Is this our Reparation? PM announces £300 million fund for Caribbean infrastructure

03/10/2015 Update.

Petitioning Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron MP

 Jamaica needs schools and hospitals, not a £25 million prison, David Cameron.
Please click link and sign this petition to tell David Cameron, no, this will not do. This is an insult.

David Cameron has flown to Jamaica to announce the gift of a prison. He refuses to apologize for slavery but wants to send prisoners, who are deemed to be Jamaican, to Jamaica to serve their sentences in this gift prison. Jamaica needs schools, hospitals, equipment and other assistance to alleviate poverty and reduce crime that is taking place in Jamaica, not additional British- developed criminals to make matters worse.
You are also invited to join our discussion here by leaving us your thoughts on this matter. This article will be updated periodically in an attempt to bring a greater awareness to the issue of Reparations and the lingering colonial attitudes of our former colonial masters. Your comments are crucial in creating this awareness.
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Before we get to what the UK Prime Minister announced, I would like you to read what is being circulated in the UK.

The UK Prime Minister today announced a new £300 million infrastructure fund to be delivered in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to refurbish roads, bridges and ports to drive growth and economic development throughout the region. UK companies are highly competitive in the region and have a good track record of winning contracts through the CDB tender process. UKTI routinely circulates CDB tender notices so please make contact with them if your organisation is interested in this exciting opportunity.

That was posted through a social media site by a man from UK (White) through his network. Exciting Opportunities for who?

UK PM's Announcement

The government is to invest £300 million in vital new infrastructure in the Caribbean such as roads, bridges and ports to help drive economic growth and development across the region.

The Prime Minister announced the new fund on Tuesday in Jamaica on the first leg of a 2-day visit focused on reinvigorating the relationship between the UK and the Caribbean countries. It will make the UK one of the largest bilateral donors to the region.

Delivered in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank, the infrastructure fund will use money from the UK’s existing aid budget to provide grants over the next few years for a range of projects that will help boost growth and trade across the region, creating jobs and opening up new market opportunities for British businesses.

Welcoming the fund, the Prime Minister said:

We want to help the Caribbean on their path of development – supporting economic growth and creating new opportunities for people living here.

UK prime minister in Jamaica.jpg 1

That’s what this £300 million infrastructure fund is all about. It will help to fund upgrades to ports, new roads and new bridges – making it easier here for businesses to trade with one another and with the rest of the world. And it will help benefit British businesses too who have the knowledge and expertise to deliver the infrastructure improvements needed.

It makes the United Kingdom one of the largest bilateral donors to the region – concrete proof of our determination to reinvigorate this relationship.

The International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

Too many Caribbean countries are held back because they remain vulnerable to severe economic or climate shocks. With some of the highest energy costs in the world, it is difficult for businesses to compete in global markets, leading to decades of slow or declining growth.

Britain’s close relationship with the Caribbean and our new support will help boost growth and kick-start economic recovery across the region as well as creating important trade and investment opportunities for the UK.

Types of infrastructure

Types of infrastructure the fund could provide include:

  • 750km of upgraded single-lane roads, including 30-40 bridges
  • 20 large water production, storage and transmission systems
  • 75km of sea and river defences
  • 15 ports upgraded by providing specialist equipment to speed up freight movements
  • 30 solid waste management projects for major cities/communities

Export finance

To further encourage UK-Jamaica business links, the government will also extend £100 million in export finance to Jamaica. With UK exports to the Caribbean totalling £1.1 billion and bilateral trade at £2.55 billion in 2014, the UK is the number one export destination for much of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

UK Export Finance will now be able to consider medium and long term financing options for private and public sector borrowers in the UK, looking to invest in Jamaica.

The government will also provide an additional:

  • £30 million to strengthen hospital infrastructure so they are more structurally resistant to natural disasters.
  • £30 million to support governments in the region to improve the management of their public finances so that they can improve their own public services. This funding will be available immediately.

