Six Local Authorities to Participate in Economic Development Project

first_img Six local authorities across five parishes have been selected to participate in a project geared at stimulating economic development at the community level.This is under the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), which is a six-year programme funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development, Canada (DFATD). It is focused on stimulating sustainable local economic development in the Caribbean region.Jamaica is one of seven Caribbean countries selected to benefit under the initiative, through six local authorities, namely, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC); the St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, and Westmoreland parish councils; and the Portmore Municipal Council.Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Arscott, said the initiative is aimed at mobilising and using primarily local resources, assets and institutions to stimulate economic growth in communities.He was speaking September 26 at a one-day Local Government symposium at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in St. Andrew, to introduce elected officials to the concept of local economic development and to sensitise them of their roles.The Minister informed JIS News that very tangible economic development projects will be pursued in all six local authorities under the proposed initiative.“Several very unique projects will be identified by the respective communities. For example, the KSAC has already identified a project where they are collecting plastic bottles and compacting them for export. This is part of a recycling programme to help relieve the city and the landfill of these large quantities of plastic bottles,” he stated.He also informed that in Clarendon, residents have identified a project to further take advantage of the many benefits of the Milk River Spa.“This project will be implemented in collaboration with the Tourism Enhancement Fund and seeks to create a nucleus of activities utilising the river, flora and fauna. We will be creating a cactus park and setting up a bed and breakfast to complement the rooms already in the hotels, among other things,” Mr. Arscott disclosed.The Minister noted that the CARILED project is very timely, as it comes at a time when the Government of Jamaica has identified local economic development as a strategic policy intervention.Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew, Senator Angela Brown-Burke, stated that stimulating economic development in the micro and small business sector is one of the keys to creating lasting economic growth on a national scale.She said the CARILED project also presents a unique opportunity to further include Jamaica’s youth population in national development.Head of Aid, DFATD, Marie Legault, pledged that the Canadian Government will continue to provide technical and financial assistance to Jamaica and the rest of the region in the area of economic growth.She noted that in this vein the Government has earmarked an investment of US$600 million over a period of 12 years for the Caribbean to focus on this priority area.Ms. Legault informed that CARILED forms part of this pledge and is geared towards revitalising local communities and local businesses.Launched in 2012, CARILED is headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago with sub-offices in St. Lucia and Ottawa, Canada.The project is being implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in partnership with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA) and the Caribbean Federation of Local Government Ministers (CFLGM).It aims to partner with 50 local government authorities to support the growth and development of 500 micro, small and medium enterprises. CARILED is a six-year programme funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development, Canada. Jamaica is one of seven Caribbean countries selected to benefit under the initiative. It is focused on stimulating sustainable local economic development in the Caribbean region. Story Highlightslast_img read more