Our country is polarized by politics so much so that in the past 30 years of our short independent history, representatives from both political parties have rarely, if ever, united amenably for the betterment of our country as a whole. Instead, they eradicate or undermine policies set in place by the previous administration, essentially starting policy making from scratch. This, I believe, is one of the major reasons why our country has found such difficulty in making large economic, social and cultural strides towards a better Belize. If I were given the opportunity to lead this nation as its prime minister, my first order of business would be to create a master plan for the next 10 years in Belize. It will be a realistic, but challenging and robust blueprint that includes the prospective future for healthcare, industry, immigration, housing, education and other factors.
Among the many things I will need to accomplish with the initial establishment of my administration, one of the first things I will need to do is to seek and surround myself with people who are of high integrity, competency and committed to the development and betterment of our country. As the Prime Minister, I will never have all the answers, and I will need to be advised by talented and knowledgeable Belizeans living within the country, and those who are members of the Belizean diaspora overseas (who constitute for a large percentage of our educated population). These individuals will be chosen based solely upon knowledge of their proven efficiency, not based upon whether they hold a seat in the House or simply because they are members of my political party.
One of the greatest predicaments our country has seen is the vast marginalization of thousands of our country’s people, particularly our creole populace, due to the effects of poverty. For decades, these communities of poor people have been unable to break away from the suppressions of poverty, mainly due to the unconvincing efforts being made to assist them. The extent of government aid has been limited to issuing steady streams of cash handouts directly into the hands of these young, strong but often uneducated persons. Creating jobs for these people is the only real practical solution. How do I plan to do so?
In order to provide more jobs, I need to ensure there is more work created. Because of this, I will place greater emphasis on infrastructural improvement and waste management efforts that both require a large labor force the impecunious population of our country can supply. This will not only act to improve infrastructure and keep our nation clean, but it will provide these impoverished persons with a source of income.
I will also need to engender a climate that is attractive to foreign investors. However, I do hope to attract investors that will invest in fresh industries and develop them for the greater benefit of the people. Not those that will come in with rapacious intentions and exploit already profitable operations as has been the case with some existing “investors”.
Careful planning and strategy will be implemented to create the enabling environment that will attract, at the outset, foreign manufacturing enterprises such as, for example, garment factories and call centers. These will serve the purpose of employing our less educated populace as my policies in education bear fruit and produce a more educated, skilled and indeed robust and resourceful workforce. This initiative coupled with the sound management and investment of our existing and potential oil revenues will allow for increased and better quality job opportunities for our small population. The quick wins will portray themselves in lower crime and improved social harmony as undoubtedly this will strike at the heart of our increasing unemployment phenomena and chaotic way of life that currently prevails as a result. A nation that can achieve as near as full employment as possible, in my mind, is one that has the capacity to transform itself in the right direction.
These are just some of the areas that will engage my full attention as I lead my team, with a sense of purpose, to bring about tangible and sustainable economic and social transformation to this beautiful jewel of ours. Although I am just a boy, I am confident that given the opportunity to lead this country and manage the rich resources we possess here in Belize, I can make a tangible difference.