Jamaica Left In Barbados’ Shadow

On November 30, 2014, Barbados celebrated her 48th anniversary of Independence.

I take this opportunity to wish Barbadians another year of prosperity, growth and affluence.

For us Jamaicans, it is a time for reflection.

Barbados is about ‘four years younger’ than Jamaica; therefore, we can say we got political independence approximately the same time.


Our initial conditions were similar at the time.

Both of us were British colonies, small island economies, predominantly inhabited by the descendants of Africans who were brought to the Caribbean to cultivate sugar.

However, after Independence, national course started to change for both of us.

Bridgetown Barbados - Image Source: mydestination.com
Bridgetown Barbados – Image Source: mydestination.com

Although we had similar economic systems, Barbados started to engage in productive economic activity by legislating proactive macroeconomic policies.

Today, one Barbadian dollar is equal to 56 Jamaican dollars, as the Barbadian economy continues to do better.

We started off together, so where did we go wrong?

It is easy to blame our successive governments and leaders.


One could argue that Jamaica’s governance needs a lot to be desired. However, if we want to change our course, we will have to rely less on our politicians and more on ourselves.

This is what went wrong and this is what we must change.

As we celebrate with our fellow Bajans, let us pledge that we will do our best in whatever we are doing in our lives to ensure that Jamaica remains the place of choice to live, work, and raise families for our future generations.

We must remember we might be down but we are not defeated!

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Oneil Shalom Mitzvah Hall

Barbados economy was never destabilize by the US like Jamaica in the 1970s. Last major hurricane Barbados had was 1951. Jamaica is in the belt of hurricane! Barbados population is much smaller 300 000 verus Jamaica 2.7 million. There was alot of external issues that Jamaica dealt with that Barbados never had to deal with. It is these external pressures that mostly responsible for Jamaica’s economic downfall. It cannot be that you use the value of a currency to determine, Barbados is better than Jamaica! Barbados since independence had a fixed currency! Jamaica has a floating currency! If Barbados had… Read more »

Judiwills Taurus
8 years ago

Population size in Jamaica is almost 5 times Barbados’. That equals a lot more unemployment, underemployment, people competing for limited resources. Not to mention Jamaica and the IMF……

Sonia Henry
8 years ago

Barbadoes is about the size of kingston,even their level of education is higher i heard,but its kind of veey backwards in terms of development,its like stepping back in the rural parts of jamaica in the 80ties

Glenford Thomas
8 years ago

In regards to Barbados there is no comparison. Barbados is much smaller, With a population that works with the authorities to achieve certain goals. Barbados rely on tourism, there are lots of foreign investment and investors there especially Europeans. The ability for bajan to travel is much easier thus gaining external knowledge and ideas which can be used at home. Then there is that hospitality and family values. Other than Cuba all the larger Islands seems to face similar issues that deteriorate there economy. The vast American influence and lifestyle, crime and, less civic moral. Where else do you see… Read more »

Amanda Lothian
8 years ago

look at the violence levels