Prime Minister Mottley addressing her supporters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
By Daisy Campbell
Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP, was embraced by fellow Barbadians at a Friends of Crown Heights event held on September 6, 2018. The Caribbean community welcomed her with pride as she became the first female as well as the 8th Prime Minister to be elected to the office. She was the leader of the Barbados Labor Party (BLP). The incumbent Minister assumed office on May 25, 2018.
She was an avid contributor to the political system as a member of Parliament for the constituency of St. Michael North East since 1994. During the period 1994 to 2008, she held numerous ministerial portfolios including that of being the first female Attorney General in Barbados’ history. She was twice the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly House of Barbados from 2008 to 2010 and 2013 to 2018 respectively.
In the May 24, 2018 General Election, she led her party, the BLP with a land sliding victory of thirty seats in the House. She also won the popularity vote at 72.8%, which is a record percentage that has ever been received by any politician in any general election in that country. She now enters her position with experience as she has served many different portfolios. Prime Minister Mottley highlighted several areas of concern as well as identified strategies she plans to implement to improve the country’s economic state as it relates to education, transportation, building international relationships while working in conjunction with the Diaspora. In her public address at the meeting in Crown Heights, she encouraged members of the Barbadian Diaspora to commit to building the country’s socioeconomic status through investments. She also supports the movement of people throughout the Caribbean with the aim of promoting economic growth. She implored Bajans to engage in activities that would help others to understand what it means to be a Barbadian and that would benefit the country economically.
She also expressed her concern about the impact of climate change on the island and highlighted some of the problems Barbados is facing as a result. She referred to the impact this issue was having on the seas, as efforts must be made to protect the animals and plants. Prime Minister Mottley explained that to protect and preserve the marine life, a plan was being implemented to ban Styrofoam and plastic from the island at a date to be announced.
“How you start, is how you will finish,” stated the Prime Minister. She is determined to work tirelessly to make the necessary changes to the legislation to move the country forward. She mentioned the current situation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the indebtedness of the country, as Barbados has suffered longstanding economic decline over the years. According to an article from the IMF, “The Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan” has been put in place to improve the country’s macroeconomic stability to enhance growth and promote sustainable growth while building the financial sector. In this article, it is stated that “the cornerstone of the program is a strong front-loaded fiscal adjustment focused on curbing current expenditure, while maintaining space for bolstering social safety nets and infrastructure spending.”
Prime Minister Mottley has acknowledged that this is a tedious task, but she stands ready with her team, ready to put all the necessary strategies in place to elevate the country towards socioeconomic growth and development and hence lead to a better standard of living for all.