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The Conference of Heads of Government consists of the heads of government or Prime
Ministers of each member state of the Caribbean Community, with the exception of
Guyana and Suriname who has Executive Presidents representing their interests.
Montserrat uses their chief Minister to represent their interests at the Conference of
Heads of Government. The heads of Government are expected to meet at least once a
year and carry out the following functions:
Decide on policies and general direction of Caricom
Act as the final authority for the conclusion of treaties on behalf of Caricom and
for entering into relationships between Caricom and International bodies.
resolve conflict and disputes among member states
make the financial arrangements to meet the expenses of the community.
Constitution - It is a written document which contains the most
important laws and principles by which the citizens of a country agree
to be governed. This is the most important legislation of any country in
the Commonwealth Caribbean.
The constitution serves to protect the fundamental human rights; in
fact, the Judiciary protects the constitutional rights of citizens.
The Constitution of the Commonwealth Caribbean countries contains a
Bill of Rights which is based on the Universal Declaration of Human
This system was implemented in the 1600's and did not cater to the slaves,
free negroes nor the coloured people. This was made obvious because none
of those mentioned (slaves, free negroes or coloureds) had the right to
participate in the election process. That right was reserved only for the white
Let us look at the structure of the Old Representative System:
Think of yourself living under the Old Representative system of government!
Having no representative, no right to vote, not being catered to socially or
educationally. Imagine having your leaders ruling in their own interest. I bet
you would be most miserable. That was the condition under which our fore
parents lived.
Crown Colony Government (18th century)
Having endured the Old Representative system for over 150 years, the
1800's saw a change in the system. All the Colonies adopted the Crown
Colony system of government. All the Colonies, except Barbados, gave up
their elected assemblies. That system of government consisted of the
Governor, an Executive and Legislative Council made up of officials who
headed government departments in the colonies and the members were
nominated by the Governor. Those nominated members of the council never
had the executive, legislative or judicial powers. They only serve as
advisors. Those powers (to make laws and administering them) rested in
the hands of the Governor.
Structure of the Crown Colony Government
Independence/Constitutional Monarch
During the 20th century, prevailing circumstances gave rise to a
political reform in the Caribbean. Those circumstances included:
Universal adult suffrage
Economic depression of the 1930's
Among others
The British government was then willing to grant the colonies political
independence. Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were the first of the
colonies to gain independence from Britain in the year 1962. The other
colonies followed suit later years. The granting of political independence
therefore meant that the Government became responsible for the internal
and external affairs of the country. The Crown - appointed Governor was
replaced by a locally appointed Governor General as Head of State. He is a
symbolic representative of the monarch/Crown and therefore has limited
Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Jamaica etc are examples of constitutional
monarchies since the monarch is still the head of state
Republicanism (Sovereign state)
In the Republicanism system of government, the Monarch has been
replaced as Head of state by a President. These countries are called
Republics. Countries in the Commonwealth Caribbean that are Republics
include: Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. These countries were once
colonies of Britain. The Commonwealth of Dominica also embraces a
Republican status.
There are two types of republics in the Caribbean:
Break down of the two types of republics in the Caribbean
The diagram gives an over view of the two types of republic in the
Caribbean. One type is based on the presidential system while the other is
on the parliamentary system.
The Republic of Guyana uses the Presidential system where the head of
state is also the head of government. This therefore means that Guyana has
an executive president who has full constitutional powers.
Trinidad and Tobago and the Commonwealth of Dominica government are
based on the Parliamentary system. Here, the president, who is Head of
State, plays a ceremonial role which therefore means that he has limited
constitutional powers and is so referred to as a titular president. The prime
minister therefore has the executive powers and is the head of the
Comparison between the Parliamentary system and the Presidential
Below is an incomplete table making comparison between the two systems,
complete the table by filling in appropriate comparisons.
Parliamentary System
Have a titular president
Presidential system
Has an executive president
"I know you did a good job at filling in the blank spaces."
Forms of Government
Structure of Government
The Structure and composition of Parliament:
The structure of government in the Commonwealth Caribbean is built on
the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy- tracing back to the
13th century. This model allows for a Bi-cameral (two chambers) legislative
body. In the Caricom countries, the two chambers are:
(1) Upper house (Senate)
(2) Lower House (House of Representatives)
In Britain, the upper house is called the House of Lords and the lower house
is called the House of Commons. Trinidad, St Lucia, Barbados, Antigua,
Grenada are just a few of the Commonwealth Caribbean countries that have
a bi-cameral parliament.
If the Legislature has only one body, it is then described as a Unicameral
Legislature. Dominica, Guyana, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines all have unicameral parliaments
(Parliament literally means place of speaking)
Structure of Bicameral Parliament
Composition of Parliament (Bicameralism)
As mentioned earlier, the Legislative body comprises the Senate (upper
house) and the House of Representatives (lower house). Entry into this body
can either be through nomination or election. Let us break it down!
Entry into the House of Representatives
This house comprises the elected members of the governing party and the
opposition party or parties. This therefore is an indication that entrance into
this house is through the public polls- general elections. People in each
constituencies vote for the candidate who they believe will best represent
their interest and the candidate who gains majority of the votes wins the
election in that constituency and entry into the lower house (first past the
post). It is important to note that the majority of the members in the House
of Representatives are apart of the governing party (ruling party).
