The Steering Committee for the [National Development Plan]( (Vision 2040) presented the [State of the Nation ]( in a special presentation ceremony in the Harry C. Moore Library at the College of The Bahamas on April 11. Felix Stubbs, Chair of the Committee asserted that improvements to the country must begin with human capital, noting that the Report has pointed out the *”dire need to continue to invest in education”* to support both our young people, and our not so young people, who wish to upgrade their skills. Learning and skills acquisitions must be a lifelong activity. *”This must be a common duty that all Bahamians feel is their responsibility for themselves and their children,”* Mr. Stubbs said.

The State of the Nation report is the first milestone on the path to a National Development Plan (NDP), and Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie in responding to the unveiling said it gives much food for thought and presents a unique opportunity to *”fundamentally transform”* The Bahamas for the better.

The report outlines a number of national challenges in fact, and the Prime Minister in turn issued a series of challenges to stakeholders present on how best to address these deficiencies as the country secures its future *”among the leading countries of the world.”* He said in establishing a bold vision for The Bahamas its citizens can work towards an almost unimaginably bright future.

COB President Dr. Rodney Smith noted that The College of The Bahamas has played a critical role as a part of the development of the State of the Nation Report, including research, hosting events, providing facilities, offering leadership and engaging in consultations. *”Most significantly, The College has also agreed to be a long-term partner with the government in the monitoring of the implementation of the plan. As such this is a very special occasion for The College, and we are pleased to host this event, which we expect to be an annual event to bring together leaders with the citizens and residents of the country to discuss the state of the nation,”* he said.

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to stress that the NDP is not a PLP plan, but a Plan for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. He recognised *”with gratitude”* the presence of the Free National Movement (FNM) and Democratic National Alliance (DNA) at the unveiling ceremony. *”It’s going to take those of us who are leaders to rise up above the normal everyday politics of The Bahamas,”* he asserted.