Saint Lucia: Dr Hyginus Gene Leon – President of the Caribbean Development Bank, has highlighted innovation as a critical component of regional development.
In a statement made at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the CDB, he cited innovation in relation to sustainable livelihoods, resilient economies, and regional integration.
“First, we need to be able to have investment activities that can meet goals that address our challenges,” he said. “It starts with a challenge, the challenge has a goal, and now we need to know what the investment activities are that can generate that goal, and that boils down to how we utilize the knowledge and the industrialization of knowledge as a means of making a warehouse, a bank of investment options that can be translated into investment activities that can meet the purpose of solving the challenges.”
He further detailed six challenges that should be addressed, which include food security, water security which includes sanitation and waste management, energy security, shelter security, education security, and health security.
Dr Leon pinpointed the need to accept responsibility for the future in order to achieve innovation. This entails the application of three steps: inquiry, discovery and transformative strategy. He added that development is a holistic process that addresses the social, economic, institutional, environmental and financial aspects of society.