By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
FORMER Attorney General Alfred Sears has articulated a bold plan to make Andros the political capital of the country.
In a new piece, he argues that focusing on Andros could spur Bahamians to design a capital city that embraces Bahamian designs and character, eschewing the colonial infrastructure rampant in New Providence.
“The weak, inadequate and archaic physical architecture in which the political administration of The Bahamas operates is in crisis,” he said. “The 19th century physical infrastructure of our national institutions contributes to inefficiency, discriminates against persons with special needs, inhibits economic development and does not reflect the sovereignty of a striving independent country that takes itself seriously. The quality of governance in The Bahamas is compromised by the obsolete physical architecture. We take more pride in foreign touristic enterprises and resort structures than in the national institutions to manage the public goods and services of the Bahamas and provide social, economic security services for Bahamians and residents.
“This project will create a design and innovation opportunity for the Bahamians to design a Smart Capital City Master Plan, with iconic architecture rooted in Bahamian culture and imagination, incorporating sunlight, topography, drainage system, IT infrastructure, road network, official sector, commercial sector, residential sector and recreational and green areas. There should be spacing between blocks and sectors to prevent overcrowding, with an equilibrium between construction costs and sustainable development goals.”
To facilitate a transformation, Mr Sears cited Freeport and said the government could vest 50,000 acres of Crown land into a “Capital City Investment Corporation” to be leased to entrepreneurs “for periods up to 50 years investment in the public, commercial and residential zones of the capital city, in accordance with a Capital City Master Plan.”
Incentives would include exemptions from custom duties, real property tax and value added tax, among others. Mr Sears, pictured left, wrote: “I call on the government, the official opposition, the DNA and the Bahamian civil society to collaborate in establishing a national commission to study the feasibility of building a capital city outside of New Providence. The construction of a smart political capital city in Andros will enable the Bahamas to build stronger governance institutions fit for the future, create a model of small island sustainability, stimulate economic growth outside of Nassau towards the Family Islands—based on Bahamian ownership, innovation and initiative—, reverse internal migration from Nassau to Andros, inspire young Bahamians to engage in the national development project, mobilise the Bahamian diaspora in the nation building process and improve the Bahamian brand for innovation, sustainability and diversified development.”
Naughtydread 3 years, 11 months ago
I mean we are already in debt by millions and millions of dollars.... Lets just build another "smart" city while we are at it right!? Does this man hear the nonsense spewing out of his mouth? Talk about out of touch.
birdiestrachan 3 years, 11 months ago
Mr: Sears could the Bahamas just begin by building a prison in Andros? The good Lord knows. The Fox Hill prison is not fit for animals. that will be a start in the right direction.
ThisIsOurs 3 years, 11 months ago
I'm tired of hearing about "bold" ideas. "Bold" was the word chosen by the Trump administrstion to spin rash and ill thought out decisions by a less than stellar president. When Obama was in office the PLP couldn't stop talking about "change". I wonder what the new buzzword will be in 2021.
TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago
Move over lil $1 billion petty Junkanoo Beach project.
Could it be that it's interactions from Cod Liver Oil that's responsible comrade Alfred be's belching out some serious umpteen billions dollars on he own Andros Out Island pet project. yes, no......... "Burp Belching" Alfred, you supposed be taking that Cod Liver Oil, with ya meals - not on empty stomach........
BMW 3 years, 11 months ago
He is way out in left field. Politicians have something against Grand Bahama, the island is laid out for expansion,we have reliable power and water supply, a large airport and seaport that is less than 100 miles from the U.S. Work with you have!
licks2 3 years, 11 months ago
Just like I though. . .THE PEOPLE DON'T HAVE EYES TO SEE BEYOND THEIR NEXT MEAL. . .this is the most clear and progressive outlook for the metropolis Bahamas I see. This is too much for chicken-in-the-bag thinking. . .like the thinking around here!! This thinking is in line with such Bahamian visionaries such L.O. Pindling and Hubert Minnis. . .true times change-makers. . . men who see what everybody have no idea existed!!! The French call them "RENAISSANCE" . . . these are the persons who change the world. . .our Bahamas. . .the rest of us just get in the way by talking nonsense! NOW THIS MAN IS TALKING A BRAVE NEW WORLD . . . a world that will transform the Bahamas to metropolitan status. . . modern cities. . . ferry services between NP and Andros (live in NP and live in NP). . . etc.
This can result in the formation of a South, Central and North Andros with NP (1 hour by ferry and 10 minutes by plane) metropolitan center that rivals those in NY, NJ and DC!
Many of you around here often wondered out loud why I say certain things about Dr. Minnis! Well here we go. . . just like I see in this man. . .Mr. Sears. . .their minds are like Lex Luther's. . .business as usual can never hold them. . .they are always seeing the future and what is can be. . .if we are willing and brave enough to follow great minds! They are those unique individuals. Many thought that Fedel Castro was the "renaissance mind" in the Cuban Revolution! Castro was more drone than ingenious. . .Che Guevara was the artful genius who orchestrated the war and subsequent government. . . leaving the government after he realized that Castro was a despot who did not see the city for smoke!!
Just think now. . .who will the next set of land barons would be if the Andros initiative is started. . .the current rich who basically has NP on lock down? No. . .the land barons would automatically shift to land holders in Andros. . .billions of dollars. This shift is just one lil bit of this man's wide thinking!! This "ting" goes with sense. . .just think. . .metropolitan NP with its own port authority like NY Metropolitan Area!!!
sheeprunner12 3 years, 11 months ago
I have been saying that for TEN years ........... the San Andros - Fresh Creek area will be a far better geo-political site for the new capital of this country ........ Check any map ..... look at access to arable land, ground water, living space, inland waterways, etc ......... Every growing young country has relocated its old capital ....... from the USA to Canada to Brazil to Australia to Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, India etc......... It allows for national recalibration and forward planning.
birdiestrachan 3 years, 11 months ago
Sheeprunner Andros is also very close to Nassau. It is a good idea. and it can be done in stages.
Sign in to comment
Or login with: