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Independence celebrations: PM Mottley outlines mission to make Barbados world class by 2030

by Marlon Madden
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Prime Minister Mia Mottley is aiming to make Barbados a world class nation by 2030 by achieving several targets that she is hoping to discuss with the social partnership and civil society in the coming weeks.

In fact, Mottley has outlined five main goals she proposed should be pursued over the next eight years to achieve the ultimate objective of positioning Barbados as a force to be reckoned with.

She said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which started to affect the island in early 2020, the hope was to achieve the goals of the mission by 2027, but that had to be adjusted.

“Like with life there are obstacles, and when we have obstacles we refocus and reset the mission. Now that we are out it is time to ensure that the COVID comatose mindset is put behind us and that we refocus and reset the mission,” she told  hundreds of people gathered at the Kensington Oval on Wednesday to mark the annual Independence Day celebrations and island’s first anniversary of becoming a parliamentary republic state.

“Against this backdrop, I hope to be shortly meeting with the social partnership and with civil society for us to set a series of missions that should unite all Barbadians in the effort of allowing us to become world class by 2030,” declared Mottley.

Declaring that Government did not have the only perspective on what those goals should be, Mottley said her administration was ready to share five with the social partnership and civil society.

She said she hoped they would be discussed along with others from the other stakeholders, within the next two months and work would begin towards achieving them.

“Against the backdrop of a climate crisis and world that is losing biodiversity and [where] … almost a million animals and insects  can become extinct and therefore can threaten our food supply, the first goal must be to green Barbados, and to ensure in greening Barbados, that we protect our food supply,” she said.

“The second goal must be for a healthy and safe Barbados for all . . . The third must be to use the platform of education that we have invested in for centuries but in particular in our modern existence, to create a knowledge and innovation hub,” she announced.

The fourth goal, she said, “must be to leverage our geography that Barbados must be an entrepôt for the west in the southern hemisphere, recognising that geography has always mattered . . . Finally, the fifth must be the economic enfranchisement of our people”.

 As Barbados continues to struggle with keeping the crime and violence situation under control, the Prime Minister also reminded Barbadians of the planned Wise Up initiative to be introduced.

At the end of October while debating the Firearm (Amendment) Act in the House of Assembly, Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney General with responsibility for Crime Prevention Corey Lane first announced the planned initiative.

To date, however, officials have not provided the details of the programme and would only indicate that it would involve keeping proverbs and adages alive among residents.

Mottley told the gathering at the Kensington Oval they should reflect on what they wanted Barbados to look like going forward, as she urged them to avoid violence and to unite and help each other in tough times and to be strong and courageous.

“All Barbadians I hope will join us in a programme to wise up because it is the wisdom of our grandparents and our great grandparents and our great great-grandparents that they passed down to us with the sayings that I keep using.

“There are a whole host of sayings that guide us through the rights of passage and that is why we will continue to protect the wisdom of our people in guiding this nation not only the Charter of Barbados, not only the Constitution of Barbados but the wisdom of our people,” said Mottley.

“In addition I ask you to remember that we don’t need certificates to pass on that wisdom. We need care and commitment to each other. This country may have a statistic that one out of every five is living below the poverty line, and that is unacceptable, but the corollary to that is four out of every five are living above it, and if we use the example that guided us safely through COVID that we must work together – public and private sector, men and women, young and old, across every division, across every grouping and sector – then i know we shall make it safely,” she said. marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb

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