By Delroy Cuthkelvin: Amid the revelations emerging from the Senate Special Select Committee Hearings, some of which are admittedly disappointing, to say the least, we must not lose sight of the fact that whatever went wrong at Immigration or any specific department or ministry (such as Lands or Natural Resources) has NOT centrally impeded nor undermined this government’s national development agenda. In every part of the country, the signs of development and physical transformation are visible, unmistakable and irrefutable. Indeed, quite remarkably, even amidst the mild recession, the transformation continues apace, at almost dizzying speed.
Before our very eyes, the new Belize City Center is taking shape, topping off the massive national transformation of sports infrastructure, which includes historic upgrades in stadiums and auditoriums in Belmopan, Punta Gorda, Dangriga, Orange Walk, San Ignacio and Santa Elena.
In the Old Capital, the New Capital and every other municipality, the paving and upgrading of streets and drainage, complete with modern traffic-regulating and safety-features, keep reaching ever new, unprecedented levels, touching every nook and cranny. Meanwhile, the national network of highways and bridges (also with accompanying, international road-safety features) keeps elevating to new standards, uplifting with it the quality of life for citizens around the country, even as it eases mobility, increases productivity and enhances profitability in commerce and industry.
Speaking of which, the infusion of new foreign direct investment is itself a direct result of the good macro-economic climate created by Government’s prudent financial policies and aggressive drive to attract and promote investment and trade. Besides the obvious and immediate boost in overall production, this has brought tangible, invaluable benefits, such as the modernization of traditional industries, as evidenced by the exemplary partnership among new, major stakeholders in the Sugar Industry and smaller, long-time growers whose livelihood depends on the survival and sustainability of the industry.
Of no less significance, on the human side of development, is the BOOST (pun intended) in poverty alleviation programs which respected international institutions are now applauding as exemplary initiatives and templates to be adopted by other nations seeking to address and reduce poverty in a systemic manner.
Let us not forget either, the unrivaled investment in education at all levels, supplemented by ample job-training in practical areas, strengthening the nation’s workforce to match the new employment opportunities generated by private investment and government’s own robust infrastructure development drive. In this respect, the possibilities are boundless and the opportunities unlimited, as an array of new investment initiatives is in the ‘pipeline’, recently unveiled by the Ministry of Investment, just in time to hasten the rebound already occurring throughout the productive sector.
That some things have gone unacceptably wrong is undeniable; that they must be put back on track is self-evident; and that systemic reforms must be instituted to improve governance and prohibit public abuse is axiomatic. But even as we administer the prescribed punitive and corrective treatment, we must not neglect to acknowledge the many things that have been going well for Belize, even in the most challenging circumstances.
No aspect of the nation’s progress over the past decade has been by accident, though often detained by acts of God. Challenged and tested to the utmost, this administration has weathered every storm (natural or man-made), emerging stronger every time, with its resolve unbroken and its determination steadfast in advancing its national development agenda.
Let us not hesitate to address or redress the wrongs committed; but let us also not fail to count our blessings or recognize our gains. And, above all, let us NOT falter in pushing forward with the bold agenda to forever transform Belize. Simply put, for the sake of the nation and its people, we must keep our eyes on the ball.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
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