The UWI salutes CDB on the occasion of its golden anniversary

Fifty years ago, in 1970, as the fledging nations of the Caribbean sought to shape a post-colonial destiny for themselves, the Caribbean Development Bank was established with its key objectives to “contribute to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and to promote economic cooperation and integration among them…” As it delivered on this mandate, the Caribbean Development Bank has enjoyed a tradition of distinguished leaders. In the early years, under the leadership of Caribbean giants Sir Arthur Lewis and William Demas, the institution laid the foundation to encourage member countries to engage in individual and collective strategies to evolve from traditional modes of production into new areas of economic activity. They nurtured the region through times of austerity and economic recovery programmes while expanding the reach and scope of the bank itself. With the dawn of the new millennium, the impact of contemporary globalisation was felt in the region resulting in a resurgence of regionalism, and the Caribbean Development Bank led by Sir Neville Nichols then Compton Bourne, adjusted its modus operandi to better respond to the changing needs of its borrowing member countries. This demonstration of attentiveness to the needs of the region and an appreciation of and openness to change has continued under the fifth President, my friend and colleague, Warren Smith.

It was my honour and pleasure in 2018, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that formalised the longstanding partnership between The University of the West Indies and the Caribbean Development Bank. Together we are stronger and it was important to emphasise our collective commitment and dedication to advancing the well-being of our Caribbean people. Our shared priorities include promoting youth development and community inclusion through sport, improving implementation capacity, developing joint training and educational programmes, and supporting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in areas such as climate adaptation and mitigation, gender equality, and education and training.

The University of the West Indies salutes our partner the Caribbean Development Bank on the occasion of its golden anniversary! To leadership past and present, their dedicated team of technical specialists and staff, your colleagues at The UWI thank you on behalf of a grateful region and wish you the very best as you continue to deliver on your mandate.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles
The University of the West Indies