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Obama had 'essential truths' for Jamaica, says civil society leader

Published:Friday | April 10, 2015 | 9:43 AM

An economist and a civil society leader are hailing United States president, Barack Obama, for speaking what they call essential truths about Jamaica’s economy and governance during his visit.

Obama completed a one-day working visit to Jamaica yesterday which included meetings with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, CARICOM heads of government and young leaders.

University of the West Indies economics lecturer, Dr Damien King, agrees with Obama that growth and not necessarily debt write offs, is the best way to reduce debt.

According to the lecturer, that assertion from Obama is an essential and hopeful truth.

 

University economics lecturer, Dr Damien King.

Jamaica’s debt is more than $1 trillion.

President Obama says while debt write-off was discussed in talks with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, systematic reforms are required to boost growth.

Meanwhile, board member of the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, Carol Narcisse, says Obama demonstrated the need for local leaders to respectfully, frankly and honestly engage Jamaicans.

She adds that Obama’s emphasis on transparency and accountability should remind the Portia Simpson Miller administration of its roles and responsibilities. 

 

Civil society advocate, Carol Narcisse.

The Government has been criticised in recent times over its handling of the Goat Islands logistics hub initiative and the National Housing Trust's purchase of a failing tourist entity.