Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Island of St Helena

How many of you would care to live in a sub-tropical paradise 1000 miles from the nearest land mass,where outside supplies only come in once a month by ship?

The island in question is St Helena in the South Atlantic,a British Territory with a population of approximately 5000.

An extinct oceanic volcano with a land mass of around 2000 square kilometres,this island may for the first time be acquiring an airport,so that rich tourists can get away from it all.

Estimates suggest that this endeavour will create employment for 300 islanders,but no doubt the better paid jobs will go to outsiders with the relevant 'skills'.

The British Government seems reasonably keen on the idea,purely and simply on the basis that at the present time this community costs money.

St Helena's only claim to fame is that it was the location of Napoleon's imprisonment until his death in 1821 and now Longwood House, where he lived is a museum owned by the French Government.

Tourism is often seen as the solution to self financing for small island communities around the World,but without exception,the culture and nature of these communities is destroyed.

Today I ask you to think how would you help in creating meaningful employment for the people of St Helena,without the infestation of rich folks money and all that goes with it.

An entire culture is at stake here,so please post your ideas on how economic self determination may be achieved.Thankyou.


  1. That's a tall order Simon. Maybe if there was a natural resource on the island. Maybe attracting some industry to the island to provide employment but how you would lure a manufacturer to the island I'm not sure. Many manufacturers look for cheap labor but I don't know if that is a good solution to the problem and could create even more problems. They would need something to market, either a product or a service. I guess that's why tourism is so attractive, because it is an easy service to provide. If I can think of anything I will let you know. Have a great day.

  2. Perhaps eco-tourism? I'm not familiar with the place (although I plan on googling it in a moment), but I'm guessing it's a pretty nice looking. Not every endeavor has to be catered to the rich. Some of the best places I've ever been to have been anything but. You can still have the activities like nature hikes, scuba diving, etc. Just keep the accommodations modest, and that alone would be enough to keep some wealthy folks away by default.