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Bahamas PM Says Role of University Key in Scripting National Development
By Betty Vedrine, BIS
Jun 23, 2015 - 5:10:41 PM

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Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie addresses the opening ceremony celebrating the launch of preliminary stages of the National Development Plan at the Harry C. Moore Library at The College of The Bahamas, June 18.

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas is gearing towards establishing a National Development Plan.  The objective of the plan would be to facilitate national growth and would entail central planning and monitoring on a national level, and implementation on a micro or local level.

Centres of focus would be development of the economic infrastructure, education, social welfare, science, and innovation.

An official opening ceremony celebrating the launch of the plan’s preliminary stages was held at the Harry C. Moore Library Auditorium on the campus of The College of the Bahamas on Thursday, June 18.

Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Perry G. Christie addressed the opening, stating that in addition to the key role that the public service would play in the plan, The College of The Bahamas would be instrumental in providing the necessary research and training to support the plan.

“The government will not only require a relevant public service but also needs a university that would participate in public policy,” he said. “The role of the university is key in assisting the government in scripting the development of the country.”

A National Development programme two-day workshop was held for public officers June 18-19 at the Harry C. Moore Library under the theme, ‘Transforming Government: United in Service.’  The two-day event was spearheaded by the Ministry of Investments and funded by the International Development Bank (IDB).

Workshop panelists discussed: Governing for Results; How to Build a Service-Focused and Accountable Partnership Between the Government and the Public Service; the Role of The College of The Bahamas in Training with a Focus on the Public Service; Government of the Future: Efficient, Open and Focused on Serving Citizens; and Management for Results in Government.

Panelists included Former Deputy Minister, Service Canada, Maryantonett Flumian; Country Representative of the IDB, Astrid Wynter; Vice-chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts in Public Administration, Rowena Bethel; Financial Secretary, John Rolle; The College of the Bahamas Council Member, Rubie Nottage; COB Lecturer, Dr. Olivia Saunders; IDB Representative, Robert Pantzer; Institute On Governance (Canada) Representative, Karl Salgo; and Chamber of Commerce Representatives, Peter Daniels and Gowan Bowe.

A committee, headed by Felix Bethel and Dr. Nicola Virgil-Rolle, which also includes stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, was established to provide the diagnostics for the plan.

To date, several islands including Exuma, Eleuthera and Abaco have already participated in a study.

Dr. Virgil-Rolle said the plan is in its preliminary stage in which there is much discussion: it is expected the required studies for the 25-year design will be completed by the end of the year.  The next steps will include analyses of the various islands, sectors, ministries, etc.  From there, it is expected that the committee will forward its findings to the government for action.

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