(PRESS RELEASE) – The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) congratulates Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada, Chair of CANARI’s Partnership, on her appointment as Executive Chair of the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (ESCTT).
Announced five weeks ago, Zakiya’s appointment becomes effective today – February 26, 2020 – a significant date in Trinidad and Tobago’s history. On this day 50 years ago, a tertiary student-led protest through the streets of Port of Spain, grew into what became known as the Black Power Revolution. Now, with Zakiya being the first female chair of ESCTT, there is yet another reason to reflect on the significance of February 26 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Zakiya, 65, has a MSc in Agriculture and Rural Development. Having volunteered consistently with the ESCTT over the years, she became its Executive Director in 2005. In 2015, she was elected Chair of CANARI’s Partnership which is a unique and innovative governance structure that reflects its participatory culture. Elected Board members ‘Elected Partners’, work with the Executive Director (who is Managing Partner) and one or two senior staff who are appointed as Staff Partners. In the five years as Chair, she has excelled at providing sound leadership and governance to the institute while fulfilling her ESCTT duties.
Khafra Kambon – who held the post of ESCTT chairman since the organisation’s inception in 1992- will focus on his role as Director of Pan African Affairs and Advancing the Human Rights of Africans. Speaking with CANARI, Zakiya said she will use her new role as executive chair – she remains executive director even as she takes over as chairman – to “build on Khafra’s legacy” while forging new strategic partnerships to ensure the committee is sustainable well into the future.
Commenting on being chair of two organisations simultaneously, and what this will mean for CANARI and the ESCTT, Zakiya said, “My roles at CANARI and ESCTT are very complementary and there are learnings that I could take from CANARI to assist the ESCTT and vice versa.”
She noted that CANARI is a regional technical institute focused on participatory natural resources management while ESCTT, although having regional and international scope as well, is focused on human and social development in particular addressing issues that impact the lives of African people.
The CANARI family warmly congratulates Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada on her role as the new Executive Chair of the ESCTT and looks forward to her continued contribution to the growth and development of both organisations.