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.
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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