PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis. (File photo)
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE government is moving ahead with its plans to harness renewable energy and has formed partnerships with two international entities to enhance infrastructural development to advance the country’s energy reform goals, according to Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis yesterday.
They are the International Development Bank and the European Union.
Mr Davis spoke about the issue at the Bahamas Partnership Forum on Sustainable Development held at SuperClubs Breezes Resort yesterday.
The event was hosted by the Bahamas Development Bank in partnership with United Nations Bahamas.
The aim of the forum is to encourage and support development of structured partnerships to contribute to the national achievement of the country’s sustainable development goals.
While giving keynote remarks at yesterday’s event, Mr Davis spoke of the importance of developing partnerships to address key issues facing the country.
“By formalising and structuring partnerships appropriately, especially when they include the private sector and the non-governmental sector, we create a better foundation for success,” the prime minister said.
“The irony is of course that the more organisations and people that become involved, the more likely it is that bureaucracies and cultures and personalities will get in the way.
“This is not to condemn the challenges, merely to observe that this is what human structures are like. So what else can we do in order to promote success? A key tool is to ensure that we are all absolutely clear as to what the priorities are.
“If we try to do everything all at once, or if we have differing ideas of what they are, then chaos and confusion is the more likely result. To be clear, other SDGs are not being abandoned. The priorities are just that: an ordering of the things we currently consider most urgent and most important.”
To this end, Prime Minister Davis highlighted eight areas of focus for his administration, including education, health and national insurance, energy, digitisation, youth employment, economic recovery and climate resilience among other things.
By forming several partnerships, he said his administration was able to introduce economic reforms, stabilise the country’s public finances and address fiscal responsibility among other things.
“Some of the effective partnerships we have brokered also extend to the energy sector,” he added.
“The government has formed partnerships with both the International Development Bank and the European Union to enhance infrastructural development to advance renewable energy.
“The project will allow for the construction of solar energy panels projects throughout The Bahamas. This initiative is expected to benefit 13,000 to 17,000 residents - Abaco should benefit especially.
“The installation of micro-grids should vastly improve the island’s electricity infrastructure, which is still severely weakened from the impact of Hurricane Dorian.”
On the digital front, he said the government plans to launch several “digi-innovative” projects and programmes.
“This initiative seeks to promote information and communication technology ideas that will improve innovation in the public sector,” he added. “The programme will encourage people around The Bahamas to present their ideas on technology and innovation.”