Entry into the Senate
All the members of the Senate are nominated. The following persons are
given the task of nominating the members of the Senate:
The Prime Minister - he or she nominates sitting members in the
House of Representatives. Senators nominated by the prime minister
are called Government Senators
The Head of State - He or she nominates Senators to represent
interests such as religion, education or business. Senators nominated
by the head of state are called Independent Senators because they do
not represent any political interest or party.
Leader (s) of the Opposition party - he or she nominates sitting
members in the House of Representatives. Senators nominated by the
leader(s) of Opposition Party (ies) are called Opposition Senators.
Benefits of having a second chamber (The Senate)
The Senate provides a wider scope for checks and balances on the
House of Representative
Considers all bills passed in the House of Representative before they
can become law (A second examination of legislative proposals)
A wider scope of representation of interest in the society
Draw backs to having a second chamber (The Senate)
A second examination of legislative proposals will lengthen the overall
legislative process
The presence of non-elected members may be viewed as a challenge
to the representative government
The presence of a government majority favours decisions of the
The stages involved in the law making process
The Legislative branch is responsible for making the laws of the country. The
processes involve will be outlined below.
Can you imagine the intricacies involve in this process?
Structure and function of the Executive Arm of Government
The Executive arm of government is often referred to as the business house
of the country. This is where the Prime Minister and his ministers of
government congregate to direct the affairs of the country. The executive
arm of government is popularly known as the Cabinet. This type of
government setting is evident in all the Commonwealth countries except
Guyana. In Guyana, the Executive President heads the Cabinet.
The chart below highlights some of the basic functions of the Cabinet
The Cabinet System
As mentioned earlier, the Cabinet is viewed as the business house of the
country; hence, this arm is responsible for directing the affairs of the
country through initiating and implementing policies that will see to its
development. The Cabinet is the principal instrument of policy, insofar as it
exercises general direction and control over policy. To this end, Cabinet is
collectively responsible to Parliament for the general direction and control of
policy. In the same way, individual Ministers are individually responsible to
Parliament for the general direction and control of policy in their respective
These principles of Cabinet government are known as the Principle of
Collective Responsibility. Once a policy has been approved by Cabinet, it
becomes the policy of the entire Cabinet and every member is expected to
defend it in public. This therefore means that even if a Cabinet member
disagrees with the policy, he or she is not at liberty to criticize it in public
after it has been approved by the Cabinet.
Rules that govern the Principle of Collective Responsibility:
I. The Confidence Rule- this implies that the ability of the Cabinet to exert
direction and control a function of the enjoyment of the confidence of a
majority of elected members in the Legislature
II. The Confidentiality Rule: This implies that all Cabinet documents and
discussions must remain confidential so as to preserve official secrecy in the
making of Cabinet decisions
III. The Unanimity rule: This implies that the Cabinet can only speak with
one voice so that government policy will always be unambiguous
Individual Ministerial Responsibility
The Prime Minister is the chief executive officer; therefore, he is entrusted
with the responsibility of assigning responsibilities to his ministers. This area
of responsibility given by the Prime Minister is called the Minister's portfolio.
Each minister is expected to carry out the duties of his or her office that is
called a Ministry or government department. For example, in the Ministry of
Agriculture, the minister who occupies this portfolio is expected to
implement policies relating to his/her office and be willing and ready to
defend such a ministry in public and in Parliament.
The responsibility of respective ministries can be over bearing, as such, the
ministers may be assisted by ministers without portfolio or junior ministers.
In Guyana, it is the President who gives the ministers areas of responsibility.
Rules that govern individual ministerial responsibility
I. The advice rule: This implies that Ministers are entitled to departmental
advice, but their decisions are their responsibility
II. The Culpability rule: This implies that ministers are responsible for errors
of policy in their ministries. Ministers cannot blame their public servants for
any errors of policy, owing to the fact that such decisions are exclusively
limited to Ministers. A minister is accountable to Parliament.
III. The Propriety rule: This implies that ministers must conduct themselves
with propriety and professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
In all independent Commonwealth Caribbean countries, the head of state is
either of the following:
An Executive President
Governor General
Titular President
In countries where the head of state is a Governor General (as in Jamaica)
or a titular president (as in Trinidad and Tobago), his or her role/function is
ceremonial in nature. This therefore means that such a person has limited
executive powers.
The Governor General or the Titular President acts upon the advice of the
Prime Minister.
In an attempt to better serve the citizens of the country, the government
recruits qualified individuals that are called Civil Servants to carry out their
policies, programmes and goals. These individuals (Civil Servants) are non elected government officials who are obliged to carry out government's
policies regardless of their personal feelings towards the government of the
day. This job demands utmost impartiality in the execution of one's task.
Functions of police
To prevent and control conduct widely recognized as threatening to life and
To aid individuals who are in danger of physical harm, such as the victims of
violent attack
To facilitate the movement of people and vehicles
To assist those who cannot care for themselves, the intoxicated, the addicted,
the mentally ill, the physically disables, the old, and the young
To resolve conflict, whether it be between individuals, groups or individuals, or
individuals and their government
To identify problems that have the potential for becoming more serious
To create and maintain a feeling of security in communities
Prisons have three basic functions. Firstly, to secure and control offenders,
secondly, to punish offenders and thirdly to rehabilitate or reform offenders.
