Lincoln Francis Grabs First Place — Analyzer Essay Competition

We continue to celebrate the winners of the essay competition and present the winning essay written by Lincoln Francis!

Thanks again to all of our judges and the Ministry of Education for hosting the prize giving ceremony (GOSL Video and Facebook post).

Lincoln Francis is a past student of the Laborie Boy’s Primary School and Vieux-Fort Comprehensive Secondary school, graduating in 2016 and 2018 from A-level in the same school, thereafter. I also completed my BSc. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of the West Indies, graduating with first class honours. I was always the kind to ask a lot of why questions in school, and generally was keen in finding out what is truth. This spurred my interest in science and engineering and because I am fascinated about how the world works and why it does the way that it does. But more than this, my real passion, if I have to confess is Christ and His Gospel. For me, finding Christ very early on in Secondary school was a game changer. And though I don’t recall exactly the point when He found me out, and make no claim of it being some supernatural event; I do recall being convicted with a personal impression of the undeniable reality that Jesus is Lord of all. My family always went to church and did the like, but none of it concerned me up until then. It deeply affected the way I behaved and viewed things; I treated people and strangers with much respect; I treated my schoolwork with much personal concern and took it seriously; and my peers with much love. I believe it was because of this, that in CXC and CAPE classes, I more than devoted myself to my work in the Sciences and excelled in exams. Moreover, I also became involved in my School’s InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Club (ISCCF) Chapter and Contagious Scientific Intelligence (Science Club) in A-level, being student leader in both. Even so, at University, I became Vice-President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) in my final academic year. Right now, I’m still involved with IVCF in Trinidad and also volunteer at Re-Plast OECS at the Laborie Pre-School.

The recent coverage of general elections has accentuated the economic and policy failures that plague fair Helen; many of which entail traditional approaches that stagnate economic growth. We have unwaveringly relied on tourism, using transitory contracts and foreign investors as a “one size fit all” solution, continuing to expect results to differ and improve from current. To quote Einstein, that is insanity by definition. The country needs to implement more diversified and innovative solutions, tailored fit to our economy, before our problems become irreversible. “Preliminary data indicate that the economy of Saint Lucia contracted by 23.8 per cent in 2020 in contrast to growth of 1.7 per cent in the previous year.” (Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, 2020). Moreover, according to a report done by Moody’s Analytics (2019), “Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks, including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil.” In what follows are solutions to the aforementioned, namely a nation-wide push to the digitization of businesses and diversification of St. Lucia’s manufacturing sector.

One of the most progressive undertakings to be done by the St. Lucian government is the establishment of local cloud computing servers to diversify e-commerce and workspaces in St. Lucia. The purpose of servers would be to store and process data remotely and provide a basis for local businesses and government agencies to transition onto digital platforms. Businesses both locally and regionally can pay to rent data storage and processing power on the servers, to conduct business operations, as opposed to high capital investments associated with starting businesses. Citizens adept in I.T. and similarly, can be hired and trained in the maintenance and upkeep of the devices while small business can also employ individuals with the skills set to help manage the company’s data. Moreover, if the cloud computing service is offered to other members of the OECS, the country can also earn revenue, while encouraging nearby member states to move into a more digitized era. The wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how, even within the region, we need to “upgrade” and move into a more technologically diverse working environment; one immune to shocks imposed by COVID-19. Using cloud computing services allow businesses and government agencies to retrieve and access data remotely, facilitating effective means of telecommunication. Workspaces have changed permanently, and this is expected to outlast even the pandemic; hence businesses should embrace remote working as a long-term solution (Rohit Arora, 2020). Government assisted transitions can create income generation during the digitization process while simultaneously fortifying all sectors in our economy. While as opportunity still arises, the initiative can foster fertile soil for economic growth sooner rather than later.

Moreover, the manufacturing industry plays a significantly smaller role in the St. Lucian economy, compared to tourism. By investing and diversifying manufacturing and manufactured products, the government of St. Lucia is becoming progressive. Many viable resources for manufacturing are underutilized or unnoticed by our leaders; international demand for niche products, like sea moss and hemp, are booming. If engaged, the economy can cater first; to a whole new host of employees who can be trained with basic skills to work within the industry and second; to a market locally and abroad to whom products can be provided. Industrial Hemp as a cash crop for the island, is promising. Hemp grows very quickly, is an incredibly versatile feed stock and can supply offshore manufacturers in pharmaceuticals, textiles, building materials, paints and so forth. Additionally, hemp boasts of low carbon footprints in its manufacturing and is considerably more environmentally friendly and sustainable, compared to other plant-based competitors (Kerr 2014). Similarly, the farming of sea moss has recently gained a lot of traction on island. Grassroots companies like the Royal St. Lucian Sea moss Company and St. Lucia Sea moss are producing hundreds of pounds of product to export to retailers in North America and Europe. If the government invests in training and assisting farmers in niche crop initiatives, as well as crops’ conversion into intermediary products, this will open the country up to an entirely new market that is already budding into existence. The push may bring in foreign exchange in exports, encourage locals to consume locally made products and hopefully aid in decreasing on the imports of other products that can be created here.

These solutions consider our country’s current impedances and resources. No doubt has the need for solutions to diversify economy been as relevant now- especially considering COVID-19. If our leaders, use these solutions in tandem with current economic activities, they can expect a fertile soil for economic growth sooner rather than later.

Bibliographies

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. 2020. “Annual Economic and Financial Review — December 2020 | Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.” Eccb-Centralbank.org. 2020. https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/content-manager/documents/animated/629.

Moody’s Analytics. 2019. “Saint Lucia | Economic Indicators | Moody’s Analytics.” Economy.com. 2019. https://www.economy.com/saint-lucia/indicators#ECONOMY.

Kerr, Andy. 2014. “Andy Kerr | Oregon Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactician, Schmoozer, Raconteur.” Andy Kerr | Oregon Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactician, Schmoozer, Raconteur. 2014. http://www.andykerr.net/hemp-environmental-benefits.

Rohit Arora. 2020. “Which Companies Did Well during the Coronavirus Pandemic?” Forbes, June 30, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rohitarora/2020/06/30/which-companies-did-well-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/?sh=3f33d0e77409.

Zidane’s 3rd place essay can be read here.

Chelsea’s 2nd place essay can be read here.

Please reach out to stlucia.analyser@gmail.com with any suggested topics for future articles or if you would like to help write or edit our blogposts. Like or Follow our Facebook Page or at Medium or Twitter or YouTube.

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Critical data-driven research analysis of challenges facing Saint Lucia.

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The St. Lucian Analyzer

The St. Lucian Analyzer

Critical data-driven research analysis of challenges facing Saint Lucia.

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