I attended a marvelous thought provoking presentation to IDB staff entitled LAC 2025, led by our president Luis Alberto Moreno. In a modern accessible format, different members of staff guided us through a snapshot of the bank’s vision for Latin America in the next 10 years or so. While Caribbean voices were not totally absent (a citizen security project in CTT was mentioned and a CCB staff member spoke), there really was not much meat in there about the Caribbean.
Yet new exciting things are happening in our sub-region too. How can we shine a bright light on these developments and bring them into focus as ground breaking examples for the wider Latin American and Caribbean region? It means changing the conversation about our region and the work taking place there. Long used to making the case for aid and loans, we now need to find a space to showcase our gifts of home grown Caribbean innovation, creativity and cutting edge thinking. Where could we be by 2025 if we shook off the fetters of debt and size, and allowed our ideas to flow freely?
Efforts to change the energy matrix in Guyana, extract greater economic benefits from Brand Jamaica (think Usain Bolt and Tessanne Chin), create a Caribbean tourism air bridge to Brazil and establish an offshore technology services hub in T&T are just a few of the products of this type of thinking. Some of these ideas will be discussed at the upcoming RIAC forum in T&T this October. Let’s continue to give this work visibility so we can embrace a new vision for 2025!