Role of civil service
advise ministers on policies pertinent to their departments. There have been criticisms that these
senior civil servants are in a position to be too influential especially as they are non-elected
persons. However, they argue, with some legitimacy, that governments may come and go and
inexperienced minister may be appointed, but they remain where they are with both the expertise
and experience a new minister is almost certainly going to lack.
they prepare policy papers and speeches for ministers
they deal with a minister's correspondence and help to prepare him/her for questions that might
arise in the House of Commons
they maintain a minister's official diary and minute meetings
they can consult with pressure groups to develop their knowledge on certain issues.
civil servants can vote in elections, but while they are a member of the Civil Service, they cannot
stand for a political office.
all civil servants are bound by the Official Secrets Act, and they may not speak to the media or
write about their experiences without permission. This came about after the Clive Ponting
incident during the Thatcher years whereby civil servant Ponting, released to the media that the
Argentinean warship the 'Belgrano' may well have been attacked by a British submarine outside
of the exclusion zone imposed during the Falklands War. Clearly such information could have
been damaging to the government. Ponting argued that he felt it was only right that the public
knew the truth. Now, what is made available to the media/public comes from the government
alone. senior civil servants must not be politically active.
Civil servants must not be members of extreme left or right wing political parties - though they
can be members of mainstream parties.
Some civil servants in sensitive posts (such as in the Defence Ministry) can have their private lives
investigated by the Security Services.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is the independent prosecuting authority
for the State of Western Australia, responsible for the prosecution of all serious offences
committed against State criminal law.
A separate body - the Commonwealth DPP - prosecutes offences committed against
Commonwealth criminal laws.
The DPP acts independently of the Government in decision-making on criminal prosecutions.
The DPP is however responsible to the Attorney General for the operation of the Office.
The DPP does not investigate crime - that is the role of the investigating agencies such as the
WA Police Service and the Corruption and Crime Commission.
Physical Resources
Resource - Anything living or nonliving that can be harnessed, developed
and used to improve the standard of living of people.
Natural Resource - resource which is the result of acts of nature or
processes taking place in nature. These include gold, rivers, arable land,
oil etc. that are essential for our survival while others are used for
satisfying our basic wants
Physical Resource - facilities built by man such as harbours, refineries,
dams, etc which are used to create comfort, economic wealth and feed
further production.
The major natural resources in the Caribbean can be divided into renewable
and non-renewable resources. The renewable resources include:
Solar energy (SOURCE OF ENERGY)
Marine life
The non-renewable resources found in the Caribbean include:
Petroleum and Natural gas (SOURCE OF ENERGY)
Geothermal energy
Let us begin to explore the renewable resources found in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean countries may be small, but there is always an abundance of rich,
fertile soils which is mainly used for subsistence farming, commercial farming,
commercial estates, development of housing, development of social amenities
and industrial estates, mining, beaches, hotels, parks, construction of roads etc.
The Importance of Agriculture to the Region
Agriculture plays a major role in the region's economic growth because it
increases income, employment and nutrition. The Caribbean region benefits
heavily from its trading relation with Europe and the United States of America
because the export of traditional and non-traditional crops earns large sum of
foreign exchange. In the same breath, amidst the high level of export, the region
has become dependent on food import from those regions and is now believed to
be the largest food importing sub region in the hemisphere.
The government has a unique role to play in ensuring that the agricultural sector
remains viable. There needs to be a reduction in the importation of food items
that can be produced locally. In this vain, the money that would be saved from
importing large volume of food could be reinvested in the agricultural sector
making it more attractive for the younger generations.
Water as a Resource
Living things cannot survive without water. However, such a commodity is
becoming scarce in the Caribbean and the world at large. Human beings survival
depends upon the availability of clean and safe water.
Uses of Water
1) Provides Food - The sea, rivers and lakes host an abundance of food suitable
for human's consumption such as fish, shellfish, seaweed, lobsters, oysters, etc.
2) Transportation - The water bodies facilitate the movement of boats, cargo
ships and cruise ships with people and goods to various parts of the world.
3) Recreation - There are many water sports to be enjoyed by humans, some of
which include; swimming, fishing, surfing, sailing, diving and skiing.
4) Industrial Use - there are many industries that make use of the flow of water
that drives generators that produce needed electricity.
5) Agriculture - water is needed and used for irrigation purposes and also used
as a solvent for pesticides and fertilizer
6) Water is used for domestic purposes such as drinking, cooking, house
cleaning, bathing, washing among other things.
There are many other uses of water, in your groups, identify and discuss other
important uses of water.
Solar energy is energy that is generated from the sunlight. The Caribbean region
experiences a tropical marine climate all year round, which suggests that it is the
largest source of energy available to the people in the region. The Caribbean
governments have recognized that if solar energy is properly explored, then it
can prove cost-effective than petroleum use.
Solar Energy as the alternative source of energy in the Caribbean
Advantages of using solar energy as the alternative source of energy in the
1. It is non-exhaustible
2. It is totally free
3. It does not produce any pollutants which mirrors that of petroleum use.
4. It is noise free
Uses of Solar Energy in the Caribbean
1. use for crop drying in food processing industries
2. Provide heat for domestic purposes
3. Generation of electricity on a small scale
4. Solar powered calculators
The use of wind as a source of energy is not very popular in the Caribbean.
There are a few Caribbean countries however that has employed the use of wind
to supply energy. Such countries include Jamaica, Montserrat, Antigua and
Barbuda and Barbados.
