Washington DC — Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, began a working visit to Washington DC on Monday, 25th September, 2017, with Keynote Remarks delivered at an Organization of American States (OAS) Round Table on Innovation and several meetings with prospective development partners, including the OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and private sector companies such as Microsoft.

During his Keynote Remarks on “Innovation policies and the importance of innovation indicators” at the OAS HQ in Washington DC, Minister Lloyd observed the ongoing work in The Bahamas and wider region to advance innovation and the use and development of technology but offered that further work was required to “create a culture of innovation and expose people to the opportunities that science, technology and innovation afford to improve their way of life.”

In identifying the particular challenges of the Caribbean region related to high energy costs, vulnerability to more frequent and destructive natural disasters due to climate change and uneven telecommunications connectivity, Minister Lloyd advised that “regional collaboration answers the call and can be the catalyst to share policies, programs and assets which can provide a path to address some of the most urgent issues around these great challenges in a win-win fashion, matching assets and capabilities”. The Minister particularly underscored the unique development challenges faced by The Bahamas which had to duplicate governance across the archipelago because of having to “manage 28 airports, almost 100 clinics and 170 public schools” and given “eighty percent of The Bahamas is less than 1 meter above sea level”.

Later in the morning, Minister Lloyd met with the OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Mrs. Kim Osborne, and discussed current education projects with the OAS and The Bahamas, such as the OAS-Bahamas Scholarship, and identified areas for potential future collaboration with the OAS, including teacher training, integration of technology into Bahamian schools,  capacity building for the University of The Bahamas and technical assistance with policies and programmes to promote innovation and to address youth unemployment.

Minister Lloyd also met with Chiefs of the Education and Labour Divisions of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to advise on the education goals for the new administration and discuss prospective collaborative opportunities with the Bank, particularly in the areas of early child hood care and education policy that addresses youth unemployment.

Minister Lloyd will participate in a Science and Technology Meeting at the OAS on September 26th – 27th and will chair the Planning Meeting of Authorities of the Inter-American Committee on Education on September 28th – 29th. The Bahamas hosted the Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education in February 2017 and remains chair of the Inter American Committee on Education until 2018.
Minister Lloyd at Roundtable - 2
Caption 1 – Minister of Education Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd delivers Keynote Remarks at the Organization of American States (OAS) Round Table on Innovation​.

Minister Lloyd at Meeting with SEDI - 1
Caption 2 – Bahamas Embassy Charge d’Affaires Chet Neymour, OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development Kim Osborne and Minister of Education Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd after meeting on OAS education matters.

Minister Lloyd at IDB
Caption 3 – Inter American Development Bank  officials and Minister of Education Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd after meeting on prospective collaborative opportunities. From Left to Right: Operations Sr. Specialist Musheer Kamau; Junior Counselor Mavis Culmer; Education Division Chief Emiliana Vegas; Minister of Education Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd; Labour Markets and Social Security Division Chief​ Carmen Pages Serra; Operations Sr. AdvisorJorge von Horoch .