UK prime minister in Jamaica.jpg 2

Notes to editors

The Infrastructure Fund will be available to 8 Commonwealth countries in the region eligible for ODA (official development assistance): Jamaica, Guyana, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent & the Grenadines; as well as Montserrat as an ODA-eligible Overseas Territory.

The Smart Hospitals Programme will build on a successful £8.4 million pilot programme with new funding of £30 million. Funding will be available to 7 ODA-eligible Commonwealth countries in the region: Jamaica, Guyana, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines.

The “skills for growth” economic programme is aimed at the 5 ODA-eligible countries in the Eastern Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines. These programmes will:

  • support governments in the region to get public finances under control while improving public services
  • support governments to make their countries more attractive to investors and for business to grow, creating more jobs and tax revenue
  • work in partnership with both the public and private sector to address the shortage of critical skills which is constraining economic growth and employment

DfID’s current programme from 2011 also includes security and justice, climate change and disaster resilience work.

This article has 5 Comments

  1. This IS the form reparation will take…! Many people are talking about cash in the hands of people of African decent living in the Caribbean, the U.K. is not stupid… Can you imagine US$20k+ given to every single family in the Caribbean, that money would be spent foolishly! The money would end up exactly where it came from, back in the hands of the giver…! The only hope w now have is the other EU countries that enslaved our people respond the way the UK has done…!

    1. From the perspective of Barbados the contractors that would be given the money to do this work would be majority white. Already we have a case where our local black contractors are crying out. I don’t know about other islands but done this way with things the way they are to me is strengthening the white minority and maybe the Chinese position on the island .I am in no way saying we don’t need the infrastructural development but at the same time we must be cautious going forward.

  2. Osula Holder.
    I think that the governments if the Caribbean will accept this… Whether as a form of reparations i am not sure of the label that would be given to it. The most vulnerable in society would still suffer. Govnts in the c’bean need to think proactively for the welfare of the vulnerable in society, we can’t survive on infrastructure. Would this trickle down to the poorer ones in society?

    Taken from FB comments

  3. Comment from Esther Stanford Xosei

    My thoughts are that this is being done to undermine true holistic reparations and as the article suggests will end up really benefiting European companies especially British ones. The problem we have however is the neocolonial nation states who maintain the external stance of being pro-reparations but within a neocolonialist context. So since CARICOM have championed reparations as development these are some of the deals that they are agreeing to by stealth. Our people do not seem to be vigilant in monitoring the govts in the Caribbean around the methodology of effecting their 10 point plan. Indirectly these measures undermine the call for reparations because their is no distinction between the slave masters descendants ideas of development and the descendants of the enslaved,state driven ideas of development. This deal is being used to undermine the arguments we as reparationists are making ere because to British people this SEEMS like reparations as compensation. We are hearing very little alternative voices or constructively critical analysis emanating from the grassroots in the Caribbean we are only hearing state voices on reparations, can you help me overstand why this is? Is it because everyone is really behind the govts on what they are doing on reparations?

    1. The money announced should not in any way be construed as reparations. Cameron has spurned the reparations claim and heaped contempt on our audacity to make such a demand. Dismissing reparations out of hand as a non-issues he announces the financial package as simply what his visit to the region is about.

      The development aid announced by Cameron is a continuation of the established colonial relationship whereby in most CARICOM countries the head of state is the British monarchy, and therefore Britain continues to exercise colonial rights to property and economic exploitation.

      Development Aid is the means by which colonising nations create employment opportunities in overseas territories for their nationals ; expand their market activities; dump obsolete technologies and control the political framework of “independent’ countries.

      Our misleaders are happy to go along and most of us are fooled that this is largess and generosity. Hence many of us of African ancestry in the Caribbean do not identify with reparations or even want to understand what it means. We are frightened by this way of thinking and fear that it will bring in the wrath of Europe upon us.

      The Pan African Coalition of Organisations in Barbados, the Caribbean RastafarI Organisation and the African Heritage Foundation, the Non-State Actors Reparations Commission are some of the organised voices educating the society about the meaning of reparations and denouncing the British dismissal of our claim.

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