Advantages of using Wind as an alternative source of energy in the
1. It is totally free
2. It is pollution free
3. It is a renewable resource
Drawbacks to using wind as an alternative source of energy
1. The required force of wind needed is not always available
2. The setting up of windmills to generate the energy may interfere with the
aesthetic beauty of the land. (the clearing away of trees or land for set up)
Petroleum is the main source of energy in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago
and to a lesser extent, Barbados, are the only Commonwealth Caribbean
countries that produce oil. Petroleum takes three forms, crude oil, natural gas
and pitch.
Uses of Petroleum
1. Generates electricity
2. used as fuel in internal combustion engines such as cars, buses, trains ,
aeroplanes, etc.
Drawbacks to Petroleum use
1. It produces green house gases such as carbon monoxide and methane
2. The price of Petroleum fluctuates frequently.
3. Petroleum use creates pollution problems
In Jamaica and Guyana, bauxite plays a major role in the development of the
countries' economies. The bauxite sector employs a large proportion of the
country's labour force and is likewise a major source of foreign exchange. Haiti is
also a producer of bauxite, but it is not a major producer because of economic
constraints. The extraction of the bauxite is very expensive, coupled with the fact
that those countries are importers of petroleum needed in the extraction process.
The demand for bauxite on the international market has decreased considerably,
and this has slowed the growth of the bauxite sector in those countries.
Improper use of Land:
1. Mining and Quarrying Operations - These activities involve the removal of
vegetation and top soil. The trees that are removed are not replanted, and this
contributes to soil erosion.
2. Activities that include the building of commercial estates, industrial estates,
roads and housing on prime agricultural lands
3. Bad Farming Practices such as:
- Overgrazing - all the vegetation is removed by animals such as goats and cattle
that graze on the same pasture for a prolonged period.
- Up and down slope ploughing.
- Monocropping - the planting of a single type of crop on the same piece of land
in successive order.
- Slash and Burn.
- Deforestation.
All these actions contribute to soil erosion.
Land Pollution
Land pollution has been a growing problem in the Caribbean. See if you can
identify with any of the following ways in which the land is polluted:
Poor farming practices associated with the improper use of pesticides and
Dumping solid and liquid waste on vacant lots, beaches, roadsides and in
the backyard
Industrial actions such as the dumping and burying of toxic waste
Quarrying for building materials
Effects of Land Pollution
Fertilizers and pesticides are made up of chemicals that may be
transmitted to plants and eventually to humans who consume the plants
causing diseases
The dumping of solid waste causes offensive odour and likewise create an
unhygienic environment that aids the spread of diseases
Toxic waste destroys the soil content, thus slowing or preventing food
It deters others from taking up residence in the area
Water Pollution
Water pollution is concerned with the introduction of harmful substances into our
rivers, lakes, sea and wet land areas that adversely affect human, animals and
the aquatic life.
Effects of Water Pollution
1. Agricultural inputs such as pesticides have a toxic effect on the aquatic life
2. Contamination of the water that results from household and industrial wastes
causes the spread of water borne diseases
3. Livelihoods are disrupted, for example fishermen.
4. Recreational areas for bathing and other aquatic activities are restricted
5. Areas are flooded because water bodies are blocked by solid wastes which
eventually cause loss of lives and destruction of properties.
6. Decline in Tourism
The major cause of air pollution is Humans' activities. As urbanization and
industrialization increase, air pollution increases accordingly. The following
actions account for the high level of pollution in the Caribbean:
1. Exhaust as a result of factories, mining and quarrying operations
2. Toxic emissions from motor vehicle exhausts
3. Aerial spraying of crops
4. The burning of garbage at land fills and at home
Natural Sources of Air Pollution
1. Volcanic eruptions that emit poisonous gases into the atmosphere (occurs in
the Eastern Caribbean islands)
2. Forest and bush fires
3. Plants
1. It contributes to global warming
2. Air pollution affects human's health (brings temporary and permanent injury to
the respiratory system)
3. Air pollution decreases visibility (the ability to see clearly), especially when one
is walking or driving.
4. Air pollutants damage buildings.
5. Pollutants such as carbon monoxide, when inhaled, displace the oxygen in the
blood, thus, reducing the amount of oxygen carried to the body tissues.
6. It damages plant life.
Global warming refers to the accelerated warming of the earth's surface caused in part by the
green house effect.
The Green house effect is caused by the green house gases such as Argon,
Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Hydrogen, Nitros Oxide, Ozone, Neon and Helium
which surround the earth's atmosphere. All of these gases act like a form of
blanket, trapping some of the heat which has been absorbed by the earth from
the sun during the day that is suppose to radiate back out into space. This
blanket of gases is responsible for maintaining warm temperatures on earth, the
absence of these gases would result in the earth being frozen. However, too
much of these gases in the earth's atmosphere will result in the temperatures
rising worldwide because they will now trap more heat within the earth, resulting
in global warming.
Increase in the earth's temperature is as a result of human's activities.
Have you ever been sitting down in peace and tranquility and suddenly all that
becomes interrupted with loud, undesirable sound? If yes, you have had a case
of noise pollution. Exposure to noise levels of over 100 decibels may result in
temporary hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to noise at this level damages the
ear drums, resulting in deafness (permanent hearing loss).
