THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
AMBASSADOR ALOUN NDOMBET-ASSAMBA NAMED LEGAL ADVISOR TO PNP
Jamaica’s People’s National Party (PNP) appointed Ambassador Aloun Ndombet-Assamba as its new legal advisor at the meeting of the PNP Executive on December 14, 2020. Ndombet-Assamba has served as Jamaica’s High Commissioner to London, as well as a Cabinet Minister, a Member of Parliament, and a Member of the Senate. According to a statement from the PNP, she is “”outstanding Jamaican who has had a stellar career in Government, in the business sector and as a jurist.” Mark Golding, head of the PNP, welcomed Ndombet-Assamba’s appointment, stating that she is an example of “stability, competence, and wisdom, and that the wisdom she will bring to her new role will help the party’s efforts to reach technical decisions in the coming months. Her appointment clearly indicates that the PNP is adding a broad range of talented people to its leadership and is focused on reaching a balance of “competence, experience, and gender,” Golding added.
AUDLEY SHAW CALLS FOR EXPORT OF JAMAICA’S NATIONAL DISH
Audley Shaw, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, wants local manufacturers to produce the country’s national dish of ackee and saltfish for export. He made his remarks during an address to a virtual Food Security and Agribusiness Council meeting where he encouraged manufacturers in Jamaica to use the global renown of the national dish to raise the island’s exports and to help in increasing its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). National Geographic Magazine recently placed the dish of ackee and saltfish second on its list of the world’s national dishes. Accordingly, Shaw believes it is time for Jamaica to aggressively increase the production of ackee and export the dish to the world as a ready-to-eat meal.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
DOMINICA IN DISPUTE OVER MAKING AND EXPORT OF SOAPS WITHIN CARICOM
Dominica Coconut Products Successors Limited (DCPS) is considering legal action that will press its claim that duty-free import into Jamaica of the noodles or chips from which soaps are made is illegal. Jamaican attorneys have not made a definitive response to the claim or whether it would be pursued in the Caribbean Court of Justice. The DCPS believes the import of soap chips duty-free is illegal. To avoid legal action, CARICOM countries can buy chips from the DCPS or invest in saponification equipment.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA DIASPORA NORTHEAST USA TO COLLABORATE WITH JAMAICA’S HEALTH INDUSTRY
The state minister for health Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn received updates on the human resources that are available in the Northeast Diaspora USA for addressing non-communicable diseases in Jamaica at a meeting highlighting the group’s achievements in 2020. According to Dr. Karen Dunkley, the representative to the global Jamaica Diaspora Council Northeast USA, said that Jamaicans living in the northeastern part of the US have continued their dedication and commitment to giving their time and resources to support Jamaica’s economic sustainability, health care, and community and social infrastructure. The end of the year meeting offered a chance to review the 2020 action plan and to start discussions of a more strategic way to collaborate with Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness to address existing health disparity issues on the island.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICANS TO HAVE CHANCE TO INVEST IN NEW NATIONAL BROADBAND SERVICE
According to Michael Lee-Chin, businessman, chair of Portland Holdings, and the chair of the task force working with Jamaica’s government to provide universal internet access across the island via a National Broadband Initiative owned and managed by the private sector through a “publicly listed special purpose vehicle” or SPV. This approach will let Jamaicans own part of the infrastructure that is designed to facilitate economic recovery efforts as Jamaica attempt to move forward from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is expected to cost US$237 million. Lee-Chin wants all Jamaicans to own a part of the national broadband infrastructure and to have control over the capital investment necessary to maintain the asset to standards required to be competitive in the global, digital sector.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
DESPITE COVID-19, FILM PRODUCTION CONTINUES IN JAMAICA
According to Renee Robinson, JAMPRO’s Film Commissioner, Jamaica’s film industry has proven to be resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between April and November of 2020, the island has seen 31 film productions take place. While activity has decreased, Jamaica continues to get attention and to be a viable filming destination, particularly with the establishment of the country’s “Safe Return to Set” guidelines. These guidelines have been a key element in raising Jamaica’s global image as filming destination. The local film industry is also actively mobilizing and attending international conferences and events hosted by the Film Commission and its local partners. Some of the high-profile productions occurring during the April-November period include those including stars like Shaggy, Usain Bolt, H.E.R, Maluma, Koffee, and the Clarks shoe brand. JAMPRO has met with firms including AMC/Shudder, BBC, Cartoon Network, Hulu, MACRO, Netflix, and Tyler Perry Studios, to discuss the production or placement of Jamaican content.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
WILLIAMS SAYS JAMAICA PREMIER LEAGUE POISED FOR SUCCESS
Although there is uncertainty about whether football will return to Jamaica any time soon, the Professional Football Jamaica (PFJ) group headed by Chris Williams continues its efforts to secure sponsors for the Jamaica Premier League. Deals with five club sponsors have been announced with the past two-week period. Williams said the PFJ worked to present the commercial value of the league to Corporate Jamaica to show that football is an “attractive commercial asset.” He explained that a new kind of sponsorship for the league involves different ways to attract different levels of sponsors. There are seven “skews” in total, with five targeting Corporate Jamaica and two targeting individuals.