CDB-UWI sign historic agreement

Sir Hilary Beckles

The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of the West Indies (UWI) focusing on promoting institutional strengthening and evidence-based decision making for economic and social policy issues relevant to the Caribbean region.

CDB president Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, hailed the agreement signed over the last weekend as a vital step, which will allow for deeper collaboration and cooperation on critical issues facing the region.

CDB president Dr. Wm. Warren Smith (Left) and UWI Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles after signing MOU

“With the signing of this MoU, we are cementing almost 50 years of collaboration and cooperation, broadening the strategic focus of our collaboration, and creating new pathways for deepening our relationship.

“CDB is energised by the opportunities it presents for knowledge-sharing, research and innovation, and is pleased to partner with The UWI in this enterprise. We look forward to strengthening our decades-long partnership and to taking our collaboration to even higher levels for the benefit of our Region,” he said.

UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles described the CDB as a valued partner in advancing the development of the region, which he said is the primary mandate of the University.

“It is undeniable that this region is currently faced with fundamental issues of inequality, economic growth, technological advancements, democracy and social justice. At this moment the Caribbean region demands sustainable, regional solutions, birthed out of partnerships such as this one.

“In the conceptualisation and implementation of its current strategic plan, deemed The Triple A Strategy, The UWI’s mandate focuses on Revitalising Caribbean Development. The MoU signed today re-emphasises our commitment and dedication to advancing the well-being of our Caribbean people,” Sir Hilary said.

The MoU covers shared priorities such as promoting youth development and community inclusion through sport, improving implementation capacity and developing joint training and educational programmes.

CDB and The UWI have ongoing partnerships that support the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, including projects in areas such as climate adaptation and mitigation, gender equality, and education and training.

In 2013, the Bank approved a USD13 million project to support the expansion and rehabilitation of The UWI’s Open Campus locations in St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It also invested in the development of UWItv and in 2018, approved funding to enhance The UWI’s new Faculty of Sport.

The CDB said that the MoU is also significant as The UWI celebrates its milestone 70th anniversary. “Given its position as a global university rooted in the Caribbean with established centres in North America, Asia, and Africa, The UWI is intent on fostering Caribbean-focused partnerships like this one with the CDB as it seeks to maintain its leadership role in supporting the development of competitive Caribbean economies,” the CDB added.

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