As the People's National Party's (PNP) new junior shadow spokesperson with responsibility for commerce, science, and technology, I am deeply committed to serving our country and advancing new and innovative ideas and policies that will help to provide solutions to the many challenges that our country is facing.
I believe in the brilliance and resilience of our youth and I have often argued that the answers to our most serious problems can, and will be solved by them. It is important that we not view our youth as simply a "valuable voting block" but that we create, invest in and nurture an environment that allows them to be thought leaders, as we continue to strive to truly be a place where all Jamaicans want to live, work, raise their families and pursue their dreams. I would like to thank the PNP's President Mark Golding for keeping a promise he made by providing this platform for our youth to get involved and to have a voice on critical areas that are important to all Jamaicans.
Today, I would like to share with you my top three objectives in this role. As we move forward, I will be working with Dr Andre Haughton to craft and articulate specific policy ideas and solutions that we believe will help us to achieve these objectives in an effort to tackle the major challenges that we face as a nation.
(1) High Value Job Creation and Economic Independence: One of my foremost priorities is to advocate for the restructuring of the economy so that it works for the masses of the people. I am committed to working with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators to create a thriving economic environment that will result in increasing Jamaica's stagnant and very low income per capita. By supporting and attracting new businesses, and investing in workforce development, we can ensure that our citizens have access to well-paying jobs and a stable, prosperous future.
We will not be contented with good macroeconomic numbers that do not translate to economic independence for the majority of our people.
(2) Advancing Science and Technology: Science and technology are the driving forces of progress and innovation in our modern world. To take Jamaica to the forefront of these advancements, I will focus on fostering research and development, supporting STEM education, and enhancing our digital infrastructure. By investing in these areas, we can create solutions not just for Jamaica but the world itself. The time has come for us to think big, be bold and ambitious in the global community. One of my dreams is to see Jamaica become the technology hub in the region. Yes, we can.
(3) Consumer Protection and Privacy: In this increasingly digital and interconnected world, it is vital that we protect the rights and privacy of our citizens. Despite many high-profile cyberattacks since the start of the year in Jamaica, we still do not seem to be taking this issue as seriously as we should. The Government has a lead role to play in this regard, especially with the role out of NIDS, it is of the utmost importance that the data of every citizen is protected. I will work to strengthen consumer protection laws, promote policies that strengthen online security for vulnerable groups such as our children, tackle the issue of cyber bullying in a meaningful way, and advocate for strong data privacy regulations. It is essential that individuals have confidence that their personal information is safe and that their online interactions are secure.
I am deeply committed to these priorities, and I will be working tirelessly on behalf of our citizens to achieve them. However, our team cannot do this alone. We have already started the process of forming an apolitical task force of local experts to get their input, ideas and suggestions.
I believe we were born for greatness, and we should not settle for anything but greatness. There is more for us to achieve and more we can do to uplift the masses of our people and help to create a country where our people can pursue their dreams in peace and happiness. I decided to accept this post because of my deep love and sense of duty to Jamaica and because I possess the necessary skill sets to help make this country deliver on its true potential. John F Kennedy once famously said: "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."