1. Noise from public address systems, street dances, stage shows, and parades
2. Noise from transportation equipment - blaring of sirens, roar of
aircraft, honking of horns
3. Noise from construction sites - cranes, tractor and blasting from mining
4. Noise from household appliances
5. Noise from shopping centres and Malls
6. Barking of dogs
1. Physiological effects such as high blood pressure, hypertension and
2. Inability to sleep causing restlessness and tiredness
3. It causes mental fatigue
4. Inability to concentrate
All the above factors hinder productivity at work.
TASK: Identify and list at least three solutions to the problem of Noise
Since survival of the human species depends on the availability of the physical
resources, it is therefore important that we monitor closely our actions to ensure
that the physical environment is protected and conserved. As concerned citizens,
we need to start managing the environment properly to ensure adequate supplies
of natural resources, not just for today’s generation, but for future generations.
Conservation should be a major concern of governments and people alike
because it is evident that there is a rapid growth in the population which has
resulted in an increase for renewable and non-renewable resources.
Let us conserve our Resources!!!
Conservation of Land
It is important that the society understands the importance of land in the balance
of nature and this can be achieved through educational programmes that
emphasize land conservation.
Conservation of Water
As mentioned earlier, Human beings survival depends upon the availability of
clean and safe water. The growing population, industrialization and human’s
wastage have made it even more difficult to obtain clean water.
Let us conserve Water!
Conservation of the Forest
Most of the Caribbean land area is covered by tropical forests. Human’s survival
depends on the forest; therefore, protecting it is essential.
Let us conserve our Forest!
Conservation of Marine Life
Air Conservation
Human Resources
Interpretation of Data
Use the following questions to test how well you can interpret the
population pyramids
1. Which country has the largest ageing population?
2. Which country experienced the lowest birth rate?
3. Which country has the highest dependency ratio?
4. Which country has a rapid decline in the fertility levels? Justify your response.
5. Which country will require the government to provide more educational
facilities while at the same time creating job opportunities?
6. Write brief summary of the three countries highlighted on the pyramids.
Human Resource - the skills, talents, values, attitudes, abilities, and
creativity which the people of a country possess which may be developed
through education and training. The skills and creativity of the people are
used to develop the natural resources which ensure the development of
the society.
Population - the total number of people who live in a specific area at a
certain point in time.
Sustainable Development - speaks to developments that meet the needs
of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs.
Demography - the scientific study of the population that serves to
determine its characteristics such as size, composition, structure and
Population Composition - the total make up or characteristics of the
people in a population. These include gender, age, ethnicity, religion,
occupation etc.
Population Distribution - the geographical location of the people in a
Population Density - the number of persons concentrated in a region in
relation to the land area, in other words, it refers to the average number of
people living per unit area of a region or country.
Migration - the movement of persons from one geographical location to
another in order to settle.
Immigrant - a person who arrives in a country to settle
Emigrant - a person who leaves his or her country to settle in another
Net Migration - the difference between the number of immigrants and
emigrants in a country during a particular year.
Urbanization - the movement of people in large numbers from rural areas
such as small villages to urban areas.
Natural Increase - this refers to a situation in which the number of births is
greater than the number of deaths
Birthrate - the number of births in a particular period (usually a year) for
every 1,000 members of the population
Death rate - this is also known as mortality rate, and it is the number of
deaths in a particular period for every 1,000 members of the population
Infant Mortality Rate - the number of deaths of children under one year
for every 1,000 live births occurring in the same year.
Fertility Rate - the actual childbearing performance of live births per 1000
women between the ages of fifteen and forty four
Life expectancy - the average number of years that persons in a given
population are expected to live.
Dependency Ratio - refers to those persons who are below the age of 15
years and are above 65 years of age who depend on those who are in the
labour force and are employed.
Population and Resources
Overpopulation - situation in which the resources of a given area are not
sufficient to support or provide for the needs of that area.
Under population - situation in which a population is too small to fully
utilize the resources available.
Optimum Population - The number of people who can enjoy a
reasonable standard of living with the resources available in a given area.
Depopulation - a condition in which the population of an area or country
decreases on account of varying factors such as insurgence, political
unrest, natural disasters, etc.
Human Resource
Employed - people who obtain salaries or wages for the work they, some
of which are consistent with their qualifications
Unemployed - situation in which a person is willing to work but have no
work or has not yet found a job.
Under employed - relates to those who accept jobs for which they are
overqualified or who work for less than the standard number of working
hours in a given day-less than eight hours a day (part-time/temporary).
Unemployable - refers to those persons, who for varying reasons cannot
get jobs at all or will not work for any length of time.
Labour Force - that part of the population which is between the ages of 16
and 65 years who are employed or available for work. Bear in mind that
persons who are unemployed also form part of the labour force.
Population Census - demographic data of a country that gives a count
and analysis of the population
Characteristics of a population
The structure and characteristics of a population are usually determined by
demographic information collected in a Census. You would have probably been
exposed to the term Demography in objective number one, which speaks to the
specialized study of the population. The information collected by demographers
is forwarded to the government who uses it to make policies and decisions about
and for the country.
Interaction and integration of ethnic and religious groups
The Caribbean is a multiracial and multi-religious society that embraces
ecumenism. Most, if not all of the Caribbean countries host groups that are of
European, African and Asian (Indians, Chinese and individual from the Middle
East) origin because of the Colonial system that dominated the earlier centuries.
