Education, ICT will drive Region’s development – Grenada Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Grenada, the Hon. Dickon Mitchell, is emphasising education and ICT and intends to champion those causes to ensure the next generation is equipped to drive the development of the Region.
Prime Minister Mitchell attended and addressed the opening ceremony of his first CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Suriname, 3-5 July, a few days after emerging victorious in national elections.
He takes his place in the Conference of Heads of Government as the Lead Head with responsibility for Science and Technology.
In an exclusive interview with CARICOM Today on the sidelines of the Meeting, the 43-year-old Prime Minister said the use of technology and how the youthful population of the Region is educated are important pivots for the Region. An education policy that drives ICTs, he said, is a major factor in the Region’s march towards development, and insists that a “knowledge-based society” will help to solve some of the challenges of the integration movement.
“Our human resource, without question, is our biggest asset and we have to invest in that human resource… Our citizens deserve to be citizens of the world, but to do so, we have to educate them and make them competitive,” he said, particularly in the areas where the Region has an advantage.
“We have to invest in the digital economy… that really has to be our focus,” he said.
A single regulatory body for telecoms in the Region and the elimination of roaming charges are two of the areas Prime Minister Mitchell wants to see acceleration. A study on the establishment of a single ICT regulator has been commissioned and steps, including the signing of the Declaration of St. George’s in February this year, have been taken towards the elimination of roaming rates.
“We have to take the deliberate policy position that says ICT, digital technology is the fundamental infrastructure to the development of our countries. In the same way we need roads, sports, airports, it’s the same way we need the ICT infrastructure to be at the level to allow development to take place,” he said.
Prime Minister Mitchell described his first Heads of Government Meeting as a “gratifying experience” and said he is ready to rollup his sleeves to move the CARICOM agenda forward.
An attorney-at-law, Prime Minister Mitchell won elections in Grenada on 23 June 2022. He was motivated to get into politics after deep introspection of life in Grenada, and the desire to actively contribute to its transformation.
He describes himself as a “Caribbean man” who loves music, sports and culture.