Full Disclosure
August 15, 2008
International Airport an aspect of change

Positive change is always a great symbol of hope. In recent times, I have been baffled by the comments coming from various quarters as to what is the definition of change. This feeling of utter confusion has been created by many who seek to miss the difference between change and varying degrees of change. According to many critics of present day development in St Vincent and the Grenadines, unless something drastic happens overnight, there is no real change.{{more}} It is suggested by many who doubt, that change at all times must be both fast and furious. It must be so intense that the new product must even lack definition until the dust is cleared. Be it noted, however, that properly planned, structured and conceived change is not as a result of luck or chance. To think that all major changes in the real world do happen overnight, questions the sensitivity of calculation, risk assessment and the importance of proper timing, for many great changes are gradual.

Instead of creating wars over the definition of change, with the intended effect of establishing political smoke screens, we must manage the transitions needed to be made by our nation by looking ahead confidently, guided only by a national interest and not self. We must continue the fight. Although the enormity of the challenge appears insurmountable at times, we must maintain that our greatest asset is the determination and commitment of our people to surmount all difficulties and take our nation forward. If we are to maintain economic growth, we all have an integral part to play in the process. Without doubt, the present administration is correct when it details that the State has an over-riding obligation to put everything in place to deliver the best representation to its people. This is a part of the common intention that we must always put forward an excellent set of policies for our advancement.

The arrival of the vessel Inagua Espana from Coco Solo Panama, at the Campden Park Container Port on 19th May, 2008, with equipment to begin the construction of our international airport at Argyle is now history. For certain, it was a most defining moment in our relentless pursuit as a people to advance and champion the causes which may one day lead to our sustainable development.

I have often stated that the 21st Century is one that will be characterised by competition. It is clear, therefore, that it will be a Century dominated by those with advanced technological capacity, high productivity, modern and efficient transport and communication infrastructure, and, above all, highly skilled manpower imbued with initiative. If we are to be active participants in the global developments of the twenty-first century, we must, as a Nation, find ways of improving and strengthening ourselves in all these areas. The construction of an international airport on mainland St Vincent is, therefore, a step in the right direction.

Again, the call must be sounded that at this stage of our development, it is important for us to stand united in all our efforts. The task ahead will be far more difficult if we fail to work hand in hand. It is commendable that our country has been able to not only source, but also to ship heavy duty equipment needed for construction. Further, it has gone pass mere shipment of equipment, and the earthworks have begun. At this stage one can only extend blessings on a project which is now much closer to home, whilst being reminded that determination and discipline in planning and implementation are the key to success. The greater the challenges, the more we must make adjustments so that we can grapple with these changing times. Every young person will have a part to play in the process, if this project is to be of the greatest success. Our youth must not be seen as lagging behind as it pertains to our contribution to national development. Surely, if one is looking for a signpost exhibiting change, then the Argyle international Airport development project may be your best bet.

Saboto Caesar is a Lawyer and Unity Labour Party Senator.