Wed | Sep 20, 2017

JSIF’s downtown push

Published:Tuesday | March 1, 2016 | 3:00 AM

Managing director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney, said the agency is committed to driving investment back into downtown Kingston.

According to Sweeney, JSIF has, over the years, contributed to the development of infrastructure in the area and will, through integrated community development projects, be elevating the standards of the area to encourage higher levels of comfort for commercial and social activities in the area.

He cited the completion of the Franklin Town Sports Complex on Deanery Road last year, through the JSIF's European Union-supported Poverty Reduction Programme as an example of efforts to develop the area. He said this facility is an asset to the community for promoting wellness, as well as for economic activity.

"We are going to be in communities like Greenwich Town and Majesty Gardens and West Kingston, carrying out the types of development that will not only improve infrastructure, but also deal with solid waste management issues, and facilitate the growth of business through our entrepreneurial training programmes and support to small business enterprises," said Sweeney during a recent interview with the Jamaica Information Service.

He encouraged the private sector to offer increased support for youth and small business owners in downtown Kingston, through the provision of internship and mentoring.

"Downtown Kingston represents hidden wealth that this country possesses that is not being unearthed," said Sweeny as he urged non-governmental organisations to play a role in accessing and exposing the opportunities of community-based groups.