THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
TIES BETWEEN EUROPEAN UNION AND JAMAICA ENHANCED WITH NEW OFFICE OPENING
A new office building has been renovated for use by the European Union (EU) Delegation in Kingston, Jamaica. At the opening of the new multimillion-dollar building, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that the new offices will promote the visibility and accessibility of the EU for Jamaicans and facilitate stronger ties between the island and the European bloc. The building, which is located n Kingston 5, provides environmentally friendly features, including charging ports for electronic vehicles, solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and options for recycling. Holness said the EU is a “solid” development partner for Jamaica that has supported the island nation for nearly 50 years. Fredrik Ekfeldt, the deputy head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, noted the new offices’ modern look and said the building embodies the commitment of the EU to issues important to both countries, including climate change and protecting the environment. The EU is the largest provider of grant aid to Jamaica.
REGGAE GIRLZ RETURNING FROM CONCACAF TOURNAMENT EMBARRASSED BY JFF PAYMENT MISHAP
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) caused some trouble for the national women’s football team returning from their participation at the CONCACAF Championships in Mexico when the team attempted to take a connecting flight to Miami from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on July 19, 2022. A credit card provided for use by the Reggae Girlz team and staff by the director of the JFF had no funds, and members of the traveling party had to pay themselves to clear their luggage in order to catch the connecting flight. Two members of the staff had to remain in Houston with part of the luggage as the situation was not clear up until after the flight left. The incident is one of several travel mishaps relating to the JFF and its national teams: the Reggae Boyz also had problems on their return from a CONCACAF Nations League tournament in Suriname in June 2022. The Reggae Boyz incident prompted a demand for the resignation of Dalton Wint, JFF General Secretary, who has since promised to resign, but has not formally submitted his resignation to date. The Reggae Girlz were returning from the Mexico tournament where they finished in third place and qualified for the second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CHAIR OF DIGICEL ANNOUNCES PLAN TO PROVIDE REPARATIONS TO CARIBBEAN NATIONS
The founder and chair of Digicel Group, Denis O’Brien, has announced a plan that would provide reparations for slavery to countries in the Caribbean. He made his announcement during the keynote address at CANTO 2022 at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami, Florida. The plan, called the Repair Campaign, involves former colonizing nations in Europe creating an arrangement for investment funding for each nation impacted by the institution of slavery. The investment fund will promote major projects in education, health, and agriculture, among other sectors, over a 25-year period.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN-AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR IN FLORIDA COMPARED TO STARBUCKS
Jamaican-American Allison Boettcher is garnering considerable attention in the coffee business with her Blue Mountain Coffee House in West Palm Beach, Florida. The founder of the coffee house, Boettcher has created a venue favored by both local coffee lovers and tourists, especially tourists from Japan. Boettcher only uses coffee beans sourced from a small coffee estate owned by her family in Jamaica, and she is committed to preserving the authentic taste of Blue Mountain coffee. Boettcher was inspired to start her coffee house by her grandmother, who had one of the biggest bammy businesses in Jamaica. She said it was “truly impressive” to be compared to Starbucks as a single, Black, female entrepreneur after such a short time in business. She credits the fast rise of her operation to the Paycheck Protection Program and Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which sustained her through the COVID-19 pandemic. Boettcher was the virtual guest of honor of Florida Congressional Representative Lois Frankel at the 2022 United States State of the Union address.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA WELCOMES NEW ROK HOTEL IN KINGSTON
At the opening of a new 12-story ROK Hotel in Kingston, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the new accommodation will make a significant contribution to the capital city’s revitalization and boost the economic potential of the area. According to Holness, the hotel’s opening will mean more income for workers, a “return to life” in downtown Kingston, and the potential for increased economic activity. The four-star hotel is included in the Tapestry Collection by Hilton brand. Development for the new hotel began in 2019 following the acquisition of the property formerly occupied by the Oceana Hotel by PanJam Investment Limited. It is the first Hilton Tapestry Collection venue in the Caribbean and the first in more than 30 years to be developed in Kingston. The hotel has 168 rooms, 47 luxury suites, a restaurant, a café, a bar, and 24-hour fitness and wellness center. It also has over 32,000 square feet of meeting space.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
MUSICIAN’S GROUP PROPOSES NEGRIL’S TRANSFORMATION INTO AN ENTERTAINMENT HUB
The Jamaica Federation of Musicians and Affiliates Union (JFMAU) has proposed making Negril into an entertainment zone. The president of the JFMAU, Lowell Lawson, said the group had met with the Entertainment Advisory Board and the Negril Entertainment Association about transforming the entirety of Negril into a hub for entertainment and tourism. The proposal arose from the need for additional venues that are capable of hosting 10,000 or more patrons. Lawson said that entertainment is driving the economic growth of Negril and that the proposal aligns with plans described by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE GIRLZ FINISH THIRD AT CONCACAF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz finished in third place at the CONCACAF Women’s Championships, defeating Costa Rica by a score of 1-0 in Monterrey, Mexico, on July 18, 2022. Kalyssa Van Zanten scored the match’s only goal in the 102nd minute for the win, which allows the team to keep its dream of qualifying for the Olympics alive. In October 2022, the Reggae Girlz will play the runner-up in a two-way Olympics playoff tournament for a place at the 2024 Games in Paris. The July 18th match was deadlocked at 0-0 during regular play, but Van Zanten, 20, came through in extra time just minutes after coming off the bench with a goal going to the right of Costa Rica’s goalkeeper.