By Melanius Alphonse
I don’t know who is fooling whom. However, whenever there is a change of government, hundreds of opportunist show up, to explore the possibility of what is in it for them.
Saint Lucia's interest is never at the heart of what drives them to the fore. They all operate unilaterally and are neither dedicated nor sincere about the holistic development of the country.
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant. He is an advocate for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality; the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) critic on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
How about the interest of Saint Lucia for once, and how about pursuing the right steps, for example, the establishment of an Economic Development Council (EDC), with the responsibility of formulating development plans for Saint Lucia.
The EDC should include planners, architects, engineers, business and marketing minded persons, with not only the skills and expertise to draw up a plan, but the genuine desire to see it through its implementation stages. We need thinkers who are able to come up with a comprehensive plan to transform this island of ours, in order to build a magnet to growth and development that will eventually benefit every single Saint Lucian.
Indeed, it is all well and good to have flashback and dreams that conveniently reciprocate in five year cycles and promises of greatness, but Saint Lucia has gone through these for too long, only to have its hopes dashed during a tidal wave of political ineptitude, or whenever a tropical storm comes by, and that’s an annual expectation.
Keep in mind that one cannot successfully develop a seaport, airport or any serious development for that matter before preparing and developing its surroundings, caring for its numerous variables such as housing, entertainment, recreation, road network, transportation system to name a few; and likewise, the development must fit the ecological esthetic of the environment.
Also, in terms of marketing our island as a Mecca for foreign investments, it is of utmost importance that we prepare the kind of national portfolio that is capable of attracting high quality investment that has the ability to speed up our national development goals, and in turn offer good paying jobs to our local workforce.
Unfortunately, what’s unfolding within Saint Lucia’s infrastructural development, for example, the city of Castries and the towns of Gros-Islet, Vieux-Fort and Soufriere, etc, are decades of lost opportunity for proper infrastructural advancement.
The inability of our policymakers to present an effective plan of action, in order to correct and improve the physical layout of these communities, have also contributed significantly to their decay.
But instead of aspiring to develop modern communities that are enthused with the characteristics to rival a fast and changing global society, it seems as though our policy makers have settled for a stagnant infrastructure that is not welcoming to new investments, and does not have the potential to spur economic action throughout Saint Lucia.
If we are to succeed as a people, our only choice is to embrace an alternative path that seeks to capture and harmonize our diverse views and uniqueness as a nation. To succeed, we must find a way to unleash creativity and innovation, the missing links that will produce the kind of economic dynamism that is so badly needed in Saint Lucia.
Further, a more sensible direction is a formula that supports economic, scientific and environmental concepts, towards a contemporary development module for Saint Lucia with no room for sloppiness, piecemeal and hoax development.
Saint Lucia needs a whole lot of investments opportunities on its shores, but first we must seriously address our crumbling infrastructure, which is vital to creating a country we all envision.