The Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe was appointed Trinidad and Tobago’s new Minister of Tourism on Friday 11th September 2015. Minister Cudjoe first entered the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago as an Opposition Senator at the start of the 10th Republican Parliament in June 2010. One of Tobago’s leading professionals in the field of International Affairs and Foreign Trade Policy, she has also served as a Trade Analyst in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and represented the island at various consultations and negotiations on regional integration and international trade matters. Her professional experience also includes working as an international trade consultant with the Organisation of the American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington D.C., USA. Prior to her appointment to the Cabinet, Minister Cudjoe was employed as the Assistant Director of the Youth Energised for Success Programme, an initiative of the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development at the THA.
Minister Cudjoe is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman College in Florida, USA, where she earned a B.A. in International Affairs (Hons.). She later obtained an MSc. International in Trade Policy (With Distinction) from the University of the West Indies and is also certified in Economic Development and Export Diversification, as well as International Food and Agriculture Trade by the World Bank Institute.
Speaking with the media following her appointment, the new tourism minister said she was pleased with her portfolio. Indicating there is “a plethora of issues” facing Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism industry, Minister Cudjoe said among her first actions would be to examine the industry and consult with stakeholders before implementing policy decisions. Other areas of priority for the Minister as she assumes office include improving transportation links between Trinidad and Tobago and initiatives to improve the local tourism product.
The People’s National Movement, led by Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, defeated the People’s Partnership Government, led by former Prime Minister the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, at the general election polls on Monday 7th September 2015, winning 23 seats to the incumbent’s 18. On Wednesday 9th September, Dr Rowley was sworn in as the seventh Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Prime Minister Rowley’s newly minted cabinet will have their first meeting on Monday 14th September 2015.