At the sitting of its University Finance and General Purposes Committee (U-F&GPC) on October 27, 2021, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) ratified the Naming Committee’s decision to convert the P.J. Patterson Centre for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy into a University Institute.
The re-envisioned entity is now known as the P.J. Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy.
According to the University’s Policy for the Establishment, Operation and Governance of Units, Centres and Institutes, such academic entities facilitate extra-Departmental interactions and collaborations that are appropriate for providing multi-disciplinary programmes of research, training and outreach in selected thematic areas.
This change from a Centre operating on the Mona Campus to an Institute allows the entity to work across all the campuses of the regional university while remaining in its current location. The P.J. Patterson Centre for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy officially launched in June 26, 2020, with the mandate to coordinate public policy and advocacy in fostering development relations between the Caribbean and Africa.
The new structure will ensure the engagement and deployment of the full range of distinguished scholars, technical experts and friends who are already committed to provide focussed expertise on a critical range of regional needs to facilitate national, regional and international collaboration.
Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles expressed confidence in the decision based on the increased scope of work undertaken by the Centre in the last two years of its operation, under the guidance of the Statesman in Residence, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Vice-Chancellor Beckles explained that the change in institutional form was necessitated for two fundamental reasons—the scope of the mandate of the institution, especially in regard to the follow-up to the Africa-Caribbean Summit and, the urgency of the role arising from the challenges confronting Africa and the Caribbean in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the more recently the dislocation resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Statesman in Residence, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson also noted, “This new institutional form will enable the Institute to discharge our mandate and facilitate engagement of all the resources of The UWI in this time of unprecedented challenges which face Africa, the Caribbean and the Diaspora.”