Jamaica left in Barbados' shadow
THE EDITOR, Sir:
On Sunday, November 30, Barbados celebrated its 48th anniversary of independence. I take this opportunity to wish Barbadians another year of prosperity, growth and affluence. For us Jamaicans, it is a time for reflection!
Barbados is around four years younger than Jamaica, in terms of political independence. Our initial conditions were similar at the time of independence. Both of us were British colonies, small-island economies, predominantly inhabited by the descendants of Africans who were brought to the Caribbean to cultivate sugar.
However, after independence, national course started to change for both of us. Although we had similar economic systems, Barbados started to engage in productive economic activity by legislating proactive macro-economic policies. Today, BDS$1 is equal to J$56, as the Barbadian economy continues to do better. We started off together, so where did we go wrong?
It is easy to blame our successive governments and leaders. One could argue that Jamaica's governance needs a lot to be desired. However, if we want to change our course, we will have to rely less on our politicians and more on ourselves. This is what went wrong and this is what we must change.
As we celebrate with the Barbadians, let us pledge to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work and raise families for our future generations.