campaign will appear at 7 p.m.
Badawi, a first-time visitor to the island, said her role will be just to be a mediator between the people of Barbados and the Prime Minister. However, she indicated that she is keen to question Mottley about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Barbados.
“We know that [COVID-19] decimated the tourism industry and that it’s fallen down by about 90 per cent, and for a country that relies 40 per cent of its GDP and 40 per cent of its jobs on the travel and tourism sector, that’s a heavy blow. And so I’d like to know what kind of recovery plan she has in place. I’d also want to know about if there’s a way to diversify the economy away from tourists, and this is something that’s been discussed not only in Barbados but right across the Caribbean, because so many countries here depend on tourism.”
Also high on Badawi’s list of questions for PM Mottley is the high cost of living in the country.
“ I’ve also been very interested by the fact that, you know, when I go to a supermarket here. Food prices are really high. I’m thinking goodness. How can people afford to buy food here? And of course, you do have a very high food import bill in Barbados, so I would want to ask the Prime Minister why not grow more, produce more of what you consume.”
In addition to those, the awarding-winning television presenter will look to focus on climate change and the impact it has been having on Barbados and other Caribbean countries.
She is encouraging the public to participate in the discussion tomorrow. “Please do submit it to our email, which is globalquestions.bbc.co.uk and you can also express an interest in becoming a member of the audience, so the questions we can actually take from the person if they are there but others we may be able to incorporate them.” (KB)