THE EDITOR, Sir:
AS A second-year management studies student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), one of my greatest concerns is the economic development of this country - the lacklustre attitude of the productive sector, the very slow pace at which our economy is reflecting growth, if any.
A public forum was held on Monday by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, and Jamaicans United for Sustainable Development under the theme, 'An economic action plan for Jamaica'. I had the privilege of being in attendance. The first presenter from the department of economics really brought into focus the problems by way of statistics, that over a 40-year period we have not truly had sustainable development.
He spoke about the equipment being used in our production sector as not up to standard; thus quality, in terms of the services offered, is consistently a problem. In addition, there is the challlenge to maintain and operate these equipment in light of the high energy costs. There were a slew of other presenters.
No real solution
Now, I am sure that many forums, discussions, press conferences, meetings and such the like have been held with a view to find solutions and implement them in order to achieve sustainable growth. But with all the seriousness of these ideas being put forward - and I know they mean well - we are still seemingly not finding real solutions to economic development. With all our best runners, with persons from Jamaica sitting on councils such as the International Monetary Fund, and the best of our people are world-renowned because of our greatness as a people, plus the unexplored natural resources in the Cockpit Country, why is there not much growth?
Mr Editor, the solution is that we have a culture of severe lack of aggression towards putting our country first, as against putting ourselves first. We claim we love our country but when it comes to 'What can I do for Jamaica?' we have been cultured as to what can people and, by extension, the nation do for us. This has to change in order for us to see a new Jamaica. We are now celebrating 50 years of Independence with not much of sustainable growth to show.
We have to start at the basic-school level by inculcating within the school's curriculum as well as instilling in them a nation-driven perspective so that in time to come the succession of generations who have an expectation of what Jamaica can do for them will change.
Let us face the truth, we cannot get anywhere unless we acknowledge that this is the underlying issue that needs to be addressed in order for us to finally see growth and development in Jamaica, land we love.
Terry Ann Dwyer-Edwards