Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is placing his bet on Jamaica’s youth to rebuild the value system and drive the standards of excellence that the country needs for sustained economic growth and prosperity.
The Prime Minister said that “there is too much compromise in standards these days,” which, he argued, is “placing our values under threat.”
Such compromise, he contended, “will not get us what we want for our country, as the place of choice to live, work, do business, raise your families and, ultimately, retire in paradise.”
Mr. Holness, who was addressing the Prime Minister’s National Youth Awards for Excellence at Jamaica House on Saturday (Nov. 30), said he is optimistic that the nation’s youth will lift the country’s standards.
“If I were to bet on the future of Jamaica, I would say we have an excellent chance of a bright future with this stock of young people that you’re seeing emerging today,” he said.
“So I’m going to place my bets on you, the young people of Jamaica. You will not compromise the standards, you will seek to lift them and raise them. You will search for excellence, you will not compromise, you will seek to achieve the highest,” he said.
He encouraged the young people to help protect brand Jamaica, lamenting that the actions of some persons were harming the country’s image.
“We have something that each of us owns, it belongs to each of us, it’s called brand Jamaica.
“Each time a Jamaican does something internationally and is recognised for it, awarded for it, you build brand Jamaica. Each time our athletes do well, win races, set records we build brand Jamaica.
“Each time our academics, researchers, discover something new or add value, they build brand Jamaica. Our entrepreneurs here locally, each time you create a new business you build brand Jamaica. The people who are environmentalist, protecting our environment, each time you speak out, each time you act, you build brand Jamaica.
“Every single youngster, who makes the decision that I’m not going to take up the gun, and I’m not going to get involved in violence, you build brand Jamaica,” Prime Minister Holness said.