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Nov 9, 2016

Sustaining Leadership with University of the West Indies

A two-day international conference to discuss sustainability in leadership started today at the UWI Open Campus. The conference hosted by Belize’s UWI Open Campus and Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados brought experts together to discuss how the region can develop sustainably. Presentations will see discussions on climate change resiliency through sustainable entrepreneurial growth, as well as how to build leadership in a number of ways. News Five was at today’s opening ceremony:


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The UWI Open Campus’ Belize Country Conference “Leadership for Sustainability” kicked off today in Belize City. The two-day event, hosted in collaboration with the Cave Hill School of Business, will see several local and international expert panelists and presenters share their expertise, strategies and solutions on topics around regional sustainable development.


Ann Wallace

Dr. Ann Wallace, Cave Hill School of Business, UWI

“Sustainability means many things to many people. It even means different things to different people. What we do know, I believe, is that it must apply to the development of our human resources, our health and wellness practices, our macro and micro economic policies, our productivity and our production elements, as well as how we simultaneously use and preserve our environment.   What we must be mindful of, is that in trying to foster sustainability, we do not dismiss modernity and diversity. That we do not ignore that change is a valuable commodity to be used to our benefit and that creativity and innovation must permeate our thinking to the point of being a way of life.”


Luz Longsworth

Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro-Vice Chancellor & Principal, UWI Open Campus

“It is about doing the right thing. Leadership, as they say, everything rises and falls on leadership. Similarly, sustainability is more, especially now in the context of the seventeen sustainable development goals. It is more than environment, it is more than about climate change. It is about our lives. It is about our survival. It is about what we are going to leave as patrimony. It is what we leave for our children and grandchildren. It is our imperative to sit and speak about these things.”


Local politicians say that this kind of discourse is very much needed and should be enhanced by planning and institutional changes, as well as proper human resource management, that would make Belize moresustainably competitive on a development front.


Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“It is my fundamental belief that most, if not all, of our developmental challenges stem from issues of capacity, strategic visioning, planning, resource mobilization, proper implementation, and leveraging the all-important power of human capital. These are all questions of leadership or these contain a leadership dimension. So, much can be garnered of sitting together and focusing on the leadership question, examining how we create systems and structures that engender a culture of empowerment among our people, so that they feel engaged and equipped to be transformers and changers of their own realities.”


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“The culture of Belize to be one that needs planning; that needs systems. I will tell you, maybe I am the fittest person to say it, but there is a serious issue of us following systems and following plans; putting in place mechanisms for sustainability and in fact putting in systems in place to nurture and to develop the kind of leadership that this country will need in the future. That is something that is very much needed.”


And that type of leadership will assist Belize in several areas, from poverty alleviation to economic growth. Professor Webber underscores that there is a lot that Belize can do to address some of the national issues.


Dale Webber

Professor Dale Webber, Pro-Vice Chancellor Graduate Studies, UWI Mona

“For Belize, the percentage of population below the poverty line is 41% which is one of the highest in the Caribbean. The unemployment rate twenty three percent; youth unemployment rate I couldn’t find any data on that. The homelessness is point two percent and then it goes on with homicides etc,, But it is clear that at one end of the spectrum Belize is doing very well; that is prisoners, homicides, gender inequality seem to be good. But on the side of the side of poverty and unemployment, it seems to be bad. So, we need a way to employ more persons.  Agriculture and tourism both need to have a sustainable slant taken to them. Because food and food security is one of the primary issues when you tie back to poverty alleviation. Food security is gonna an important part of determining whether sustainability can work for your country. Achieving more with less is gonna have to be the way forward. So, we need to get more industry aligned with more agriculture. It sounds to me like we need to talk more about some of the alternative energies. We need renewable energies to be at least twenty five percent of the energy component. Why? Apart from making you more self-sufficient and less fragile to the global economic shocks, it will also give you more money back in your pockets.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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