The UWI Five Islands Campus is being directed to establish a regional center for excellence for the study of oceanography and marine science


Cabinet Notes: The Minister responsible for developing the Blue Economy reported to the Cabinet on the future plans which the University of the West Indies (UWI) has agreed to support for use of the vast ocean space, which is the Exclusive Economic Zone of a sovereign Antigua and Barbuda.

In an effort to unlock the potential of the blue economy, the Minister has sought and received the support of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, and the UWI. Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the UWI, has successfully sought the support of these academic bodies in devising plans for the sustainable exploitation of the sovereign ocean resources which currently remain untapped. It is estimated that by 2030, more than 40 million full-time jobs can be created by the use of the ocean resources in a sustainable manner.

The UWI Five Islands Campus is being directed to establish a regional center for excellence for the study of oceanagrophy and marine science. The object is to make Antigua and Barbuda a pioneer in the study and implementation of blue economy research and development in the Caribbean region.

The agreement to develop and sustain such a center has the support of these university groups that will identify Antigua and Barbuda as a unique place for those youthful minds with an interest in ocean studies.

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  1. Leadership matters. And without a vision the people would perish and the country would go nowhere.
    Thank God for Gaston’s vision.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “O my body, make of me always a man who questions!”
      ― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks!

      In this the International Decade for People of African Descent 2015 – 2024, The WB sponsored in conjunction with CXC and the OECS Secretariat a Study on University development in the OECS! That report has never been shared with the People of the OECS because the Consultants did not recommend the Centralization of Higher Education under the UWI umbrella which was the favoured development model by the WB, CXC and the OECS Secretariat! “Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.” ― Frantz Fanon!

      The consultants were unwavering in that the present Higher Education history, structure, processes and culture were too rigidly tied to the old british colonial system and ought to be rooted in a Caribbean Vision, Mission and Values if the people were to build a Caribbean Civilization rather than being British West Indians! To this day many schooled with a “Neglected Education” cannot get rid of that Colonial Mentality! CWI! UWI! Have Mercy Pon Us! Don’t smirk and laugh that off! Who, even as Independent Nations still add WI to their addresses! Why continue the Columbus Mythology! With the development of the Antigua UWI Campus to serve the OECS, that, as the saying goes, is now water under Big Creek Bridge flowing to Five Islands Harbour and the Caribbean Sea! The Afrocentric paradigm is a revolutionary shift in thinking proposed as a constructural adjustment to black disorientation, dislocation, decenteredness, and lack of agency.” – Dr Molefi Asante, Afrocentricity, The Theory of Social Change!

      If You Build It They Will Come says The Minister responsible for developing the Blue Economy! Who Dat! Who Dat! Who dat say dem goh debelup wan Blue eekanamie wid Barbuda! Clearly, the Vision and Mission for the Five Islands Campus have been expanded after one year of teething pains developing an OECS student body! Who’s driving this! Why have not the People of African descent resident on the Rock and The OECS Stakeholders been included in the decision Process! Is the driver the Middle Eastern/Arab Chair, or the Historical Reparatory Justice Vice Chancellor, or the Big Island Professorship and Leadership from those outside the OECS! Do they understand or has the politicos brought clarity to our driving social philosophy, “Each Endeavouring, All Achieving” which embodies the idea that our worth depends on social, cultural and spiritual criteria, (of our obeah WoMen, religious sistren and rastafarian brethren) based on a life that depends on a normative engagement within the community, a substantive appreciation of the common good and a constitutive (not parliamentary) engagement with one another trying to build a rational and ethical community! If the UWI Board, Administration and Professorship from the Big three wish to go that way in developing an elite class of scholars and researchers to serve the Broader Caribbean who will address the development of practical applied education for Antigua and Barbuda and the OECS at the tertiary level!

      Some had suggested the need for Labour Market Analyses before rushing off into the deep blue as “The Minister responsible for developing the Blue Economy”! “No phenomena can be apprehended adequately without locating it first. A phenom must be studied and analyzed in relationship to psychological time and space. It must always be located. This is the only way to investigate the complex interrelationships of science and art, design and execution, creation and maintenance, generation and tradition, and other areas bypassed by theory.” – Asante!

