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CDB building capacity of Caribbean public procurement specialists

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with funding from the government of Italy, continues to support the development of professional skills of public procurement practitioners in the region with the award of a new scholarship to Amoi Romeo from Trinidad and Tobago.

Amoi follows in the footsteps of CDB’s inaugural procurement scholarship awardee Ms Samantha Marchan, an employee of the Office of Procurement Regulation (OPR) in Trinidad and Tobago who completed the International Master in Public Procurement Management (IMPPM) at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in the 2023 cohort. The IMPPM is regarded as one of the leading public procurement master’s globally; the programme integrates sustainable and inclusive public procurement approaches, including gender equality.

The current awardee has oversight for procurement at the Division of Finance, at the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) as the technical adviser to the secretary of finance.

CDB’s head of procurement Douglas Fraser, who indicated that the scholarship is a response to an existing gap in training available regionally stated: “The programme is playing a crucial role in helping the Caribbean to develop a cadre of public procurement experts who are suitably qualified to lead reforms to develop procurement systems and institutions that reflect international best practice while being appropriate to the local context. The importance of investing in the public procurement leaders of tomorrow has perhaps never been greater given the challenges facing public procurement.”

According to Romero: “I am grateful for this opportunity from the Caribbean Development Bank to increase my knowledge in procurement. This opportunity is very important to me, and I look forward to using my increased wisdom to benefit the people of Trinidad and Tobago and anywhere else in the world that I may be called upon to share this knowledge.” 

The scholarship, valued at an estimated USD17, 000 will cover the cost of tuition, living expenses, and travel. This year, CDB partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to expand the reach of the programme, increase the number of Caribbean participants and more effectively accommodate the significant demand for the scholarship and for specialised post-graduate programmes in procurement in the region.

After a joint CDB-IDB advertisement and selection process, the OPR’s Melissa Ramkumarsingh, also from Trinidad and Tobago, was selected for IDB funded scholarship award.

The students will commence studies in March 2024 and conclude in March 2025. They were two of over 30 persons who responded to the initial call for applications to the bank’s 18 Borrowing Member Countries issued in 2023. The current recipients will join a global cohort which comprises three other Caribbean students, from the public and private sector all desirous of strengthening their existing procurement systems.



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