For many of us who don’t know about Jamaica this article will be a good read. It is an island nation that is situated in West Indies surrounded by Caribbean Sea, its capital is Kingston and today it is one of the most popular places for tourists and for those who are afraid of snakes as you can hardly ever encounter while wondering in the lush green forests of Jamaica. It was first inhabited by South Americans who gradually died either due to some disease or war. Spain took over this island from them after it was discovered by Christopher Columbus, but it was British who took over from Spanish tyranny and colonized it for constant supply of sugar from here. (Briney)
U.S. is known to support and fund armies all around the world for its own vested interests, regardless of the fact that millions of people are losing their lives due to their selfish motives. U.S. also supported civil war in Jamaica in order to earn revenue from sale of its weaponry, it funded and supported one political while other one was backed by Russia. This is how the situation got worse. The country had been exploited by the Western countries in order to get hands on their natural resources, the political leaders were aware of the situation but still they took help from them. Today when passing through streets of Kingston graffiti can be seen on walls in support of the two political parties. PNP leader is the current Prime Minister of Jamaica and more than 50 years have passed since they got independence from British but still they have British owned communication provider. It is a third world country. (Pitter, 2012)
Its economy is based mainly on tourism and agriculture but the recent weather adversities have strained the economy and the growth is now just 1.8%. The dependency on service sector is up to 80% of GDP. When tourism slowed down due to sudden natural catastrophes and violence due to unstable political conditions, the economy was hit so badly that Jamaica had to go to IMF for loans and as a result of which their debt servicing is as high as 140% of GDP. Other than this corruption is prevalent there which makes presence of a sound and strong economic infrastructure impossible. Human and drug trafficking are very common crimes, committed due to a weak law and order system which fails to enforce security of the lives and property of individuals. Unemployment rate is as high as 13.2% with youth contributing about 38% to this national figure. This high unemployment rate is also the reason for high criminal and street violence. (CIA World Factbook, 2015)
Lower middle income class has housing issues as they are unable to find affordable yet safe neighborhood to stay in raise their children. High unemployment rate has been the root cause of increasing criminal activities in the country; this can also be accounted to politics. Both of these issues can be solved by government only through investing in manufacturing sector which would lead to employment and increase the share of LSM and reduce the dependency from services sector. Government should incur infrastructure expenses to provide adequate housing schemes to the general public. The constitution states that women are fully allowed and encouraged to participate in the economic activities along with men, however the societal norms, sexual harassments and unjust environment prevents them from doing so, they do take part in politics.
In order to inspire and motivate young entrepreneurs to enter and develop the technological business options, government of Jamaica has started 100 day startup accelerator program in which young minds will be given full support and guidance in order to transform their ideas into successful reality. This will provide the necessary push and supervision that a great business idea needs. Jamaica does not hold abundant natural resources, in fact its supply is scarce and it has to develop other capabilities if it wants to compete in international market like creating alliances, investing in R&D etc. there is an impediment to implementation of these policies, i.e. shortage of funds and monetary supplies. It was one of the first countries to adopt S&T and a robust railway system. But corruption and political interests derailed the country from the path of scientific development.
The most pressing environmental issue facing the country is that of deforestation, the island, due to its geographic location, is naturally prone to climatic disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes and has experienced many such events. When any event of such nature occurs; agriculture lands are destroyed, people are killed and infrastructure gets uprooted. Second cause of environmental problem is industrial waste which industries dump illegally in the sea water. Land erosion is also the cause of pollution in Jamaica; annually 8% of trees get cut down. Most of the population gets clean drinking water but this isn’t for long if the situation kept ongoing like this with industries dumping their wastes in water and sewage water and oil spills keeps getting mixed with the source.
Jamaica is one of the countries who have highest violent crimes rate but relatively low property crime rate. Business hasn’t flourished much due to lack of security and high costs involved in obtaining all the relevant licenses. Business incur losses in case of any robbery or strikes, productivity declines and loss of working hours for which they have to work on odd hours in order to deliver on time. Labor force is killed or injured in such accident it leads to loss in investment that a firm has made in that labor in order to train him, additional time will have to be spent in order to find equally good replacement. Government has to spend the tax revenue on establishing law and order more and less on industrial development. This means diverting away the resources from their most productive use which could have benefitted the entire country in later years.
Briney, A. (n.d.). Geography of Jamaica. Retrieved December 25, 2015, from About Education: http://geography.about.com/od/jamaicamaps/a/jamaicageography.htm
CIA World Factbook. (2015, June 30). Jamaica Economy Profile 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2015, from Index Mundi: http://www.indexmundi.com/jamaica/economy_profile.html
Pitter, M. (2012). Just a Glimpse of the Political Situation in Kingston. Retrieved December 26, 2015, from In Parentheses: http://inparenthesesmag.com/2012/09/11/a-glimpse-of-the-political-situation-in-kingston-jamaica-by-m-pitter/