Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, is underscoring the importance of youth participation in developing policy decisions and actions impacting them.
Addressing Junior Achievement Jamaica’s Champions for Youth Awards Banquet, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on Thursday (May 30), the Governor-General, noted private and public sector leaders’ recognition of the need for investment in youth development, as a strategy to spur Jamaica’s transformation.
He, however, stressed that “it is important for the youth, themselves, to be party to the determination of policies and actions for their development.”
“They ought to participate in strategies to build a Jamaica of which our people can be proud to be Jamaican. But our progress will be hampered if most of our best and brightest continue to believe that their only hope of advancement is migration,” the Governor-General said.
He contended that while Jamaica’s youth may be attracted to overseas opportunities deemed lucrative, they must be encouraged to believe that they have an important role in Jamaica’s development.
“As many young people will tell us, where they and their ideas are respected, when they are accepted as worthwhile contributors, their belief in themselves and in Jamaica will keep them here and keep them engaged. There is a lesson here for bosses and supervisors whose attitudes dishearten rather than encourage youth who propose policy or operational changes,” he added.
The Governor General also urged the young people, to bear in mind that “being a star achiever demands focus, hard work and the intelligence to learn from the experience of older, wiser heads.”
He contended that the country’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica, can only become reality if development of the nation’s greatest resource, the people, is prioritized.
“Investments in industrial development, however massive, will only bring the sustainable development which Jamaica so desperately needs when strategies are people-centred, eliciting the participation of all in the project to grow our economy,” the Governor-General stated.
The Junior Achievement Jamaica programme, which is marking its fourth year in Jamaica, aims to empower young people to attain economic success. Close to 25,000 students islandwide are currently involved in the initiative
Thursday’s banquet honoured several outstanding teachers and corporations for their dedication to and involvement in the programme’s implementation.
CONTACT: ANDREA BRAHAM