Interestingly though, all of the ethnic groups identified above brought with them
their religion which lives on today in these countries.
Let us take a closer look at our population and identify the different religions that
are associated with the different ethnic groups that we can readily identify.
The Europeans were one of the first groups to settle in the Caribbean, and like
any other group, they brought their religion, that of Christianity. As different
nations occupied the Caribbean, through slavery and indentureship, religious
diversity became evident through the contributions of the Asians (East Indians,
Chinese and those from the Middle East) and Africans.
(Important - The Indigenous people, the Tainos and Caribs are still to be found
in Guyana.)
The Caribbean community is dominated by Christianity; however, varied sects
and adaptations of Christianity can be identified. The Africans who were brought
to the Caribbean as slaves also brought their own religious practices which
overtime combined with the Christian practices of the Europeans and later
evolved into new religions classified as Creole religions such as Voodoo and
There are many factors that dictate where people live in a particular country. You
can go ahead and ask your parents or guardians about the factors that influence
their current place of residence. You would probably be surprised. Nevertheless,
let us find out why some areas are densely populated while others are sparsely
Factors influencing population disttribution
Climatic factors - There are some areas, primarily the major cities that
are located on the leeward side of the Caribbean islands, away from the
direct force of the northeast trade winds. People sometimes occupy these
areas because of the protection from the direct force of hurricanes. There
are other areas that experience continuous rainfall or the opposite thereof
(drought), such areas usually have a sparse population.
Relief of the Land (Topography) - There are persons who have a
preference for living in areas that are flat rather than those areas that are
mountainous; flat areas presents less challenge when building a home or
cultivating crops.
Developed Areas (Urban Influence) - There is a high concentration of
resources and facilities in the urban areas. These areas are usually
‘buzzing' with activities such as those in manufacturing, commercial,
banking, cultural, recreational, etc and people are attracted to those
Mineral Resources - Mineral resources are associated with economic
activities, which suggest job creation. People will want to live near those
areas because of the availability of jobs.
Fertile Areas - People have a tendency to settle in areas that are fertile, in
particular those interested in farming. Even the non farmer is interested in
a backyard garden, especially during period of hardship and economic
recession where one is encouraged to grow what one eats and eat what
one grows.
The number of persons living in a particular region in relation to the land area can
be termed population density. This is of paramount importance to the policy
makers who use this information to help make decisions about the distribution of
important resources.
Let us get practical!!
Let us say, for example, that the population size of St. Kitts is 50,000 and the
land area is 5,000 km2, using the information above, what would be the
population density of St. Kitts?
Calculation of population density- (the formula)
Total population of St. Kitts ═ 50,000 people
═ 5,000 km2
Area of St.Kitts
═ 10 persons per km2
Try to calculate the densities of the following countries:
(Based on 2004 estimates)
Area (km²)
St. Lucia
and Barbuda
647 persons
per km²
The following factors influence population change:
The Caribbean, in recent times, has experienced a rapid population growth,
which suggests that birth rate exceeds death rate. An increasing birth rate is an
indication of the slow rate of development. When there is an increase in the
number of people in a population, this is referred to as "population growth". The
rate of population growth is determined by factors such as :
Calculating natural increase of a population is quite easy. Let us work at it!!
As was mentioned earlier, the population growth rate is obtained by finding the
difference between the birth and death rates; hence, this can be arrived at
by subtracting the death rate from the birthrate of the population.
For example, country X has a birth rate of 22000 and a death rate of 15000, then
one could deduce that this country has a natural increase of 7000. (22000 15000 = 7000)
Get it? Try this.
What if country Y had a death rate of 20 000 and a birth rate of 45 000, what
would be the natural increase of country Y?
20 000 =
(Birth rate)
(Death rate)
(Natural increase)
The following factors affect the birth rate of a country:
family planning awareness
Societal norms concerning family size
Educational levels of the population
Religious beliefs
Standard of living
Formula for calculating crude birth rate:
There are factors that give rise to the death rate as well, such include:
Poor health care system
Under development of the country
Poor housing conditions
Poor personal hygiene
N.b. the blank spaces are provided for you to fill in additional factors.
Formula for calculating crude death rate:
Have you ever wondered how long you will live? I have, but, do not be afraid;
with proper care and nutrition we can live a long and healthy life. The term that is
used when referring to the average number of years a person in a given
population is expected to live is Life Expectancy.
Exploration of the factors that affect Life Expectancy
The following factors are taken into consideration:
Access to sporting and Recreational facilities
Availability of proper health care facilities
Diet and nutrition
Stress levels
Availability of jobs
Among many other things
The information obtained from the population statistics is used by the
government to determine its policies and programmes to be implemented. We
are well aware that the population is always changing as it relates to its number
and characteristics.
The population statistics help not just the government, but also businesses as
well in evaluating past decisions, performances and policies. Those past
statistics serve to shape how future decisions and policies should be
implemented for the betterment of the population.
Information about the past and the current composition is useful, but information
about the probably future structure helps the government to plan infrastructure
and facilities to meet the demands of the ever changing population.
Sources of the population statistics include:
National Census - used by the government to prepare its policies and plan
for the future of the population. This gives an analysis of the population
and gives the government an idea of what is the most pressing problems
or issues.
