NASSAU, The Bahamas — Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Perry Christie encouraged young people, at a youth conclave on October 21, 2015, to contribute to the future development of The Bahamas, inclusive of those who pursue education and training outside of its border.
The Prime Minister also noted that The Bahamas is a country of “immense talent”.
“Our young people have incredible talent and the question is how do we go about providing them with opportunities to maximise their talent, even to the point where they have a career in the theatre, a career in singing — but they are able to maximise their talent,” he told young people at the Vision 2040 National Development Plan Summit, held at the Melia Resort, Cable Beach.
Prime Minister Christie said is noteworthy because it leads to the question of how to develop more employment for the young people of The Bahamas.
“In every country in this region, the most significant problem is the problem of unemployment among young people,” he said.
Prime Minister Christie said that problem could lead to the additional concern of the fact that unemployment can “creep and slide” into criminality. He stressed the fact that “much more” has to be done to ensure that young people to have gainful employment.
“This obligation to be able to find work for you that will enable you to have a dignified existence is an ever-pressing obligation,” he told the young people in the audience.
Prime Minister Christie reiterated that Bahamians must be given the opportunities for their various talents to shine, as it has been encouraged in other countries in the region, and it becomes evident that young Bahamians should be engaged sufficiently in the areas of culture and sports.
He pointed to a paper by former Prime Minister of Jamaica the Hon. P. J. Patterson encouraging Prime Ministers of the Caribbean to embrace and take advantage of cultural industry and sports, even to the point of showing that three top Jamaican artists have earnings that were more than the earnings of the Jamaican banana industry.
“You can, therefore, see the dimension of the economy is more than being a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, a college professor; and the challenge of the country is, therefore, to continue to inspire our youth to use their God-given gifts — but to be able to do more,” Prime Minister Christie said.
He encouraged the young people present to continue to get to know The Bahamas and realise that there are inherent problems, as well as opportunities.
Prime Minister Christie noted that as the Government develops The Bahamas, some young people will have to go be willing to take the opportunities in the “frontiers of development” that will be taking place throughout the islands.
“Some of you will have to see the opportunity to have a career and to live out that career in new frontiers,” he said.
Prime Minister Christie told those young people who were present and discussing the national development plan that what they were doing was very important for future generations.
“And you are doing it for the children you would have (in the future) and I cannot tell you how important that is — so that we can build upon the successes of the governments before us,” Prime Minister Christie said.