Dr. Douglas Builds Diasporic Partnerships in Canada for Sustainable Development

No: 009/2024

The Rt Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas held a high-level virtual dialogue with Dr. Rustum Southwell, the Chancellor of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada on the 23rd of January 2024. The meeting built on previous encounters undertaken by the St. Kitts and Nevis High Commission as the Government secures strategic partnerships for building a Sustainable Island State. Dr Douglas, a strong proponent of consolidating traditional partnerships including with Canada, discussed development initiatives designed to strengthen the longstanding relationship between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and Dalhousie University – a leading institution for innovation in Nova Scotia.

Among the areas of discussion were:

  • The need to refine our strategy to leverage the Blue Economy through Dalhousie’s Ocean School Initiative,
  • On going cooperation in health care including capacity building and training in areas of specialization that could help St. Kitts and Nevis build a climate resilient health sector,
  • Instituting certification and exchange programs in agriculture, manufacturing, and high-tech sector to reduce recidivism for at risk youth,
  • Pursuing economic and entrepreneurship programs using the model of the Black Business Initiative (BBI) in Nova Scotia,
  • Securing a partnership between the Dalhousie School of Agriculture and Ross University to boost agricultural development with a sharp focus on niche production and marketing, and the
  • Establishment of a Sustainable Business Hub using the C. A. Paul Southwell Industrial Park as an empowerment zone and incubator/accelerator for manufacturing and export of world class products using science and technological innovation

Dr. Southwell, a distinguished son of the soil, and offspring of National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell, encouraged policy makers to focus on emerging industries such as semiconductor manufacturing, and battery packs for instruments in the health, automobile and renewable industries that will enable us to enhance our profile in international trade. Dr. Douglas informed that equipping a new generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) was an integral part of the strategy to build capacity to achieve the Federation’s resilient development goals.

Dr. Douglas invited Chancellor Southwell to St. Kitts and Nevis in his role as Chancellor of Dalhousie University and in his role as the Black Business Initiative to advance the partnership.  Dr. Douglas, building on the CARICOM-Canada Summit last year, has been keen to diversify partnerships across Canada including with leading Universities, the Private Sector, and the Federal and provincial Governments to secure a strategic partnership for a resilient future.