Professor Archibald McDonald (left), Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of The UWI, Mona looks on as Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley examines the plaque announcing his induction into the Heads of Government Park. Photo Aston Spaulding

Rowley says region looking to The UWI for guidance

PRIME MINISTER OF the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley has been inducted into the Heads of Government Park, located at The UWI, Mona Campus.
Rowley is the 17th prime minister to make the “Honour Roll”, joining compatriots, former prime ministers of the twin-island republic, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the late Patrick Manning.

The park is dedicated to UWI graduates who are, or have been Heads of Government.

According to Professor Archibald McDonald, Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of The UWI, Mona, “The park acts as a standing monument to present and future generations that The UWI is a world-class institution that produces world-class leaders who display the knowledge, fortitude and strength to guide developing nations towards a path to prosperity.”

In his response at the recently held induction ceremony, Rowley expressed his gratitude. “I want to thank The University for organising this ceremony to acknowledge my presence here at Mona and my involvement with this venerable institution. I lived a great student life at Mona and nowhere in that period of my life could I have dreamt that one day I’d come back here with the responsibility as Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago to be inducted in this very unique park,” he said.

Rowley’s visit to The UWI, Mona formed part of an official visit to Jamaica from July 17-21. The induction ceremony was among several activities Rowley attended during his visit to the campus. He met with Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, toured the campus, met with Trinidadian students at The UWI, Mona and attended a luncheon hosted by The UWI Regional Headquarters. The final activity for the day was an address to members of the UWI community held at The UWI’s Regional Headquarters.

In his address, Rowley noted that he shared an exemplary relationship with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and that the working bonds between the two countries’ various ministers were also being developed. He praised UWI’s visionary approach in expanding the educational effort, citing the introduction of two degree programmes to be offered at The UWI, both having components to be completed in China “This is The UWI of the 21st century,” he said. “That is the kind of thinking that is required at this time for us to secure our place in today’s world. And as long as that kind of thinking is available, then we as a people should have the confidence that [when] we think we know what to do, we’re not afraid to do it,” he added. He encouraged the heads of governments of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to get on board with that line of thinking and emphasised that the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) was now back at the forefront of Caricom business.

He charged The University to “put their thinking caps on” through observation and dispassionate analyses. “We are counting on The University of the West Indies to provide the guidance out of the proper analyses of what’s happening around us… in preparation for the decisions that we have to make,” he said.

Rowley received his UWI undergraduate degree in Geology and Geography (first class honours) in 1973, completed a Master of Science degree in Volcanic Stratigraphy in 1975 and he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Geology, with a specialisation in Geochemistry in 1978.