During her Contribution to the 2019/2020 Budget Debate on June 12, 2019 Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle said that her Ministry forms part of a strong foundation upon which The Bahamas stands. “Firstly, it is the pivotal nexus bearing responsibility for overseeing the development of our most precious resource, our youth; second, the Ministry facilitates the growth and development of sports and recreation to the benefit of our people, which lends itself to magnifying the reputation of our country; and third, we exist to facilitate the promotion and preservation of the rich and diverse expressions of Bahamian culture,” Minister Rolle said in the House of Assembly. She noted that, through ongoing programs, the Division of Youth leads the way in preparing and prompting Bahamian youth to become trusted guardians and caretakers of the country.
“As the leading sports authority, the Department of Sports, creates and maintains an environment conducive to talent nourishing, skill development and athletic excellence,” she continued. “By way of the Division of Culture, the Ministry provides platforms to celebrate Bahamian heritage, share and preserve our unique way of life, and provide a platform for the exhibition of our native cultural expressions and a gateway for international cultural exchange.” Minister Rolle pointed out that she had advised her staff in the Ministry’s recently-held first Staff Appreciation Day that, in order to be a part of that team, it was imperative that each member possessed the “Three Ps” — love for people, respect for the Ministry’s purpose, and a natural passion to serve people and to do so with an attitude of excellence.
When addressing the topic of her vision for the Ministry, Minister Rolle noted that she had been in the Ministry less than a year. “Nonetheless, it is important to appreciate when we function as a member of a team, there is only one leader, and in this government, that leader is the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis,” she stated. “Any vision I have must be complementary to the 2017 FNM Manifesto and the corresponding Speech from the Throne.” Minister Rolle said that, given its enormous task that requires constant and consistent energy, ingenuity, and manpower, it is incumbent that her Ministry is staffed with the competent technical personnel to effectively achieve its objectives. “Each Department in order to function must have an administrative team of officers, a service team to interact with youth and a technical team to provide professional oversight of ongoing and new programs and to guide appropriate policy changes,” she said.
“A Youth Ministry must be relevant, modern and technologically savvy,” Minister Rolle said. “Recognizing this deficiency in each Department of the Ministry, I placed priority on identifying new professionals to complement the existing staff component. “In the absence of this, the work of the Ministry is unable to be performed at the level it can.” Minister Rolle said that a Ministry could have all the programs in the world and even all the money in the world, but if it does not have people to run the programs and to enjoy or benefit from the initiatives, then the programs on paper could have no effect.
“Significantly, upon assuming office, I have found that there were virtually no Ministry representatives on our Family Islands and insufficient officers in Grand Bahama,” she noted. “Hence, my Ministry recognizes that there is an urgent need to identify Family Island Program Coordinators and corresponding Administrative Officers to organize and lead the coordination of programs specifically for youth in our rural communities.” “Our newly appointed Human Resources Officer has been tasked with prioritizing this directive,” Minister Rolle added.