      Some had suggested creating a trades and technology environment where you can build an imaginable future with innovation and incubation to serve developing industry and workforce! Why the push towards an elite University Centre of Excellence! The “Intelligentia” from the UWI Professorship have convinced the Politicos that the Graduates, Scholars and Researchers without having accomplished the initial phases of exploration and invention will build the industry and workforce that are the assets of this social, environmental and financial space! Do you wonder why the People of African descent through out CARICOM do not control the means of Production in many industry sectors!

      Some had suggested a merger of ABHTI and ABIIT into a Polytechnic Institute as the centre of training for the maritime industry in Antigua and Barbuda and the OECS offering programs in navigation, marine engineering, seamanship, fishery, and, maritime safety and security; and, aerospace technology including aircraft maintenance, mechanical engineering, airport operations, and airline and flight operations!

      “It goes without saying that the Afrocentrist cannot function properly as a scientist or humanist if he or
      she does not adequately locate the phenom in time and space. This means that chronology is as important in some situations as location. The two aspects of analysis are central to any proper understanding of society, history, or personality. Inasmuch as phenoms are active, dynamic, and diverse in our society, the Afrocentric method requires the scientists to focus on accurate notations and recording of space and time. In fact, the best way to apprehend location of a text is to determine where the researcher is located in time and space first. Once you know the location and time of the researcher or author it is fairly easy to establish the parameters for the phenom itself.” – Asante!

      ADOMS was the envy of many! Once the second largest ship registry in the Caribbean! Yet neither it nor the Educational system produced mariners for it vast flotilla of vessels even as the numbers continue to dwindle so that it is now sixth in the Caribbean! The Ferry to Montserrat has just returned to SVN! With mega millions of capital investments in infrastructure for five berthing piers, wharves, container piers and logistics, built and proposed six huge yachting marinas, has the education programs kept pace with the labour market demands of a twenty first century technology enabled industry! There are ports which are totally automated and technology enabled! Not one human works the docks! On the Rock, Management has been ceded to other national educated professionals!

      Will LIAT rise like the Phoenix from the death blows landed by Covid and the cut team from the Southern Corner! This mere voice in the wilderness having passed on comments to ABLP operatives for transmittal to Executive politicos is most confident of flying the Friendly Skies over Antigua and Barbuda and the North East Caribbean! When a group of diverse English speaking Caribbean people is not intrinsically held together by all members as is with the UWI Five Islands Campus, the consequences will be negative or sub-optimal! This occurs because each national member works towards different goals based on different value systems!

      Some had suggested, since the Constitution does not require an Army, transform that body into an effective and efficient coast guard, modeled on the Costa Rican Coast Guard! If to appease the old colonial mentality that more muscularity is needed, the Cuban, Canadian or US model can be examined!

      Some had suggested, developing a cadet corps for unemployed and at risk youth! Engage the many social development professionals of African Descent on the Rock to design and implement the strategy, structure, systems, culture, quality improvement, monitoring and evaluation protocols!

      Some had suggested that Good Neighbourliness with Barbuda may encourage and persuade the scientific and technology enabled fishers to refrain from Inshore fishery and take up Deepsea Fishing within Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda’s Vast Economic Zones in the Caribbean and Atlantic to serve the CARICOM and North Atlantic Markets! The framework already exists within the Blue Halo Initiative!

      Antigua and Barbuda cannot and must not be driven by Strategic Imperatives of CARICOM’s Big Three and the Southern Boys and Gals! They have seized the Time and Space for the Educational, Professional, Creative Arts and The Manufacturing Industries! It is of the utmost import that post Covid, the Educational system is used to develop industry, innovation and incubation and job ready graduates! UWI will not be the catalyst for that kind of transformation! With the effects of climate change, hurricanes and pandemics will be our lot! Tourism will not save the day! Need a New Dispensation!

      “The more the people understand, the more watchful they become, and the more they come to realize that finally everything depends on them and their salvation lies in their own cohesion, in the true understanding of their interests, and in knowing who their enemies are. The people come to understand that wealth is not the fruit of labor but the result of organized, protected robbery.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

  2. Kudos! This is a great idea and really helps to diversify Antigua’s UWI Campus. Such a centre could become not onyl a regional, but a global hub of excellence. As ocean studies become more and more pivotal in the effort to mitigate against the effects of climate change, Antigua will be well positioned to sit at the forefront. I will be following this development keenly.

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