Technology and youth plays essential role in economic development, says Minister Sutherland

Dwight Sutherland: by utilizing the youth power, the Caribbean region can become a leading global technological and creative hub.

Barbados: At the second virtual Caribbean Future Summit – Dwight Sutherland, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, during his address, outlined that by utilizing the youth power, the Caribbean region can become a leading global technological and creative hub.

The theme of the summit was “From Diaspora Engagement to Investment: Connecting to the Caribbean’s Economic Future Pillars: Tourism, Technology and Talent”.

Minister Sutherland noted that in order to build and sustain economies, Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean nations have relied on agriculture and tourism. He added that, “Today we are presented with the opportunity to undertake another evolution, that is to position our economies on a trajectory for technological growth and advancement utilizing the abundant talents within our people”.

Minister Sutherland pointed out that for this transition to occur, the Caribbean youth must be the focal point of all undertakings and become the changing agent, consigned with fulfilling their potential and guaranteeing a world that corresponds with the future generations.

He believes that development is sustained through young people and that for the continuation of the development of society, the imagination, ideals and energy of the young individuals is essential.

Even though technology has numerous benefits, Mr Sutherland noted that technological change is also one of the most disruptive, noting that automation can lead to unemployment and inactivity.

Apart from this, the Minister highlighted the efforts of Barbados government to create a digital society and a contemporary, citizen-centred public service, such as – the introduction of the online payment EZPay+ platform, the electronic transfer of social security benefits, online filing of tax returns and the use of Digital Ambassadors that help the citizens to engage with the government and provide hands-on support for the citizens.