THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN MINISTER OF EDUCATION ASKS FOR PROBE OF MINISTRY’S $124 MILLION LOSS
Fayval Williams, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, has requested that the Financial Investigation Division launch a probe into the circumstances of the multi-million dollar losses at the Education Ministry involving payments to the Joint Committee on Tertiary Education (JCTE). Williams has also asked the police and the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency to provide whatever information is required for the probe. Dr. Grace McLean, acting permanent secretary, left on leave after a report from the auditor general indicated fiduciary failings around the JCTE payments.
JAMAICA’S HOUSE PASSES NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION ACT
Over two years after a court struck down Jamaica’s National Identification and Registration (NIDS) Act, it was passed by the House of Representatives with 14 amendments. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that the NIDS will position Jamaica among the world’s strongest digital economies. Modern digital economies rely on strong digital identities that focus on privacy rights and security of citizens, who favor the creation of strong and transparent identification systems. Holness said the government is creating the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Data Protection Act and the National Identification and Registration Inspectorate to provide independent oversight under NIDS. Holness added that this is an age in which every transaction requires identification and pointed to the face that 35,000 Jamaicans did not collect their COVID-19 grants in 2020 because they lacked legal ID.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
NEW ENERGY INITIATIVE FROM DEVELOPMENT BANK TO BENEFIT CARIBBEAN NATIONS
A new financing instrument will be created by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to expand energy access, support transition in the energy sector, and protect the climate of countries in the Caribbean region and Latin America. According to the IDB, the initiative involves a new partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, which was announced after a meeting of the president of the IDB Mauricio Claver-Carone and the president of the Foundation, Dr. Rajiv J. Shah during which they explored how to accelerate post-COVID-pandemic recovery and a transition to green energy in the region. The collaboration will targe job creation and gender equality to ensure that women are prioritized as beneficiaries of plans to make resources available to project on both the public and private sectors.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN HARTFORD AIDED BY JAMAICAN CONSULATE OFFICIALS
In early October of 2021, over a dozen Jamaican officials traveled to Hartford, Connecticut, to help resident Jamaicans in the Diaspora. The officials included Jamaican Ambassador Alsion Roach Wilson, who was welcomed by Hartford’s Mayor Luke Bronin and Shirley Surgeon, a city council member. The three-day visit recognized Hartford as home to one of the largest Jamaican and West Indian communities in the United States. The officials will help residents with matters relating to citizenship, passport, and immigration.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT TO TRANSFORM ST. THOMAS WITH US$746 MILLION TOURIST PLAN
St. Thomas, which has sometimes been labeled the “forgotten parish,” is about to see a major rebirth as a plan for 40 projects led by Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism will be unveiled during fiscal 2021/2022. The planned projects are designed to make St. Thomas a new tourism destination. According to Daryl Whyte-Wong, destination manager for St. Thomas at the Tourism Product Development Company, the plan has been in development for two years and included considerable consultations with residents of every community in the parish, as well as consultants from George Washington University and the Tourism Ministry. Community groups were formed into three clusters on the basis of geography and provided input on the handling of the most popular tourist sites. The plan includes a museum and heritage trail and will cover beaches and heritage sites as well.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
KHALIA HALL NAMED MISS JAMAICA WORLD 2021
Khalia Hall, 25, was crowned the new Miss Jamaica World 2021, taking over for the previous titleholder Toni-Ann Singh who rose to the position in 2019 and served for two years due to delays imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hall was praised by Dahlia Harris, the co-owner of the Miss World franchise, as “an excellent example” for Jamaican women, describing her as very accomplished yet humble.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE BOYZ DEFEAT HONDURAS IN WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will advance to seventh place among teams attempting to qualify for participation in the FIFA World Cup Finals in Qatar in 2022. Their 2-0 defeat of Honduras at the Metropolitan Stadium in San Pedro Sula solidified their move up the ranking. Jamaica’s two goals were scored by Kemar Roofe in the 38th minute and Oniel Fisher in the 79th minute. Both of these were first goals for the players at the international level.