Friday, 14 December 2012

11TH MICHAEL MANLEY LECTURE: How relevant is Manley’s economic philosophy for Jamaica today? A noted UWI lecturer weighs in

THE BIG IDEA: Williams making his presentation. Below: Franklyn and Burke having a chat.

According to Dr. Densil Williams, Deputy Executive Director of the Mona School of Business and Management, securing future economic growth will require Jamaican leaders who understand the complex space that is the Caribbean and make decisions that will lead to sustained growth and development. 

Williams was the keynote speaker at Monday’s staging of the 2012 Michael Manley Lecture at the Tom Redcam Library in Kingston, presenting a three-hour paper on the theme “Beyond the Grave: Is Manley’s economic philosophy relevant to the advancement of contemporary Jamaica?” 

“Manley shared an idiosyncratic understanding of Jamaica’s economy, with an emphasis on eradicating the blank wall of poverty. Through socialism he believed Jamaicans can be extricated from it with the help of leaders offering practical solutions to effect change,” said Williams. “Moving ahead, it is important to take stock of where we are and see if Manley’s policies can provide lessons for a way forward.” 

In a nutshell, though, Williams believes Jamaica simply needs to get more fiscally competitive. “While we are seeing an improvement in our economic reality, what we are not seeing is a macroeconomic competitiveness. Jamaica will have to make some serious improvement in our macroeconomic outlook,” the senior lecturer noted. “When it comes to our economy, we have to rethink the path to economic prosperity to alleviate the blank wall of poverty. At the end of the day, we have to make Jamaica more competitive. That’s what it boils down to.” 

At 35, Williams is a highly-regarded and accomplished expert in business studies, especially of international business, entrepreneurship, and issues affecting small enterprises and developing countries. A distinguished alum of the UWI Mona, and a PhD grad of Britain’s Manchester Business School, his writings have been published across the globe. 

Attending Monday’s presentation were the likes of Minister Peter Bunting, Senator Mark Golding, R. Danny Williams, Paul Burke, D. K. Duncan, Beverly Anderson-Manley, Canon Weeville Gordon, Glynne Manley, and Delano Franklyn, Chairman of the Michael Manley Foundation.

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