THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER AIDS 11-YEAR-OLD VICTIM OF GUN VIOLENCE
Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, is providing financial aid via his Positive Jamaica Foundation, to Calyssa Walker, 11, a young victim of gun violence. Walker was hit by a stray bullet coming from a shootout between gun men while she was rising in a taxi in Montego Bay in October 2021. Holness announced the aid when he visited with Calyssa, who requires special surgery in the United States, and her mother Kelly-Ann Reece on April 7, 2022. He told them he was contributing through his foundation and added that additional help will be provided through the Ministry of Health and from Malahoo Forte, Member of Parliament for St. James West Central.
LABOR SHORTAGE IN JAMAICA COULD MEAN IMPORTATION OF SKILLED WORKERS
Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica stated that the nation may be forced to import workers if the current shortage is not remedied. A shortage of skilled workers is particularly marked in the construction sector. Holness spoke to the issue at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Riu Aquarelle Hotel in Trelawny. He noted that the labor shortage is a positive sign for Jamaica’s economy, it could be a serious problem if it is not resolved quickly. Holness noted that many Jamaican young people could be brought into the work force and that HEART, the employment and resource training trust, has been alerted to the issue in terms of training needs. He warned that Jamaican cannot permit a labor shortage to impose a limit on the nation’s growth.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CARIBBEAN WOMAN MAKES IMPRESSION AT UNITED NATIONS
A woman from the Caribbean region is making her mark at the United Nations. On April 11, 2022, Jamaican professor Verene Shepherd became the new Chair of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). She was recently re-elected Vice Chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission and has served as Chair and Co-Chair of Jamaica’s National Council on Reparations. Shepherd, an academic, social historian, and advocate for reparations, is also the author of several books on slavery, emancipation, Caribbean revolutions, as well as the Caribbean Community claim for reparations from Britain. The election of Shepherd to the position of Chair during the UN Decade for People of African Descent and the year that will see the UN introduce a Permanent Forum on People of African Descent is especially impactful. She is the first Chair of CERD to be a member of the African Diaspora.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA’S FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY PLANS TO ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS IN PLANS FOR JAMAICA 60 DIASPORA CONFERENCE
Representatives of stakeholders in multiple ministries and agencies of the Jamaican government received a briefing on the preparations for the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference. The Conference, which is held every two years, will be convened by the Foreign Affairs Ministry from June 14 through 16, 2022. It was rescheduled from 2021 because of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. The theme of the ninth staging of the conference is “Reigniting a Nation for Greatness” and will celebrate the country’s 60th anniversary of independence. Senator Leslie Campbell, the State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is responsible for Diaspora matters, noted that the input from stakeholders is “critical” to align the Conference with the priorities of the Jamaican government. Campbell noted the value of the Diaspora in financial, social, and cultural ways and that the Diaspora represents one of Jamaica’s best assets.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO STRENGTHEN GOAT MILK INDUSTRY IN ST. MARY
According to Franklin Witter, Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the nation’s government plans to strengthen several St. Mary agricultural sectors, including the goat milk industry. Fifteen farmers in the area of the Cobra Ranch Dairy Goat Farm will be able to sell goats’ milk to the farm. The Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB) will provide training to goat farmers in how to develop new products, including yoghurt, cheese, and flavored milk. Witter engouraged the farmers to expand their production as part of an effort to create a more resilient agricultural sector. He made his remarks in a keynote address at the St. Mary Agricultural Show on April 18, 2022, in Annotto Bay.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
TESSANNE CHIN CONFIRMED TO PERFORM AT 2022 APPLETON ESTATE JAMAICA RUM FESTIVAL
Jamaican singer and winner of the 2013 “The Voice” television competition Tessanne Chin will be one of the performers at the 2022 Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum Festival. Joining Chin will be reggae and dancehall star Capleton, Sanchez and Romaine Virgo. The event will be held in Montego Bay at Harmony Beach Park in St. James. This will be the first in-person staging of the event since the lockdowns imposed by COVID-19. According to Valon Thorpe, the festival’s director, this is the first physical staging of the event and follows the end of COVID-19 protocols. In 2021, the event was held virtually, and more the a million people tuned in. The festival is presented in partnership with Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism via the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the Jamaica Tourist Board. The event will feature additional cultural activities in addition to music and showcase Jamaica’s heritage and culture.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE GIRLZ DRAW INTO GROUP A FOR CONCACAF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
In the official draw for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship held on April 19, 2022, the Reggae Girlz were added to Group A, which includes the current World Cup winner, the United States. Also in Group A are Mexico and Haiti. The 2020 Olympic gold medal team from Canada is included in Group B, along with Costa Rica, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago. Participating in the April 19 draw were CONCACAF General Secretary Philippe Moggio, former Jamaican player Alicia Wilson and Jamaican songwriters and singers Skip Marley and Cedella Marley. The CONCACAF Women’s Championship will serve as the final regional round for qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. It will also be the qualifying competition for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The CONCACAF Championship games will be played in Mexico, with the final on July 18, 2022.