ROWLEY’S VICTORY: DEFINING MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – by Sandrine Rattan
For the past five (5) years, the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago had been a regional and international subject of corruption and other types of wrong-doing, all of which attributed to the doom and gloom which befell this country during that period. Trinidad and Tobago was once a haven for meaningful and fruitful investment opportunities, which on most occasions, produced a plethora of benefits and trade and investment advantages for both CARICOM and International communities.
The wings of external stakeholders, particularly investors, may have been clipped in May 2010, as our shores have been unable to attract them since then. To this end, any attempts to influence institutional strengthening and capacity building may have been shelved.
A New Dawn emerged on September 7th, 2015!
A positive wind of change revered in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday 7th September, 2015, when the electorate changed their political guards with the People’s National Movement (PNM) emerging victorious in the General Elections. This victory for the PNM, is testimony that the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago were willing to entrust their confidence in Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley as their new leader to not only manage the affairs of the country, but to also restore the regional and international confidence once enjoyed by T&T.
There is a sense of immediate readiness to govern as can be gleaned from earlier statements made by PM Rowley while the People’s National Movement was in Opposition “as is the practice whilst in Opposition, we have spent the last five (5) years developing the necessary policies and programmes to re-build our country and our economy, restore confidence, equity, and social justice, and enhance and improve every area of national life.” He added “the end result of this exhaustive exercise, is a wide-ranging and broad-based suite of detailed policy initiatives, programmes and measures that will lift us out of the chaos that has been created by the past regime.”
PM Rowley, the seventh Prime Minister to serve Trinidad and Tobago, is a qualified Geologist who graduated from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, with a BSc. in Geology (First Class Honours), an MSc. in Volcanic Stratigraphy, and a PhD in Geochemistry.
Doing More with Less:
Compared to the past regime which comprised of approximately 30 Government Ministers, the Rowley-led cabinet constitutes a smaller, yet enviable team of 24 professionals possessing the skill sets required to manage the affairs of Trinidad and Tobago at this time. The visionary and astute PM Rowley, intends to merge and strategically align current functions into the relevant Ministries, thereby providing for greater efficiency and accountability of operations. The Ministers and their respective portfolios are:
Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries
Ministry of Communications
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Energy & Energy Affairs
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Community Development, Culture and The Arts
Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Housing & Urban Development
Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development
Ministry of Rural Development and Local Development
Ministry of National Security
Ministry of Planning & Sustainable Development
Ministry of Public Administration
Ministry of Public Utilities
Ministry of Sport
Ministry of Social Development & Family Services
Ministry of Trade and Industry
Ministry of Works and Transport
Ministry of Tourism
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister
Minister in the Office of the Attorney-General
Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries
Trinidad and Tobago is now poised to effectively serve its regional and international counterparts with dignity and integrity that would strengthen their bond as ONE PEOPLE!