THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
STUDY PRAISES JAMAICA’S FISCAL RESPONSE TO COVID-19
According to a study from the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), Jamaica ranked among the top 25 percent of countries assess in terms of overall accountability in its early fiscal policy response to COVID-19. Shana-Kay Chisholm, the lead researcher on the study, which was titled “Following the Money (Covid Edition),” noted that many countries failed in terms of oversight, the Auditor General’s Department in Jamaica performed real-time audits of critical spending under the CARE program. Jamaica’s program of accountability has been cited as an example for other nations.
NEW POLL REVEALS JAMAICANS’ OPINION OF GOVERNMENT’S PERFORMANCE
Forty-three percent of Jamaicans surveyed in the Bill Johnson-Mello TV poll, rated the government’s performance as good or very good. However, only 16 percent of those polled believed the country was “going in the right direction.” The survey was conducted between January 14, 2022, and January 16, 2022, in 84 communities totaling 1, 176 respondents across the island. Analyzing the discrepancy between the 62 percent of the respondents who believe Jamaica is going in the wrong direction, and the 43 percent who say the government is doing a good job, Johnson concluded that while people do not like the way the country is going, they are not placing direct blame for this on the government. Survey results revealed that Jamaicans’ opinion about how the government handled COVID-19 tend to track with how they feel the government is performing overall.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
GUYANA PLANS TO REDUCE DEMAND FOR FOSSIL FUEL IMPORTS FOR VEHICLES IN 2022
Guyana announced that it will begin to develop a low-carbon infrastructure for transportation in order to lower demand for imported fossil fuels for vehicles in 2022. Mark Phillips, Guyana’s Prime Minister, stated that Guyana will encourage the development of an electric vehicle industry, which will substitute electricity for fossil fuels, and also enhance the ability of the nation’s electric grid to handle more intermittent renewable energy. Guyana will install fast-charging stations for electric vehicles in a pilot program in 2022. Its energy transition will be implemented in three stages: the first will run from 2022 to 2027 and combine natural gas, hydro power, and solar power. The second stage will run from 2027 to 2032 and replace heavy fuel oil, expand wind farms, and commission a second hydro power plant. The third phase, which will begin in 2032 and continue into the future, will continue to expand on these projects through new technology.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN MINISTER OF STATE HONORS JAMAICAN PIONEERS IN GEORGIA
Senator Leslie Campbell, Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, saluted and honored the first Jamaican settlers in the state of Georgia for their part in advancing Jamaican and their overseas communities. Campbell thanked the pioneers for enriching Jamaican society and helping to shape the future. He made his remarks at a virtual event staged by the Jamaican Consulate in Atlanta, George, to mark Black History Month on February 12, 2022. The event was titled “Our Stories: Jamaican Pioneers in Georgia,” and provided a forum in which the children and grandchildren of the first Jamaican settlers in the state could share their stories and celebrate the courage and resilience of the pioneers. Campbell noted that over some 40 years, the Jamaican Diaspora in Atlanta has created a variety of community-based organizations, alumni groups, and charities that have strong ties to the area and also contribute to the national development of Jamaica in education, health, social services, and trade.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
OLYMPIC MEDAL-WINNER SHERICKA JACKSON NAMED FIRST BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR SCOTIABANK
Jamaica’s multi-Olympic medal winner Shericka Jackson has become the first Brand Ambassador for Scotiabank by signing her first local endorsement deal. She was introduced in her new role at Scotiabank’s Port Royal Street headquarters. The three-year deal, which was signed prior to the 2022 World Athletics Championships scheduled for July in Oregon, will include philanthropic efforts and support Jackson until 2025. Jackson won a bronze medal in 100-meter event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and was a member of the 4×100-meter gold-medal-winning team and the 4×400-meter bronze-medal-winning team at the Tokyo Games as well.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SHENSEEA TO APPEAR IN U.S. ON “JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE” IN MARCH 2022
Jamaican dancehall recording artist Shenseea will make an appearance as a guest star in the United States on the late-night television program “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” She will perform on March 3, 2022, which is a week before her debut album “Alpha” is slated for release on March 11. Her star turn on Kimmel was announced shortly after her featured performance on the “Up Next” program at Apple Music. Apple Music describes Shenseea as a “global” artist and predicted her dancehall act will be one of the “next big things” in music. Shenseea signed on with Rich Immigrants/Interscope Records and is hoping to become a major international success. Her appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show follows that of other Jamaican recording stars, including Spice, Shaggy and Sean Paul.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN GOULE-TOPPIN SOLIDIFIES DOMINANCE OF WOMEN’S INDOOR 800-METER EVENT
Natoya Goule-Toppin achieved a new Jamaican national indoor record in the women’s 800-meters with a time of 1:58.46 seconds for the win at the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series in France on February 17, 2022. An Olympic finalist, the athlete decreased her previous time of 1:59.19 seconds, which she set in New York in February 2019. She also improved her world-record time while preparing for the Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham. With her win, Goule-Toppin beat competitors Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda and Nafuan Nalyanya of Kenya, who came in second and third, respectively.