Tross, a Nevisian by birth, advise of the necessity to have the appropriate policies that drive economic growth, attract important partners and investors and facilitate the inclusion and resilience of citizens and residents. This she believed was important in the context of global challenges that affect small states like St. Kitts and Nevis.
Her lecture brought into focus key issues for St. Kitts and Nevis. Among these were the role of education, business and general policies.
While commending the federation on its education successes, she advised of the need for regular review. She said, “In the highly competitive global market place, doing well in school is not enough. For countries with high standards of education, such as St. Kitts and Nevis, the approach to education, as a key pillar of transformation for building a stronger nation, must of necessity be in an ongoing state of retooling and reinvention to adequately equip students for life.”
She explained that education must not only impart the traditional skills of reading writing and arithmetic, it must now include digital literacy, as well as the ability to be critical thinkers. She opined that education must provide the ability of citizens to take control and reshape the quality of their lives.
According to Tross, the size of one’s country “should not hold one back from competing”. She said, “There are areas of everyday life that we take for granted that have serious economic potential.” Tross was referring to the economic potential of cultural heritage.
On this she said, “The sector warrants special consideration, as it tends to have a relatively younger age profile than other sectors, tends to appeal to the entrepreneurial talent and constitutes a creator of economic opportunity, particularly for young people.”
In a region where about 60 percent of the population is under 30, she noted that “youth are disproportionately affected by high levels of unemployment and violence. Tross asserted, “It’s a now challenge that requires serious and sustained action if that promise of a brighter tomorrow is to be fulfilled.”
She continued, “Finding ways to support youth entrepreneurship, and stimulate the innovative and creative ideas of young people in St. Kitts and Nevis can reap significant dividends for the country – economically, socially and also in terms of citizen security.”
She expressed a strong belief that innovation and entrepreneurship can transform the economy and society and create the new sectors for growth and competitiveness.
In delivering her presentation at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Tross pointed to the growing understanding that social inclusion in the process of development is vital, and polices must reflect that understanding.
In achieving this, she sees a close functional relationship between Government, the Private Sector and communities to achieve meaningful and sustainable growth and development.
According to Tross, “Many individuals and organizations in St. Kitts and Nevis and abroad want to be part of the solution and have developed the technical capacity to implement innovative techniques to advance responsible and sustainable growth.”
Tross also expressed the view that productive partnerships must also be developed with other countries and institutions. It will allow the nation to benefit from lessons learned, she said, that will “help accelerate development and create the framework for addressing transboundary issues”.
Her parting advice to the citizens of the federation was a call for solidarity and togetherness in nation building. Tross opined, “We know that each of us individually and all of us collectively, wherever we may be, have a responsibility to contribute to making St. Kitts and Nevis a stronger, better, more prosperous and united federation.”
The lecture presentation formed part of the federation’s celebration of the 32nd year of Independence, being held under the theme, United in Building a Stronger Nation.