BVI News

COMMENTARY: Close ‘talk shop’ and open real convo about BVI’s future


By Shaina Smith-Archer, Contributor

There has been a “talk shop” over the last 20 years about where we want to see our country in the future. 

Two decades later we are still talking. I would like to close the “shop” permanently and open a purposeful conversation on WHAT is a national vision, WHY it is important and HOW it will be accomplished. 

I think this will help us actually get one done this time because we first need to appreciate the value of the process if we want to be in a better situation 20 years from now. 

This is NOT about projects or programmes but what we call outcomes or quality of life. For example: Are Virgin Islanders able to make a living wage, have access to excellent quality public education and healthcare systems, and can afford to own a house and land? If not, why not and what do we need to do to make it a reality?

The 2017 hurricanes and 2020 pandemic only served to remind us that while we have accomplished many things, more is needed for our people to realise their full potential and not struggle with the necessities like food and shelter. 

I admit that the list of issues looks and feels overwhelming, but as an engineer, I know that solutions come when we are intentional about looking for the root causes to the problem and solving them. Planning for quick wins only leads to talking about the same problems years later. It is TIME to stop the “talking” and make specific decisions about these Virgin Islands that our grandchildren will inherit. 

Our USVI neighbours released their Economic Vision 2040 plan earlier this year and the process used is a good example of the best practice of community-driven planning for consensus. Here is the USVI Economic Development Authority’s website,, to check out their process and plan as we start our dialogue. Three things I want to point out: 

1. They had a Task Force of various stakeholders
2. The diaspora (people who live outside the USVI) were engaged and
3. There are clear roles and responsibilities as to who is responsible for implementing the vision. 

Stay tuned as we continue the change in the conversation for a better Virgin Islands! 


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  1. Yeah Right says:

    This woman been running her mouth for years on every matter under the sun and now she wants to run her mouth again? Shaina take a rest. People like you why this country is a mess today.

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  2. Take a seat in thr back says:

    Shaina please take a seat. We need leadership but it is not you… Go siddung for heaven’s sake.

    Like 7
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  3. Please says:

    Shaina, please give it up. Move on. Know when it’s time to call it quits.

    Like 4
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  4. @ PARTICIPATION says:

    those negative suggestions have all the trademark nof blondie , which i find humorous , he surely knows how to talk sH*t

    Like 2
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  5. Smh says:

    Independence mean the country will belong the Branson and Larry Page. Worthless Wheatley will surely make sure of that.

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