This is the final in our series asking business leaders to say what they regret that Jamaica has not achieved in its 50 years of Independence and what they would like to see us achieve in the next 50. Next week, we begin a brand new Jamaica @50 series.
Thalia Lyn, chairman of NCB Foundation and CEO, Island Grill
Brand Jamaica reverberating around the world with such a positive vibe as we celebrate our 50th anniversary is a tribute to the accomplishments of the people of Jamaica. Jamaicans everywhere excel in just about every field - music, athletics, business, education, the arts, and the list goes on. Every corner of the world has a Jamaican who has excelled in his/her field. And all this with huge gaps in our system - crime not under control, poor infrastructure denying us a regular water supply, but bequeathing a legacy of potholed roads where indisciplined drivers reign supreme; our inability to improve literacy, health care, and take care of our children, the physically challenged and elderly, as well as garbage washing from the gullies to pollute our rivers and sea.
As the honorary consul general of Thailand, after seeing what they have achieved in agriculture, we must take not a page out of their book, but a book out of their library! But despite our failing in those areas, Jamaica has produced giants in many diverse fields. So imagine what Jamaica could be like in the next 50 years if we invested in our people, if we fixed our education system, social amenities, health and judicial systems so that Jamaicans can be more productive and self-reliant. We are blessed with the natural resources to feed ourselves and so should look at our half-filled cup and zealously pursue filling it to overflowing, to becoming a First World country because we are already a first world people.
Chris Dehring, chairman of LIME, Jamaica
Chris Dehring acknowledges a special bond with this milestone in Jamaica's history as he is also turning 50 years old. He said: "We have not done enough to exploit our talents, specifically sports and culture. Although it's not too late to develop on these areas."
He says for the next 50 years we should take seriously investments in sports and culture, in the same way that we took a chance with tourism, which worked out out well for us. He added that with the strength of telecommunication that Jamaica now has available, it would assist in strengthening the exploitation of our sports and culture.