By Derrick Scott
WASHINGTON, DC – Jamaica’s Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has implored members of the Diaspora to renew and reaffirm their commitment to playing a part in addressing critical aspects of national life that remains issues of concern.
The Prime Minister made his comments, in a message to the Jamaica Association of Maryland, at its gala to mark Jamaica’s fifty fourth year of independence at the Martins West Ball Room in Baltimore, on Saturday August 6, 2016.
Prime Minister Holness, in his message read by Charge d’Affairs at the Embassy of Jamaica, Mrs Marsha Coore-Lobban, said “I often express the view that Jamaicans domiciled in the Diaspora represent the common wealth of Jamaica, and as such, you must never cease focusing attention on matters pertinent to Jamaica’s development and quality of life for its citizens.”
Mr. Holness called on members of the Diaspora to sustain the campaign to leverage the considerable influence and network of resources at its disposal to champion Jamaica’s cause and advance the development interest of our people.
Prime Minister Holness noted that the management of our economy remained a critical area of focus as a lot of hard work had gone into implementing the structural reform required under the existing four year extended fund facility with the international monetary fund IMF.
“My administration is unequivocally commited to fostering and maintaining economic stability as well as sustained debt reduction; importantly however we are committed to exercising diligence and creativity in spurring growth attracting investments providing avenues for greater Diaspora participation and creating jobs for our people.”
The Prime Minister added that while the government’s hands remained firmly on the wheel in ensuring successful completion of the existing IMF program, collaboration with other key multilateral institution is on in ernest.
He said talks have already begun as to the kind of relationship Jamaica will have with the IMF when the current program ends in March 2017.
Mr Holness added that the government was fully cognizant that while considerable strides have been made in the implementation of economic reforms, Jamaica was by no means out of the woods.
Prime Minister Holness encouraged members of the Diaspora to play a part as we recommit ourselves to improving the productivity and efficiency of our economy by ensuring that all our labour force is trained and certified and that businesses are able to retool and incorporate the latest technology into their production.
Two outstanding Jamaicans’ Maryland State Senator Shirly Natham Pulliam and prominent Attorney Franklyn Burke were honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Marcus Garvey UNIA Award respectively by the Jamaica Association of Maryland for their outstanding contribution to politics and the Jamaican Community.
Among those attending the ball were Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith, lieutenant Colonel Dillion Lobban, President of the National association of Jamaican and supportive organization Rick Nugent and President of Women AT Real Risk Mrs Totlyn Taylor-Newby and president of the Washington base Jamaican nationals association Dr. Jacqueline Payne Borden.