By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE University of the Bahamas-North will hold its first economic conference – The Sustainable Grand Bahama Conference – focusing on the economic prospects of the island.
Dr Ian Strachan, vice president of the UB North, said the conference would take place April 5 and 6 under the theme, ‘Breaking Down Barriers, Shaping the Future.”
The conference will open at 8.30am at the Grand Lucaya Convention Centre. On day two, presentations will be held at the UB-North campus starting at 9am.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, David McGregor and COO of GB Power Company, and Rodney Smith of UB will speak at the opening.
“One of the most common criticisms I hear of the University is that we are simply not pulling our weight when it comes to joining critical national conversations about economic, social, and educational policy. The Sustainable Grand Bahama Conference is an example of what we can do to promote thought leadership in the country,” he said.
He noted that public and private sector leaders, academics, civil society organizations, and opinion shapers had been invited to participate in the dialogue about the way forward for Grand Bahama.
“We are very pleased with the level of corporate engagement this conference has attracted,” said Dr Strachan, announcing that GB Power Company has come onboard as the main sponsors.
Conference participants will hear about GB Power’s vision for a sustainable future for power generation on Grand Bahama. There will be some 30 speakers, including Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for GB Senator Kwasi Thompson, among others.
Dr Strachan said other sponsors include Rev TV, Aliv, Insurance Management, Jamaica Bahamas Imports. He commended the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce for partnering with UB in putting on the conference.
Mr McGregory, of GBPC, said that the power company is pleased to be a Gold sponsor of the conference. He noted that GBPC is committed to introducing renewable energy sources onto its electricity grid.
“We know that customers are counting on GBPC for a more sustainable energy future. We also know that it is the right thing to do for Grand Bahama," he said.
Mr McGregor said that as the sole energy provider, the company has developed a strategy that will evolve GBPC energy generation from its current heavy oil and diesel-based fuel sources to clean renewable energy using natural resources available to them.
Mercynth Ferguson, executive director/administrator of GB Chamber of Commerce and Dr Kelley Duncanson, Assistant Professor, School of Business at UB-North and Conference presenter also spoke briefly.