Dr. Simon B. Jones- Hendrickson

Dr. Simon B. Jones- Hendrickson

A Professor at the University of the Virgin Islands is warning small island states that they must be careful when it comes to developmental aid since ‘free is not always free.’

Professor of Economics and Dean (Interim) of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the university, Dr. Simon B. Jones- Hendrickson, said during  a public lecture at the Fort Young Hotel on Tuesday, that island states must heighten areas of development but must bear in mind that everything comes at a price.

“So what are the development options open to us?” he asked. “First the region has to raise its development trajectories to be able to be on the cutting edge of new transformation, while at the same time not being sucked into the kind of developments with big buildings or constructions that may be conducive to other worlds but not necessary to our worlds.”

Jones-Hendrickson warned that when it comes to developmental aid,   island states must take into consideration elements of the Trojan Horse. “One thing is clear we are a lover of big buildings in the Caribbean … but too often we fail to love the maintenance of these buildings; so gifts of big buildings, stadiums, hospitals, community centers are fine, don’t get me wrong … I like them too, but we should always remember the element of the Trojan horse … free things are not always free,” he pointed out.

He also argued that island states cannot get away from the reality of globalization. “We cannot get away from the fact that globalization is here to stay … it is irreversible. In that regard we have to locate our small states in the globalization process and adopt, adapt, imitate and craft features of the world economic systems that would enhance our lifestyles and our preferred modes of developments,” he said.

Jones-Hendrickson noted that the interest of leaders of small island states must focus on the welfare of the people. “There should be permanent interest, and not permanent friends. The permanent interest of our leaders and the leadership in our country should be the enhancing of the welfare of our people in our countries,” He explained.

The lecture was based on the title ‘Size and Survival in the Era of Globalization’ and was done in conjunction with the National Bank of Dominica, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the University of the West Indies Open Campus Dominica.