Columns

Who Am I? — My life and leadership (Part 2)

Edward
Seaga

Sunday, March 18, 2018

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126 Achievements

Economic and financial development; investment promotion.

Established most of the range of financial institutions required in newly independent Jamaica to build a financial market for successful, economic investment and growth.

1968 Promoted the Jamaica Stock Exchange

1969 Created Jamaica Development Bank (JDB)

1969 Establishment of decimalisation of the Jamaican currency

1969 Conceived Jamaicanisation of financial institutions – banks and insurance companies

1969 Introduction of merchant banking

1971 Established the Jamaica Unit Trust

1972 Founded Jamaica Mortgage Bank

1981 Created National Development Bank

1981 Initiated Agricultural Credit Bank

1982 Conceived Agro 21

1982 Acquisition of ESSO refinery – renamed Petrojam

1982 Commencement of the Divestment Programme, commencing with lease of government-owned hotels

1984 Created the Self-Start Fund for small loans to small, start-up investments

1984 Established the National Investment Bank of Jamaica, later JAMPRO

1985 Presented comprehensive tax reforms, including a flat income tax rate for all

1985 Solidarity Programme for micro-business

1986 Established Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank)

1986 Deregulation of economy, commencing with removal of import licensing and later price controls

1986 Privatisation of government financial and industrial institutions — starting with NCB and Caribbean Cement Company

1988 Initiated Digiport – first satellite telecommunications data processing operation, Montego Bay

1988 One Million Trees Programme to commence

2018 Promotion of the growth of Leucaena — principally for export of wood from trunk and branches, animal feed from leaves, and gasification to create methane gas to create electricity.

Planning and development

Rural and urban planning and the environment have been prime areas of development, focusing on waterfront development in the main coastal towns and cities, rural and urban township development programmes, and the development of parks and markets.

1963 Developed a five-year development plan to chart the first five years of Independence

1966 Redevelopment of Kingston waterfront

1967 Reclamation and development of Ocho Rios waterfront (Turtle Beach)

1967 Comprehensively planned urban communities — transformation of 'Back-o-Wall' slum to develop Tivoli Gardens — a modern, fully planned urban development; Hellshire Hills Development; Portmore Town Centre; Torrington Park Housing Scheme

1968 Founding of Urban Development Corporation

1969 Comprehensive development plan for infrastructure of many rural towns (later CRTDP)

1972 20-Year Physical Development Plan completed to outline next 20 years

1983 Jamaica Conference Centre – headquarters of the International Seabed Authority and used for national conferences

1983 National Committee on Drug Abuse

1985 MPM – development of parks, beautification, and public cleaning

1985 Redevelopment of Denham Town

1988 Reclamation of Montego Bay waterfront

1988 Negril development (Bloody Bay)

1988 Social Well-being Plan completed

1988 Economic Medium-Term Plan, 'Going for Growth' completed

Social Programmes

Creation of a wide range of social programmes which expanded training in human resources, aided small enterprises, and protected the poor and vulnerable.

1963 Construction of National Arena

1963 Founding of Things Jamaican for craft development

1965 Established 100 Village Community Development Programme

1965 Arranged community sports development on a structured, islandwide basis

1965 Initiated the Golden Age Movement

1965 Founded The National Volunteers

1970 Established Student Revolving Loan Fund for Higher Education

1971 National School Feeding Programme

1972 Establishment of Jamaica Racing Commission and Jockey School

1974 Institute of Mass Communication, later renamed Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), by The University of the West Indies

1982 Introduction of HEART (Human Employment & Resource Training)

1983 Launching of the Drug Abuse Committee (later known as the National Council on Drug Abuse)

1984 Food Stamp Programme for elderly poor and for lactating mothers

1984 ARP – Administrative Reform Programme for fundamental civil service reforms

1984 National Golden Age Home for the elderly poor

1984 LEAP (Learning for Earning Activity Programme) for street children

1988 PACE (Programme for the Advancement of Early Childhood Education)

1988 Residential halls for UWI, UTech and Cultural Training Centre

Cultural programmes

Established in Independent Jamaica most of the institutions to build cultural awareness and national identity, as well as develop our arts, crafts and national heritage.