Registrar's Office - Responsible for registering important events such as
births, death, marriage and fetal records. The following work is also done
by the Registrar's office:
- Produce certified copies of birth, death and marriage upon request
- Correct errors of fact on important records
- Register Opticians, trade unions, building societies and staff
- Record Deed Polls, Bills of Sale and Powers of Attorney etc
- Keep safe historical and public documents inclusive of wills,
naturalization, certificates of citizenship
and laws of the land
There are many other things that this department is engaged in.
Office of Naturalization:
- Receive application from foreign citizens to become a citizen of the
host country
- Monitor the implementation of a decision related to naturalization
- Request recommendation or opinion from intelligence or police on an
individual who has
applied for citizenship
- Determine the list of documentation required for deciding naturalization
Records of religious institution:
- The records maintained by religious institutions are usually accepted
as proof of birth, marriage,
divorce and death.
- Religious institutions maintain records of births, christenings,
confirmations, bar mitzvah and bat
mitzvah, marriages, divorces, etc.
When persons within a country change their place of residence, such movement
is either permanent or temporary. The area to which the persons move will
depend on push and pull factors discussed earlier. The followings are examples
of internal migration:
Rural - urban Migration
Rural - Rural Migration
Urban - Rural Migration
Rural - Urban Migration
Most urban areas in the Caribbean countries usually experience a rapid
population growth. People moving from the rural areas to settle in the towns or
urban areas are classified as rural - urban migration. This type of migration has
both positive and negative consequences (those will be discussed in more
detail). In the Caribbean countries, the major urban centres are most time called
the capital of the country and those areas usually host the highest portion of the
population as people are always lured to those areas because of the prevailing
opportunities afforded.
Rural - Rural Migration
This speaks to the movement of people from one rural area of a country to
another rural area within the same country. This type of movement is not very
popular in the Caribbean, but it does occur when persons relocate for economic
factors. Let us look at a country like Jamaica, where the bauxite industry once
boomed. Bauxite mining companies need lands to mine and so these companies
buy the lands from individuals and relocate the occupants to other rural areas.
Urban - Rural Migration
The movement of people from the towns or urban centres to settle in the rural
communities is so termed urban - rural migration. The following factors accounts
for this type of movement:
Crime and violence
There are many other factors apart from those listed.
Urbanization speaks to the physical growth of an urban area resulting from the
migration of people in large numbers from the rural areas. The urban areas offer
a more favourable setting:
Generate jobs and better wages
Affords the delivery of better educational, health, cultural and other social
Proper infrastructure - electricity, telephone, roads, water etc
Problems associated with Urbanization
Loss of arable land
Unemployment and poverty
Development of squatter settlements
Traffic congestion
Social deterioration (crime and violence)
Inability of the government to provide social amenities for the population
Solutions to the problems of Urbanization
The government has a great responsibility in tackling the problems of
urbanization; however, the problem could be lessened if there were:
Improvement in the basic infrastructures (road, water, electricity) in the
rural areas
Decentralization - the establishment industries away from the cities
Established urban upgrading projects to replace slums (squatter
settlements) with low income housing
An introduction of zoning regulations that ensure lands for agricultural
purposes are not used otherwise
The provision of adequate social services in the rural areas
Limitations to the size of the cities by boundaries and population size
People are always moving, whether from the rural areas to the urban areas or
from the urban areas to the rural areas to either settle temporarily or
permanently. There are however several factors that influence people to move
and those factors are classified as either pushor pull factors.
Exploration of the factors affecting Migration
There are certain conditions existing in ones environment that are not
encouraging improvement in standard of living or upward mobility. Such
conditions force people to leave their home region to seek better conditions in
other areas that offer better opportunities. Those negative factors are referred to
as Push factors.
Push Factors:
Lack of technology
Lack of job opportunities
Limited educational , recreational facilities
Political instability
Low wages
Lack of basic infrastructure- houses, roads, water, electricity supply
Crime and violence
There are certain conditions and opportunities in a country that prove attractive
and very enticing and those conditions pull migrants. Such enticements may be:
Technological advancement
Availability of jobs
Abundance of social and cultural amenities
Political stability
High wages
Proper infrastructure - roads, telephone/internet, electricity supply, housing
Low levels of crime
Greater educational opportunities
When persons within a country change their place of residence, such movement
is either permanent or temporary. The area to which the persons move will
depend on push and pull factors discussed earlier. The followings are examples
of internal migration:
Rural - urban Migration
Rural - Rural Migration
Urban - Rural Migration
Rural - Urban Migration
Most urban areas in the Caribbean countries usually experience a rapid
population growth. People moving from the rural areas to settle in the towns or
urban areas are classified as rural - urban migration. This type of migration has
both positive and negative consequences (those will be discussed in more
detail). In the Caribbean countries, the major urban centres are most time called
the capital of the country and those areas usually host the highest portion of the
population as people are always lured to those areas because of the prevailing
opportunities afforded.
Rural - Rural Migration
This speaks to the movement of people from one rural area of a country to
another rural area within the same country. This type of movement is not very
popular in the Caribbean, but it does occur when persons relocate for economic
factors. Let us look at a country like Jamaica, where the bauxite industry once
boomed. Bauxite mining companies need lands to mine and so these companies
buy the lands from individuals and relocate the occupants to other rural areas.
Urban - Rural Migration
The movement of people from the towns or urban centres to settle in the rural
communities is so termed urban - rural migration. The following factors accounts
for this type of movement:
Crime and violence
There are many other factors apart from those listed.
