Column: MP Akierra Missick Of Turks & Caicos

October 10, 2018 | 5 Comments

[Opinion column written by MP Chris Famous]

Over the last summer I have had the privilege and honour to represent Bermuda during the 43rd annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association [CPA] conference held in Cayman Islands June 16thto June 23rd. During this conference we got to meet fellow parliamentarians from around the Caribbean region.

Some were veterans such as Sir Gerald Watt QC, speaker of Parliament for Antigua and Barbuda, Picewell Forbes of the Bahamas and Vance Amory of St. Kitts and Nevis. Others were not so much veterans, but definitely seasoned politicians in their own rights.

Persons such as Senator Anita Hayes of Trinidad and Tobago, MLA Chris Saunders of Cayman Islands and MP Akierra Mary Deanne Missick of Turks and Caicos.

Caribbean Parliamentarians Bermuda Oct 2018 (5)

One of the key purposes of these CPA conferences is to facilitate regional parliamentarians gathering in one spot in an effort to build bonds and bridges amongst themselves and their respective countries. This worthy goal is indeed achieved amongst all of those who attend these events.

Many parliamentarians go on to become life-long friends with each other and offering interpersonal and inter-regional advice and assistance whenever the needs occur.

However, throughout the region those who are not elected parliamentarians may know about past and current leaders of other islands but more than likely not know about other members of parliament in other Caribbean territories.

As prime example, most will know that the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda is the Hon. Gaston Browne or that the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis is the Hon Dr. Timothy Harris. Yet very few will have any real knowledge about the other parliamentarians.

As leaders of the Caribbean, we have a duty to educate ourselves and each other on all matters that help to shape our region. Politics is one such area and the regional politicians are playing a role not just in the progression of their own countries but the Caribbean as a whole.

To this end a new series will be created that helps to give a bit of a profile on regional parliamentarians. We will do our best to cover as many persons across the region.

The very first parliamentarian to grace this series will be MP Akierra Mary Deanne Missick [AMDM] of Turks and Caicos Islands [TCI].

Caribbean Parliamentarians Bermuda Oct 2018 (1)

Tell the people of the Caribbean who is Akierra Missick?

AMDM: Oh, that is easy, Akierra Mary Deanne Missick is a proud Turks and Caicos islander who knows that the Turks & Caicos Islands has an opportunity to be one of the leading small countries in the world. So, I am working towards making that vision a reality.

Professionally, I am a second term Parliamentarian, and a practicing Senior Attorney/Lawyer in the TCI. I am a Christian, and avid reader and island girl, you’ll find me on the beach most weekends.

Tell us about your path towards politics.

AMDM: Politics, well, I when I was younger, I knew I would be a representative of the people on day. I had the opportunity to attend school in the USA at a young age and had my eyes on running for a US Senate seat.

So, I volunteered with political organisations over the years, served in student and University Council, and studied politics whilst undertaking my law degree in the UK. I have registered with political parties as early as the age of 13.

Basically, you can say, everything that I have done leading up to the 2012 election where I was elected after running for the first time and appointed the Deputy Premier and Minister of Education was destined, or as I like to say, a plan in the making for many, many years.

I served as the Secretary General of the Progressive National Party [PNP] in 2007/2008 after having always remaining active in the party from the time joined as a youth member in the year 2000. I continue to serve in various capacities in the party including the Legal team.

I believe in service before self, and whilst I appreciate the quick accent I’ve had in the Party, I am humbled to know that those roles are no more important than the grassroots supporter, who is looking to the party to bring a vision of hope and propriety to our islands.

Which constituency do you represent?

AMDM: The best in the whole country – Leeward and Long Bay – ED 5. As the Constituency was created in 2012 I am the first MP of this constituency and they plan to have me as their MP for many years to come.

What are the major local concerns?

AMDM: Local concerns to Leeward and Long Bay are crime and security. It is one of the more affluent constituencies in the TCI, but we are now becoming targets for the increase in burglaries. We must continuously petition the police for greater community presence in the area.

Environmental concerns are often discussed by residents. Again, we live in a beautiful area of the Island of Providenciales, but outsiders of the community are constantly littering and disposing their refuge on the streets of our areas.

What are the major national concerns?

AMDM: Crime and illegal migration is at the top of the list. Earlier this year, for the first time, our community had an illegal sloop landing. This created a great deal of fear in our neighbours and resulted in some of them taking action themselves by arresting and detaining illegal migrants from the vessel.

Where do you see Turks and Caicos in the next 10 years?

AMDM: As a leader in the region for employment opportunities and growth. The TCI is in a unique position to advance many new industries that the region has not yet reviewed. As a new kid on the block with a smaller population, no significant debt to speak of and very close proximity to the USA, we should be the next tech hub for the east coast of the USA.

We have islands that can just be dubbed ‘Tech Cays’, we should be embracing crypto-currencies and technology. We’re good with sun, sand and sea, our hotel offerings are some of the best in the world, it is now time to capture another market and put our ‘Beautiful by Nature’ stamp on it.

Caribbean Parliamentarians Bermuda Oct 2018 (2)

Where do you see the Caribbean region in the next 10 years?

AMDM: The current wave in the region is promising. I am impressed by the work of Barbados’ new PM Hon. Mia Motley in her engagement of the private sector, public sector and civic societies. She is very refreshing.

I also follow closely PM Hon. Andrew Holness of Jamaica. He and I are part of a regional think tank called Caribbean 2030 Leaders Network, which has politicians, businessmen, tech leaders, environmentalist and regulatory persons all networking and finding ways to advance our region. I am honoured to be a member of such a group, and really believe we can bring our region into the forefront of the global scene.

What one message would you send to the people of the Caribbean?

AMDM: We cannot sit back and enjoy the last days of colonial oppression and think that the work is over, done or dusted. Our work is just starting, time to lead, time to show the world why our islands are important, and how we can shake this world up.

Those day of continually answering to persons in Europe need to be well behind us. We, as a region need to take our rightful place in the global world. Let us stop complaining and get working collectively. Let us not be blinded by party colours and faces and work to the common good of our region. Yes, let us be proud of our history, but let’s get righting the next chapters of the regions life. One love!

- Chris Famous, a PLP MP, can be contacted via email at Carib_pro@yahoo.com or Whatsapp 441-599-0901

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Comments (5)

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  1. seaweed says:

    We are not in the carribean

  2. Mark says:

    Waste of time and money.

  3. Yahoo says:

    Famoussss got to meet seasoned and veteran politicians. They got to meet… Famoussss. What a waste of time and money.

  4. facts of the rock says:

    Go back to belco Famous,ain’t no one interested in anything you have to say!

  5. Grateful says:

    Thank you MP Famous. I, and many of my friends and colleagues, are very interested in learning more about our political counterparts in the Caribbean and are saving your historical vignettes for later reference. Please include local political leaders as well – from both Parties. Great start. Keep up the excellent work.

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