Jamaica

QUICK FACTS

Capital: Kingstone

Official Language: English

Status: Independent 06 August 1962

Area: 10,991 sq Km, 4,244 sq Mi

Population: 2,702,300 (2010)

Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD)

Motto: Out of Many, One People

 

Land of Wood and Water

Jamaica is the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean. The indigenous people, the Taíno, called it Xaymaca in Arawakan. meaning the “Land of Wood and Water” or the “Land of Springs”. Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it came under the rule of England (later Great Britain), and was called Jamaica. It achieved full independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada.

MINISTRY AND MINISTER

 

Hon. Fayval Williams

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology

 

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology

36 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10

Tel: (876) 929-8990/9

Fax: (876) 968-8229

Email:  fwilliams@mset.gov.jm

 

Executive Secretary

Email: sdeer@mset.gov.jm

CARICOM ENERGY FOCAL POINT

 

Mrs. Yvonne Barrett-Edwards

Director, Energy Economics and Planning Unit

 

DATE OF CARICOM MEMBERSHIP

 

1 August, 1973

Energy Policy

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Energy Report Card

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Location

Jamaica is situated in the Caribbean Sea, 150 km south of Cuba and 160 km west of Haiti.

 

History

Jamaica was first settled by Amerindians. Columbus encountered the island in 1494, and it fell under Spanish possession from 1509 to 1655, before becoming a British colony.

During the social unrest of the 1930s, birth was given to two of the country’s major political parties. Alexander Bustamante formed the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) while Norman Manley formed the People’s Indies Federation in 1958, but withdrew following a referendum in 1961. The PNP instituted a democratic socialist government from 1974-80, and the JLP established free-enterprise government from 1980.

 

Economic Summary

Jamaica’s economy is largely dependent on the services sectors for growth. In 2012, services accounted for almost 75 per cent of GDP, and the majority of Jamaica’s foreign exchange is gained from tourism, remittances and bauxite. The country is also one of the world’s largest suppliers of aluminium ore.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing also contribute to Jamaica’s foreign exchange earnings. There are considerable resources of both freshwater and sea fish.

 

Airport

Norman Manley International (Kingston), and Donald Sangster International (Montego Bay)

 

Business Hours

Commercial: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday

Government: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 pm. Monday to Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday

 

National Holidays

New Year’s Day, January 1;Ash Wednesday; Good Friday; Easter Monday; Labour Day, May 23; Emancipation Day, August 1; Independence Day, August 6; National Heroes Day, third Monday in October; Christmas Day December 25; Boxing Day December 26.  Holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed the following Monday. In the case of Labour Day only, if this falls on a Saturday or Sunday then Monday will be a holiday

 

Date of CARICOM Membership

1 August, 1973

 

The Flag

Black – Hardship overcome and to be faced

Gold  – Natural wealth and beauty of sunlight

Green – Hope and agricultural resources