The more one sees of a counterpart institution in Trinidad and Tobago, the more one longs for the energy that should derive from at least the ‘industry’ of one of our private sector organisations, namely the Georgetown Chamber of Industry and Commerce and its regional affiliates.
Compared to the latter’s eloquent silence is the former’s articulation on a wide range of topics affecting the twin-island Republic. For example, its fourth Quarterly of 2011, Contact, the magazine of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce comprising more than 70 pages, addressed some fifteen topics which interact with the national economy. The proof can be found in the following extract from its Table of Contents which can be accessed online.
What a challenging example for all our private sector institutions. For example, following in the long and continuing footsteps of local private secondary schools, to what extent can we ‘commercialise’ our national university? When and where are we going to produce the likes of the following, all associated with the University of the West Indies for most of their professional careers:
1. Professor Oliver Headley – Barbados
– Excelled, and honoured for his work in energy, including in solar
2. Professor Julian Kenny – Trinidad & Tobago
– Fisheries research; Natural History; Zoology; Ecosystem; Deep Sea Diver, Photographer
3. Professor Arnoldo Ventura – Jamaica
– Urologist, with special focus on viruses in children; Head of Scientific Research Council of Jamaica
4. Professor Emeritus, Nazeer Ahmad – Guyana
– Soil Scientist; worked as advisor in 85 countries, focus on clay soils nutrients; Head, UWI Tropical Soil Science; work acknowledged in several universities in America and Canada; recipient of IICA’s Gold Medal Award in Agriculture
5. Professor Edsel Joseph Edmonds – St Lucia
– Nematologist; Bachelor’s University of Puerto Rico; Master/Phd Cornell University; OBE; Ambassador to UN, USA, OAS; Poet, Painter
The above are a few of several Caribbean academic high achievers featured in a recent documentary. Most likely there are other luminaries (particularly Guyanese) in the diaspora, but who will remain there until UG is provided at least with decent laboratories comparable to those of some successful private sector organisations.
E B John