1963 Jamaica festival

1964 Promotion to launch Jamaica music (ska) abroad

1964 Establish Things Jamaican Ltd to revive, develop and teach Jamaican handcraft

1964 Return of Marcus Garvey's body to Jamaica

1964 Order of National Heroes – Garvey, First Hero

1964 George VI Park renamed National Heroes' Park

1965 Museum Development: Arawak, Port Royal

1967 Launched Jamaica Journal publication (Institute of Jamaica)

1967 Research and recording of folk culture

1967 Purchase of Devon House to prevent demolition. Restoration and development thereafter

1968 National Heritage Week, including National Heroes Day

1971 Design of the Cultural Training Centre (arts, drama, music, painting and sculpture) named on completion Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts

1972 Jamaica Racing Commission and Jockey School established

1986 Establishment of the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC)

1988 Planned development of Heritage sites (Port Royal, Spanish Town, Seville)

1988 Media Divestment Programme to establish several small private radio stations and church television

2008 Established the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) to raise funds for Premier League football clubs

Institutional, parliamentary, political performance and constitutional reforms

Initiator of some of the most important political, parliamentary and constitutional reforms which affect governance of the country.

1961 Presentation of historical Have and Have Not speech by me

1961 Member of the Parliamentary Commission which drafted the constitution for Independent Jamaica

1979 Electoral reforms: structure of the Electoral Advisory Committee

1986 Establishment of Contractor General post, proposed in 1979

1986 Media Commission

1992 Constitutional reform: Advocate General (renamed Public Defender)

1993 Constitutional reform: Revised Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms

1993 Amendment to the Standing Orders of Parliament to allow non-parliamentarians to address Parliament

1994 Several Parliamentary Reforms:

Stipulated time to strengthen the independence of Parliament over executive

1994 Money Bills tabled in Parliament to regulate money supply by law

2005 Parliamentary service of an unbroken 45 years, longest ever on record

International programmes and historic intervention

1974 Proposed UNESCO International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (Culture Bank), which was accepted and launched

1982 Caribbean Basin Initiative – Partnered the Caribbean Basin Initiative by the United States to promote regional exports to the US

Successful international intervention in Grenada, Haiti, and South Africa

1983 Participated in ending radical socialism in Grenada after invasion by United States forces

1986 Halted revolution in Haiti resulting in President Jean Claude Duvalier fleeing the country on my proposal

1987 British proposal to cease sanctions on South Africa at Commonwealth Conference in Canada failed because of arguments submitted by me.

Proposed sanctions and pressure on the South African currency (rand) to force Government to abandon apartheid

1986 Proposed the establishment of a Manpower Bank which UNDP established as United Nations International Short Term Advisory Resources – UNISTAR

1986 Establishment of Caribbean Democrat Union

1986 Creation of CARIBCAN (Canada)

Honours and awards

Appointed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1984 as a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council. In 2002, bestowed with the honour of Order of the Nation, the second-highest honour of the Government of Jamaica. In 2005, appointed as Distinguished Fellow for Life by the University of the West Indies and in 2012, Chancellor of tThe University of Technology, Jamaica. Also recently installed as a Fellow of the Institute of Jamaica, the venerable institution of arts and sciences.

Man of the Year, Fortune magazine (1980), along with President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and President Junius Jayewardene

Republic of Venezuela – Grand Collar de Libertador (1981)

Republic of Venezuela – Gold Mercury International Award (1981)

Republic of Korea – Grand Gwangwa Medal, Order of Diplomatic service (1981)

Federal Republic of Germany – Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (1982)

Mexico – Order of the Aztec Eagle (1987)

Gleaner Honour Awards: Man of the Year (1980, 1981)

Avenue of the Americas Association, NY – Gold Key Award (1981)

American Friendship Medal bestowed by the Freedoms Foundation, 1982

Pan American Development Foundation Inter-American Man of the Year Development Award (1983)

Dr Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award (1984)

United Nations Environment Programme — the Environmental Leadership Award (1987)

Honorary Degrees

University of Miami, LL D (1981)

Tampa University, LL D (1982)

University of South Carolina, LL D (1983)

Boston University, LL D (1983)

University of Hartford, LL D(1987)

University of Technology, D Litt (2012)

Publications

Parent Teacher Relationships, published by Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of the West Indies, 1954

Faith Healing in Jamaica, International Parapsychology, 1955

Revival Spirit Cults, Jamaica Journal Vol 3, No.2, 1968, Institute of Jamaica

Folk Music of Jamaica (album of music recorded by Ethnic Folkways Library), 1978

The Origins of Jamaica Popular Music (published on CD from lecture at UWI), 2002

The Folk Roots of Jamaican Cultural Identity, Inaugural Lecture at the University of the West Indies, May 2005

Grenada Intervention: the inside story. Edward Seaga Research Institute, 2009

Revelations: beyond political boundaries. Edward Seaga Research Institute, 2009

Autobiography, My Life and Leadership, Volume 1, Clash of Ideologies, 2010

Autobiography, My Life and Leadership, Volume 2, Hard Road to Travel, 2010

Compilation of album of four recordings of 100 top Jamaican tunes since Independence, 2012.

I am pleased that these 126 contributions covered a broad basis of support to and development of Jamaica since Independence.

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