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  • President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Warren Smith says the region can be proud of what it has accomplished since Independence.
  • “Successful economies tend to invest the most in their human resources. They are also most likely to have excellent education systems with very strong feedback loops between academic research institutions, industry and commerce,” he stated.
  • “The reform of the education system in the Caribbean, in support of robust and resilient economic growth, will have to achieve a closer alignment between the needs of the productive sector and the output of the education system. This is not dissimilar to what obtains in the fast growing countries of the world,” he noted.

President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Warren Smith says the region can be proud of what it has accomplished since Independence.

He was speaking in an address at the recently concluded 46th Annual Board of Governors Meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.

Dr. Smith pointed out that prior to the beginning of the 21st century; the majority of nations in the region reached middle income status and ranked relatively high on the United Nations Human Development Index.

“Good progress had been made in relation to the key development indicators, as most Caribbean countries moved towards full universal primary and secondary education,” he said.

“Life expectancy increased; child mortality rates fell; gender disparity in primary and secondary schools narrowed; and poverty, though still high, was on a definite downward trajectory,” he added.

In addition, Dr. Smith urged the countries in the region to invest in their human resource pool, which he said will enable the rapid and diversified development of their economies.

“Successful economies tend to invest the most in their human resources. They are also most likely to have excellent education systems with very strong feedback loops between academic research institutions, industry and commerce,” he stated.

Dr. Smith cited a recent World Bank Report which states that between 60 and 90 per cent of the growth achieved in Japan and other East Asian industrialized countries is explained by human capital rather than financial means or natural resources.

“The reform of the education system in the Caribbean, in support of robust and resilient economic growth, will have to achieve a closer alignment between the needs of the productive sector and the output of the education system. This is not dissimilar to what obtains in the fast growing countries of the world,” he noted.