PROFESSOR Trevor Munroe says Jamaica needs “exemplary and transformational” leadership if it is to move from the current state of stagnation and build on the achievements made over its 50 years of Independence.
“The critical factor, I suggest, to get us moving again is leadership. We just need to look at the islands of excellence and the pockets of distinction even in this country... I say again, exemplary and transformational leadership in all spheres is what we need to get us moving again, [leadership] in politics, but not just in politics.”
Munroe, addressing yesterday’s weekly luncheon meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston at the Wyndham Hotel, said, too, that Jamaica’s stagnant growth is due to “corruption and bureaucracy”.
He told Kiwanians that since Independence many more people have attained higher education; there has been much progress in health care, with improvement in infant mortality rates and life expectancy which is close to 75 and technological growth, among other things.
The professor noted also that many opportunities have been opened up since Independence which allowed children to realise careers beyond the menial jobs of their parents.
“Let no one suggest with any seriousness or credibility that our journey since Independence has produced no progress, or deny that in 50 years we have achieved in some areas what colonial rule had failed to accomplish in 300 years; and that these achievements have reflected the combined efforts of our people... from all walks of life,” Munroe said.
He said the opportunities available since Independence have produced world-class scientists such as Professor Anthony Chen, who years ago shared the Nobel Peace Prize with then US Vice-President Al Gore; businessmen such as Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart; and world-class public servants.
However, Munroe, who is professor of government and politics at the University of West Indies, said that Jamaica had lost its way along the 50-year journey since Independence in August 1962.
“Perhaps more appropriately, the convoy of Jamaica has stalled,” Munroe said.