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Sir Arthur Lewis centenary celebrations

27 Nov 2014

Caribbean Development Bank and University of the West Indies remember development pioneer

Leading thinker and pioneer in development economics, W. Arthur Lewis would have been 100 years old on January 23, 2015. Although he died more than two decades ago, his work continues to generate global interest, particularly in the field of development economics and with respect to the outcomes of institutions and nations which have successfully applied policies which he proposed.

In recognition of his achievements and continuing relevance of his work, the Caribbean Development Bank and the University of the West Indies (UWI) will observe the W Arthur Lewis Centenary throughout 2015 under the theme: ‘Enduring Lessons for the Caribbean and Beyond’.

The centenary celebrations were launched at the Caribbean Development Bank’s headquarters with events including discussions on Lewis as a “Caribbean Thinker” and will continue with the 16th Annual Conference of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) under the theme ‘Towards Caribbean Prosperity and Happiness in an Equitable and Sustainable World’, on 14-16 January, 2015 in St Lucia. 

Sir Arthur Lewis was the founding president of the Caribbean Development Bank serving from 1970 to 1973. He also had the distinction of being the first West Indian to be appointed Principal of the University College of the West Indies at Mona in 1959. Under his leadership, the College was transformed into the University of the West Indies as an independent university in 1962. He became its first Vice Chancellor.

Professor Mark Figueroa, Professorial Fellow (SALISES) at UWI, said: “It is important to get people to understand Sir Arthur Lewis and his contribution not so much for any of the particular proposals which he made but because of the spirit of confidence with which he approached the future and the methodologies that he adopted. In doing so he demonstrated that whatever ones situation may be, one can identify a path forward that can lead to the resolution of the greatest of problems. This is precisely the spirit that we need today as we grapple with the challenges faced by Caribbean societies.”

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