THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS ANNOUNCES GOAL OF 50% RENEWABLE ENERGY BY 2030
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness believes the country should strive to provide half of its energy needs through renewable resources by 2030. The official government policy currently calls for 30 percent renewable energy provision. The Prime Minister’s aspirational announcement was made during the commissioning of a state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic array at a government office, which was done in partnership with the nonprofit Solar Head of State, a group that seeks to help leaders of the world become more “green” by installing solar panels on their government buildings.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT PLANS TO REVIEW NATION’S EDUCATION SYSTEM
The Jamaican government is planning to spend $116.8 million over a four-year period to perform a comprehensive review of the education system in the country. The Cabinet gave its approval for the nation to participate in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2021. According to Senator Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth, and Information, Jamaica created a task force in 2004 to review and evaluate the educational system, but since then, no complete reviews have been conducted. The international assessment will measure students’ performance in reading, math, and scientific literacy.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
ALLEGATIONS OF MISUSE OF PETRO-CARIBE FUNDS MADE IN HAITI
In Haiti, several thousand people across the country participated in a protest to express their growing anger at alleged misuse of funds gained from an oil assistance program sponsored by Venezuela. Gunshots were heard during the demonstration as some in the crowd threw rocks, blocked streets, and burned tires as the protest demanded greater transparency in how the Haitian government uses funds from the PetroCaribe facility. This program provides below-market financing for oil in a number of countries in the Caribbean region.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
DIASPORA ADVISORY BOARD IN U.S. HOSTS UNITED LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
The Jamaica Diaspora USA Leadership Summit will be held on November 16 through18, 2018, in Morrow, Georgia, in partnership with The Jamaica National Group. The three-day summit is expected to focus on developing the organization’s leadership that is based in the US and to strengthen its responsibility and links to Jamaica. According to Wayne Golding, representative for the Southeast Diaspora Advisory Board, the summit’s purpose is to create a cohesive Jamaican Diaspora Development Plan designed to rationalize the work of the Diaspora network throughout the US. Additionally, the goal is to encourage the US-based network to become “a structured entity with focused leadership” to enhance its contributions to Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
CRUISE SHIP SECTOR TO ENJOY ANOTHER GREAT YEAR
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that Jamaica’s cruise ship sector is set to have another very good year in 2018. Cruise ships from Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian have made commitments to sending some of their largest ships to call at the ports of Falmouth, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay, making Jamaica a solid, first-choice destination. In 2017 1.92 million cruise ship passengers visited Jamaica, an increase of 11 percent from 2016 totals. Bartlett said there is every reason to believe that 2018 “will be another banner year” for this economic sector in Jamaica. The three cruise ship lines that have made commitments to arrivals represent almost 80 percent of the cruise ship market.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
APPLETON ESTATE SIGNATURE NIGHTS SERIES FEATURES KONSHENS
Dancehall deejay Konshens is set to be featured at the Appleton Estate Signature Nights series, which was held on October 18, 2018, at the new Sky Dweller Ultra Lounge in St. Andrew. In advance of his performance, the singer said he was excited about the show as he rarely gets the chance to sing in Jamaica. He also enjoyed performing for “original fans.” Konshens is best known for hits like “Bruk Off Yuh Back,” “Mirror,” and “Bassline.” He also performed tracks from his recently released album “It Feel Good.” According to Leleika-Dee Barnes, customer marketing manager at J Wray & Nephew Limited, said the Signature Nights Series is designed to provide a unique experience for patrons in the form of some of the best acts in Jamaican music.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
REGGAE GIRLZ WIN HISTORIC SPOT IN WORLD CUP
For the first time in history, Jamaica will be represented at the Women’s World Cup competition. The Reggae Girlz were victorious over Panama in overtime after playing to a 2-2 draw at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. The Reggae Girlz are ranked at Number 64 in the world before they became the first team from the Caribbean to go to the World Cup. Jamaican just restarted its women’s national team program in 2014 after a hiatus of six years. The team is strongly supported by Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s oldest daughter. After the win, the team’s coach Hue Menzies said, “This is a statement. We’re going to go back home and celebrate. There’s not a whole lot of space on that island. But we’re gonna find every inch to celebrate on. Because this is history. History in the making.”