The Prime Minster of The Bahamas, Perry Christie revealed some startling statistics during his opening remarks at the Inter-American Development Bank’s High Level Seminar on National Development at the Superclub Breezes yesterday.
Mr. Christie opened the seminar and touched on a variety of issues ranging from government transparency to the ongoing energy crisis but highlighted poverty as one of the key issues the government’s National Development Plan (Vision 2040) will try to tackle.
“We must address the issue of poverty which robs our society of the potential of the human spirit and blanks our communities.
“This is probably the most critical point in our country, over 43,000 persons or roughly 12.8 per cent of our populations live below the poverty line. I see this as an incentive for governments to be vigorous in correcting.
“We know the effects of poverty from the educational impact to crime and health correlations, poverty is a multi-dimensional issue and this is why I commended the Minister of Education and his team for travelling the world to examine systems of education and the extent of which state has intervened to ensure children have an unfettered approach to education,” Mr. Christie said.
Mr. Christie also added that the solution to the problem will not come from one area in particular but the co-operation of multiple sectors.
“So the fight against poverty will require a multi dimensional solution and co-ordination from multiple ministries inclusive of social welfare, health care, elderly care, environmental health, churches and urban development.
“All the aforementioned areas must work together closely as there is no time for delay we must work now,” Mr. Christie said.
In regards to the National Development Plan, Mr. Christie said it will expose the flaws in the process of governance and highlight difficulties government has to overcome.
“The challenges of government have been ignored because they have not been confronted, the NDP will surface the challenges and expose the flaws in our process of government and magnify the obstacles we must overcome.
“Whether it is those in the political arena or those that work in public service in leadership we are all absolutely accountable for what we do,” Mr. Christie said.
Mr. Christie also issued a 30-day challenge for all public servants to brainstorm and come up with new ideas to revitalize various sectors across the country.
Government Head of the Vision 2040 plan Dr. Nicola Virgil –Rolle said she welcomes the PM’s challenge and expects her colleagues to do the same.
“The prime minister gave a very powerful charge while focusing on a number of issues, the importance as public servants knowing your country, the difficulties that it faces.
“The importance of service innovation and how we deliver our services in the modern world and he ended with the powerful 30-day challenge where he asked all of us in the room to come up with innovations to improve service delivery among public servants, ” Ms Virgil-Rolle said.
The theme of the seminar is “Putting The Bahamas ahead of the wave: New avenues to embrace innovation, transparency and service delivery.
The purpose of the two-day seminar is to highlight the best practices and international standards in the area of transparency, as well as brainstorm ideas with key stakeholders to identify new approaches that will improve the Government’s Vision 2040 plan, operating under the theme of “Putting The Bahamas ahead of the wave: New avenues to embrace innovation, transparency and service delivery.
The sessions end tomorrow at 6:00 p.m.