The Role of the Public Sector in the Provision of Economic Infrastructure

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Sir Neville Nicholls


The role of the public sector in the provision of economic infrastructure in the post independence Commonwealth Caribbean has been rooted both in tradition inherited from the pre-independence colonial practice, and in the political effort in the period just before and after independence to evolve and implement a philosophy for social and economic progress. This essay reviews some aspects of the paths pursued by governments of the Region since independence, and analyses the main issues of public sector performance on the roles assumed, thereby drawing attention to possible lessons from the Region's experience on economic infrastructure. The approach taken herein is to provide as far as possible, a positive analysis (what was, what is, and what will be) rather than normative (what ought to be), in keeping with the allocation of preparatory work for the 1996 meeting of the Caribbean Group for Cooperation in Economic Development (CGCED).

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