Prime Minister Gaston Browne today announced that his govermnent will advance the UWI Five Islands Campus, with a cheque of between ten to fifteen million US dollars in next two weeks.
Speaking in Parliament today, the Prime Minister said that this is an advance to the UWI Five islands Campus so it can operate.
According to the Prime Minister, this is outside of the income streams which the government has identified and which will be collected at the end of the year.
“we pride ourselves as a can do government, and whereas others have been stating that we will be unable to raise the necessary funds, i am giving an undertaking that within the next two weeks, we will write a cheque of between ten to fifteen million dollars US, as an advance payment to the unversity,” the prime minister said.
The Prime Minister indicated that the UWI Five Islands Campus is a great achievement for the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda and the wider OECS Sub-region.
To this end, the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister has called on the citizens of twin island state and the OECS sub-region to avail themselves to become properly trained at the teritory level.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that his government had a fight on the domestic level to achieve the historical decision, but his government was committed to the cause and was therefore unrelenting in moving forward with the mission to have the UWI campus in Antigua and Barbuda.
“There was a lot of partisan politics at the domestic level. But we know that this decision would have emerged as one of the most significant decisions of any government in the history of Antigua and Barbuda. We are very pleased that Antigua and Barbuda has decided to anchor this facility for the benefit of the residents and citizens of Antigua and Barbuda and the wider OECS,” Prime Minister Browne said.
He noted that this decision will significantly impact human resource development of Antigua and Barbuda and the sub-region and that is why it is a very proud moment for the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda.
“We were determined to have the fourth landed campus of the UWI here to serve the developmental needs of the OECS. We have had to repurpose the five islands facility and subsequently passed a tax measure to ensure that the university is adequately funded and now we are at the stage where the university council and the technical committees would have confirmed the viability of this campus and in essence we are now on the cusp of establishing the 4th landed campus of the UWI right here at Five Islands,” Prime Minister Browne said.
“ We are absolutely elated. And in essence, it will help us to cover the training gaps and the educational and intellectual gaps within the OECS and to ensure that we can provide a wide spectrum of socio-economic opportunities for our people. This will ensure that we are more globally competitive,” he added.
Prime Minister Browne also pointed out that there will be a significant amount of opportunities not only satisfying the socio-economic requirements of the people of the OECS, but it also lends to a number of skilled individuals and professors operating within the OECS region which will help its development.