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23 February 2011
Cayman Islands University to Convene Conference on Leadership, Governance and Empowerment
University President Roy Bodden to bring together an array of regional scholars and experts for discussions on governance
The University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) is hosting its 2nd Annual Caribbean Conference next month on Leadership, Governance and Empowerment, which the university president said was the perfect backdrop to discuss today’s issues on education, economic development, and nation-building. With many issues facing the community Roy Bodden said there was no better time to discuss collectively, how Cayman developed as a nation in these areas, to let us know that we can succeed in the future. Everyone is welcome to attend the conference which will host an interesting line up of local and regional speakers.
“When we speak of Leadership, Governance and Empowerment in the Caribbean, we cover every aspect from the simplest to the most sophisticated,” UCCI President Roy Bodden and author of Patronage, Personalities and Parties, Caymanian Politics from 1950-2000 said.
He explained how individually, residents contribute daily to the principles of leadership, governance and empowerment whenever one volunteers for community projects, manages their personal affairs or supports charities.
“The upcoming conference .. is open to every person residing in the Cayman Islands. It presents a wonderful opportunity for persons across the society to become involved because these issues are relevant to every person in the community. That’s why we encourage community-wide involvement,” Bodden added.
History shows how Cayman’s merchant class demonstrated leadership as they sought to move the country from its 1863 designation as a dependent territory to greater self government. On July 4, 1959, Cayman adopted its first constitution, with the assistance of Jamaica, its colonial administrator. In terms of governance, the right to vote and run for political office was won by women and Caymanian residents of colour and Jamaican descent during the 1950s and 60s, as political parties emerged out of a system that initially excluded them as equal citizens.
Caymanians continue to empower themselves, as they participate in ongoing debates on issues that confront them today. Also of particular note is the dynamic evolution of Cayman’s communities, which have become a great cultural mix. Although no one knew at the time how these developments would impact the nation, each era has contributed to Cayman achieving one of the top per capita incomes in the Caribbean.
Just as before, Cayman must continue to address issues, especially so that our young people with have the brightest future possible, and the upcoming UCCI International Conference provides that opportunity to further a community wide conversation, the president added.
James ‘Jamo’ Myles, member of the Planning Committee said the Youth Services Unit was committed to empower the nation, one youth at a time. “That’s why we implore all young people and their families to attend the UCCI conference which aims to energize and invigorate the spirit of leadership. So make your best effort to be there, it could change your life,” he said.