While in India to analyse the general elections underway, I learnt of the passing of the Caribbean luminary, Professor Norman Girvan. He is one of my favourite Caribbean economists who wrote so much on the region. His writings were most valuable, especially to students like me who did doctoral studies in Economics. It is indisputable that Professor Girvan was an outstanding intellectual and left-leaning activist who will be missed for his academic contribution and his intelligent participation in international economic affairs.
He was a great exemplar when it came to economic and even political affairs when he headed the ACS. His name stood out among leading Caribbean economists. He would be remembered as a distinguished scholar on the local, regional and international stages. While I was a student at CCNY where I served in student government during the 1980s, and worked in the International Studies Department, I supported moves by Stan Smith, a Jamaica student, to convince the administration to invite Girvan as a visiting scholar and director a school. He was approved but Girvan disappointed those of us who looked forward for his stint at CCNY and CUNY Graduate Center.
At City College where I did undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and graduate studies in International Relations and subsequently Economics, Girvan’s writings were required reading. His ideas championed the cause of poor, small states and inclusive growth to lift the lives of the poor. I agree with President Ramotar that his passing is an immense loss, especially as he was serving as the Good Officer in the border controversy with Venezuela. The region is all the poorer because of his passing.