The Inter American Development Bank (IDB) plans to mount a yearly mission to Tobago to discuss how it can assist in the island’s development, the bank’s country representative Michelle Cross-Fenty said on Friday. (19th April 2013)
In addition the bank is going to redouble its efforts to engage with Tobago to ensure seamless and timely communication on all of its projects and products, provide timely access to information on the status of existing IDB programmes and provide support to Tobago for capacity building initiatives including participation in workshops, meetings and conferences wherever they may be.
Cross-Fenty was speaking at the end of a two-hour meeting with a team from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) headed by Orville London at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex. Cross-Fenty headed a 12-member mission comprising representatives of the bank and the Ministry of Planning.
The IDB representative also gave the commitment that the bank will maximise her mission’s discussions with the THA yesterday (Friday) with an executing aide mémoire which can be used as road map in the future.
“I do wish to underscore the importance of the IDB strong commitment to creating and maintaining a close relationship with the THA and our other stakeholders here in Tobago in our efforts to promote sustainable development, interventions in Tobago and also to make sure those interventions would be of benefit to Tobago,” she said.
She added that one of the major objectives of the mission was to create awareness outside of the bank’s technical products and services and was able to have very fruitful discussions with Tobago private sector representatives and civil society.
London described the meeting as highly productive and informative and complimented Cross-Fenty and her team for the atmosphere and the environment in which the discussions took place.
London said he was very comforted that it was not just words; some very definite decisions were taken including confirmation of the construction five Early Childhood Education Centres (ECEC) in the second tranche of the agreement with the bank, increased participation of the Assembly in discussions on the primary school curriculum, the Citizens Security Programme, the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Programme and the Sustainable Solar Water-heating Pilot Programme.
He added: “All of us leave here with the realisation that we are embarking on a path that would lead to greater more meaningful collaboration between the Assembly, the Ministry of Planning and the bank and that Tobagonians would benefit.
“From my perspective it was not just about the specific programmes, it was about the mind-set coming out of the bank, coming out of the Ministry. I was very heartened that the Ministry of Planning would have been involved in this process and the commitment we got from the representative that the Ministry of Planning will ensure that the THA plays a more important role not only at the operational level but at the decision-making level and the discussion level with respect to all projects especially those that impact on Tobago,” London said.