Jamaica: Going for growth
The need for sustained economic growth has been articulated repeatedly by interests in both the private and public sectors.
Jamaicans have been told that to help achieve this, the country must stick to the terms and conditions of the existing agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This position was endorsed by United States President Barack Obama during his recent visit to Kingston.
"I think the current Government has been wise to work hard to abide by the IMF provisions," President Obama said, as he addressed youth leaders on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies.
"The best way for a country to reduce its debt is to grow really fast and generate more income," he added.
In the mission to transform and grow the local economy to ensure a better quality of life for Jamaicans, special attention must be paid to towns and communities outside of Kingston, St Andrew, and greater St Catherine. Rural Jamaica must also get special attention. We have no other option.
Jamaica Vision 2030 outlines a road map for rural transformation. The document says that it "supports the economic and social development of all parishes to achieve their full potential" and commits to "accelerate rural development". The document argues, too, that rural areas "will be conceptualised ... as drivers of plans for growth in the national economy". Now is the time for action.
Today, The Gleaner begins a series of discussions on job creation, investment and growth, in capitals and towns across rural Jamaica. We are starting in Lucea, Hanover. We hope to place rural development front and centre of national attention.
We will showcase work taking place in the countryside. We will highlight the development plans. We will explore the opportunities. We will engage elected and business leaders. We will highlight the problems. We will press for action. We must demand rural transformation.
Follow us on this journey across Jamaica.