Jamaica Has No Future if its Young People Want to Leave

A report published not too long ago indicated that nearly half of all Jamaican young people are willing to give up their citizenship to go overseas is not surprising but deeply troubling.

What is alarming about this figure, is that so many young persons do not see any future in this country. We have had this brain drain for a very long time now but to see empirical evidence of this makes for a chilling reading.

The consequences of this alarming finding are numerous but two stand out. One, the effect it will have on voting and the other, the effect it will have on the future of this country. We are already aware of  the small percentage of young persons that are going to the polls, at each election over the last 20 plus years.

There has been a lot of analysis done on why this is so and one of the main reasons is young people see no hope of change anywhere, and they will gladly go overseas to explore other opportunities. This has led to the present government being elected to office with about 25% of the voters registered to vote.

What we have is, in voter support terms,  a minority government. When you have a segment of your population that numbers in the region of over 600,000 so turned off by the political process, that almost 300,000 are willing to give up all rights, and sever all legal connections to get out of their country, it should be a wake-up call to our politicians.

young people want to migrate to other countries for opportunities
Image Source: www.lcjrun.pl

Politicians must work assiduously to instill hope in the minds of our young people. No society can develop properly , if so many young people have no desire to live in their own country. The brain power of these young people is going to be used in the service and development of other countries. No country wants that. The nature of hopelessness transcends political boundaries and party lines.

I’m quite sure many of those who want to leave this country are supporters of the PNP. That should be a sobering reminder to the PNP supporters who send obnoxious emails to persons who dare criticize their beloved party that their government is contributing handsomely to the constant brain drain of this country, because of their poor stewardship. This pervasive feeling of hopelessness has driven many into criminality; a primary example being  – the often times lucrative – Lotto Scamming.

The Government must help to restore the hope to the young people in this country by creating conditions that will enable them to create wealth for themselves and to enjoy a better standard of living. That’s the only way we will see the young people becoming more involved in the political process. We cannot continue to have so many persons wishing they were never born here.

 The future of Jamaica is at stake here if so many people want to leave. It is said at all times that the future of the country is the young. Now if so many young persons want to leave then what type of future will we have? The sad thing is that so many people in power just do not understand that simple fact. Create jobs for people and they will work.

While the Finance Minister is continues to talk about passing IMF tests, the fact is that passing these tests will not ease the frustration and hopelessness that the majority of young people are feeling in this country. Our collective future is at stake here. We need our university graduates to stay in Jamaica and build Jamaica. We need our young professionals execute their revolutionary ideas in this country.

We cannot hope that they will stay here out of patriotism and suffer when there is better elsewhere to be had. Patriotism and hunger doesn’t work. Too many of our country’s resources are wasted on unnecessary things. For example the ongoing Tivoli Gardens enquiry that was slated to finish with a budget of 50 million has far exceeded that and is still growing by the day. All that money could have been used to lend to young people to start up ventures that will help them to stay here.

Another example is the NHT Outameni issue that we saw recently where over 200 million was wasted. That money could have been used to help out struggling businesses and those that want to start new ones. We cannot continue to allow government policies to inhibit the growth of our Nation and the security of our future, by alienating such a substantial part of the population. The vision 2030 dream cannot be attained if we continue to lose our finest and brightest.

It’s time to bring back the hope to the young and to be brutally frank the PNP cannot do that job.

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17 thoughts on “Jamaica Has No Future if its Young People Want to Leave

  • January 30, 2020 at 8:34 AM
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    So, this article was first published in 2015 (as per the comments). We are now under JLP government, my question is : Has anything changed? Is the Brain Drain any less? Does the average young person aspire to stay in Jamaica? I just visited last month and can personally testify to the indiscipline and lawlessness. Once quiet clean towns like Mandeville and Spaldings are indescribable chaos. So, you tell me, how are we better off.

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