Jamaica’s 2030 Vision, which aims to catapult the island into developed country status by that year, is driven by a plan and an approach that is unique in Jamaica’s history of developmental planning.
This is the view being expressed by the Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wesley Hughes. Dr Hughes was speaking recently at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think-Tank session looking at the national development plan, which will be launched by Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Wednesday, October 31.
Dr Hughes said that unlike the past when national development plans were developed for periods of five years or were just reflective of the priorities and thinking of one political administration, the approach guiding the 2030 vision is a national and bi-partisan one. Planning was also usually undertaken with a top-down rather than a bottom-up approach, he added.
But he informed that nine months ago the PIOJ began a process of intensive consultations with major stakeholders in the country “and we were also able to get the political parties to make reference to the National Development Plan in their manifestos”. He said that both the Government and the Parliamentary Opposition share the 2030 vision. Dr Hughes said he was pleased that there was a national plan with “buy-in” from the two main political parties, and that we don’t have a situation where a development plan is seen as “the plan of a departed administration,” as had been happened in the past.
The PIOJ Director General said that it would be the task of national leaders to “excite the people to join in working toward the ultimate objective of meeting the goal of developed country status by 2030”. He said that already a lot of material covering a wide range of areas has been developed and will be taken to people at all levels in communities across Jamaica for discussion and feedback. He said that the plan would not just focus on the quantitative but also on the qualitative-that is, aspects of our culture such as our food, speech, fashion, music etc. which make us uniquely Jamaican.
He stressed that a lot of work would have to be done to improve the quality of life of the Jamaican people and to meet their expectations for improved infrastructure, a clean and sustainable environment, national security and increased productivity and compositeness, within the constraints of our resources.
He expressed confidence, however, that the Jamaican people were equal to the task.