OECS FORUM SERIES COMES TO GRENADA
Castries -- The sixth and final in the OECS Public Education Forum Series will be held in Grenada on Friday March 17th 2017 at the Grenadian by Rex Resorts from 1pm-3pm.
The Public Education Forum Series, dubbed Vini Kozé – Kweyol for 'Come Chat' – is aimed at educating and informing the people of the OECS on the social, economic and political benefits of Integration. It seeks to ensure citizen engagement and active participation in the regional integration process.
The Grenada Forum will be held under the theme: Economic Growth in the OECS. Discussions will focus on the state of the economies of the OECS; impediments to economic growth; retooling of the workforce; the role of public and private sector partnership in fuelling growth in small economies like the OECS; foreign direct investment; effective utilization of technology and innovation as growth strategies.
The Forum will feature a diverse panel comprising representatives of Government, International Organisations, Private Sector, Non-Governmental Organisations, and Civil Society. Panelists will articulate their perspectives on the topic and respond to questions from the moderator as well as members of the 'live' audience.
The Forum Series kicked-off in the BVI in mid-January. The BVI Forum evoked discussion on successes in Education in the OECS, and created greater awareness of deficiencies. It also generated a range of fresh ideas, strategies and possible solutions that can be applied in creating a better education system across Member States; while the second Forum on Youth Empowerment and Development was held in Anguilla in late January. The Anguilla Forum discussed youth unemployment, youth crime and violence, the juvenile justice system, as well as development opportunities for young persons, especially in the areas of education, sports, and the arts. Like Martinique, the BVI and Anguilla are also Associate Member States of the OECS.
The third Forum held in Dominica on February 10, focused on Climate Change, its impact on small island developing states, as well as adaptation and mitigation measures being implemented by OECS Member States to cope with the effects of Climate Change. Lessons learnt from Dominica's experience with Tropical Storm Erica in 2015 were a major talking point, with the region being warned to brace for more intense and more frequent weather systems, especially hurricanes and storms.
The fourth Forum was held in Martinique on February 24. The topic was OECS Regional Integration. That Forum saw spirited discussion on the merits, challenges and imperatives of closer cooperation between the territorial authority of Martinique and the English-speaking islands of the Eastern Caribbean. Martinique became an Associate Member State of the OECS on February 4th 2015.
Saint Lucia hosted the fifth Forum on Agriculture on March 10. That Forum explored the state of agriculture in the OECS as it relates to crop production, pest and disease control, diversification into non-traditional crops, agro processing, agri-business development, domestic production, food security and the growing food import bill as a region.
The Forum Series is part of the public education component of the Economic Integration and Trade Programme of the OECS region, funded by the 10th European Development Fund. It is being produced by ElShaFord Productions on behalf of the OECS Commission.
The series will be broadcast across the OECS and the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK, USA and Canada.