Another speech I did about a year ago when I was a guest speaker at the opening of CARICOM energy week in Montserrat, BWI. If you don’t know, CARICOM stands for Caribbean Community and Common Market and is defined as an organization made up of 15 Caribbean nations to promote economic integration among members. I hope you enjoy the speech as much as I did writing it!
“You are the future of your country!” whether you are from Montserrat or elsewhere, you’ve heard those words echo in your ears while growing up. However, what does it really mean?
Everyone will have their own opinion on this question, and while there is no right or wrong answer, I will dare to say there is a better or worse one. No matter your age, gender, ethnicity, religion or otherwise, while you are alive, you are the future of your country. Whether you are a lawmaker, teacher, college student, expat or you were just born last year, your conscious and unconscious actions collectively dictate whether your country will thrive or fall. What we prioritize now, will become what we stand for later.
To this end, we must understand that youths are also just as much the future of our country as those in power. It is critical to ensure that the youth are prioritized and empowered with the experience and knowledge passed down by those who have come before us.
As children of the global information age, we are charged with innovative, but fleeting ideas. We see a news story or trend fade out of existence just days after it surfaced, our thoughts and feelings can change with the direction of the wind. However, that is what makes us so important to what we are here to discuss.
Innovation is the mother of invention. We, as youth, are continually seeking new ideas, new ways to do tasks, new items to make our lives easier, and, if you give us the chance, new innovations to utilize and improve renewable technology.
We need platforms to voice and cultivate these ideas, and the support to implement them.
We must prepare ourselves and our youth as one Caribbean and use this once in a millennia opportunity to get a head start on first world countries. Incorporating a growing sector that will add hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy.
We have over three thousand average hours of sunlight per year, trade winds to power hundreds of turbines, we are surrounded by oceans with powerful tides and active volcanoes on many islands. Programmes which allow us as youth, to come up with ideas to better utilize the abundance of natural resources God has given us, would provide significant and exponential returns.
We as a country, do not need to keep up with everything the first world has going for it. Those countries had hundreds of years to get to where they are now. However, they had first to master one trade, before having the resources to now become the dominant forces they are today. And now, we can master such a trade, becoming the world leader of renewable technology, an already 1.4 trillion-dollar industry that would willingly extend these profits to us.
Though, it is a tough choice to invest in something and not see the full returns immediately. However, the renewable energy market has such vast potential that it could put the Caribbean in its rightful place. The Top. After all the struggling we’ve done, the exploitation we’ve experienced, do we not deserve at least that?
We have the strength when we work together despite the generational gaps, to take a lead role against the issues affecting our region. Do we not deserve to prosper as a direct result of our natural resources and combined ingenuity?
There is absolutely nothing stopping us from becoming the literal powerhouse of the world with a mindset of participating to win.
Just like we do during the Olympic races, we finish first. Nothing less.
Empowering the people, and especially the youth with the mindset that we will become, and stay first in this renewable energy race is not just a pipe dream; it will be a reality.
This is a race not only to secure the future of our countries but the future of the planet. The innovation and implementation of renewable energy systems is a project for the Caribbean people of today and tomorrow. This is a project for all of us.
Moreover, through events such as these, we can inspire each other and begin to bring innovation within our region and to the world. As the future of our countries, we need to act now. Thank you.