Urbanization speaks to the physical growth of an urban area resulting from the
migration of people in large numbers from the rural areas. The urban areas offer
a more favourable setting:
Generate jobs and better wages
Affords the delivery of better educational, health, cultural and other social
Proper infrastructure - electricity, telephone, roads, water etc
Problems associated with Urbanization
Loss of arable land
Unemployment and poverty
Development of squatter settlements
Traffic congestion
Social deterioration (crime and violence)
Inability of the government to provide social amenities for the population
Solutions to the problems of Urbanization
The government has a great responsibility in tackling the problems of
urbanization; however, the problem could be lessened if there were:
Improvement in the basic infrastructures (road, water, electricity) in the
rural areas
Decentralization - the establishment industries away from the cities
Established urban upgrading projects to replace slums (squatter
settlements) with low income housing
An introduction of zoning regulations that ensure lands for agricultural
purposes are not used otherwise
The provision of adequate social services in the rural areas
Limitations to the size of the cities by boundaries and population size
There are certain terms that are associated with international migration, these
Emigration - refers to the movement out of a country
Immigration - refers to the movement into a country
Net Migration - refers to the difference between the number of immigrants
and emigrants in a country in a particular year.
Let us further explore the concept of Net Migration!!
In a country where there are more immigrants than emigrants, the net migration
will be described as being positive, In contrast, if a country has more people
leaving than those coming in the country, then the net migration of the country
will be negative.
Calculating Net Migration:
Work this!!
Example 1.
In St.Vincent, 3500 persons entered the country to settle and 2200 of the
residents migrated to settle in the neighbouring country of St. Lucia. Calculate
the net migration and state whether or not it is positive or negative.
Immigrant ( 3500) - emmigrant (2200) = Net Migration (1300)
St. Vincent is experiencing a positive net migration which suggests that the
country's population is increasing.
Example 2.
It was reported that a whopping 12000 persons emigrated from Anguilla to settle
in Trinidad and Tobago during the course of last year. During that same year, the
country of Anguilla accommodated 7200 persons who came to settle. Calculate
the net migration.
What can we say about the net migration of this country?
Yes!! You are right, the net migration is negative, which is an indication that the
population is decreasing.
Emigration and Immigration speak to migration of some sort, let us detail some of
the consequences of migration on the receiving country as well as the country of
The Country of Origin
The most important and valuable resources in any country are the skills, talents
and abilities which the people possess and are so termed Human Resources. If
you look around, in your present environment, there stands a teacher at the head
of the class. He or she is valuable human resource. Do you go to the doctor
when you are sick? Do you think of the farmer as you eat the farm products? Do
you think of the persons who write the books that you take pleasure in reading?
What about the engineers who construct the high rising building? Yes, they
represent a portion of the variety of human resources that exist in our
Can you identify other human resources in your environment?
Good job!!
The importance of developing human resource in any country is of utmost
importance. The physical resources of a country cannot be developed without the
intervention of human resource; in fact, a country's economic growth is solely
dependent on how the people use the skills, technology and creativity to develop
the physical resources.
The following factors contribute to the development of human resources:
Nutrition and Health
The availability and access to primary and curative health care
Education (basic, moral, vocational and professional training, rehabilitation
The availability and access to various types of educational institutions
Exploration of the factors that contribute to the development of Human
The Caribbean people are generally known for being hard working and
productive, but a lot of persons could have made greater contribution to the
economic development of their country if they had not been affected by ailments
or deficiencies. There is a direct relationship between a healthy country and its
productive capacity. It is with such in mind that the governments of the Caribbean
countries have made special allocation in their budgets for health care. The
governments as well as private institutions provide health care at three levels,
primary, secondary and tertiary.
Nutrition is the process of ensuring that your bodies receive the right kind of food
in the right proportion, thus promoting a healthy lifestyle. The food we eat
contains all the essential nutrients needed for correct functioning of our bodies on
a day to day basis. One's nutritional needs can be satisfied by eating food from
the different food groups. However, if we eat more than our bodies need, we
become obese and may develop diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases
among others. People who suffer from diseases on account of eating more than
their bodies need are unable to work effectively and may die early. There are
other factors that contribute to good health, these include exercising, getting
enough sleep and rest- all of which vitalize, refresh and restores the body.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, a person is
described as being healthy when he/she is physically, mentally and emotionally
stable. Mental health speaks to the ability to maintain an even temper, an alert
intelligence, socially acceptable behaviour and a happy disposition. There are
those who suffer from a mild mental health condition while there are others who
suffer from a severe mental problem. Those who have a simple mental health
can be treated at home while those with the severe cases are referred to mental
institutions for treatment
Societies' reaction to mental illness
The society does not usually respond favourably to individuals suspected of
suffering from mental illness, thus making the healing process more difficult. The
reactions towards mentally ill patients include:
It is important that the government plays its part in educating the public on mental
illness as it relates to their causes, effects, treatments and the role the public can
play in helping the mentally ill person recover.
A country's most prized resource is its people who are born with innate skills,
talents, intelligences and abilities and these are further developed
through education. Education provides the problem solvers, creative thinkers,
and skilled manpower that the Caribbean region needs for social, technical and
economic development.
The Caribbean government as well as the private sector have realized that the
more educated people become, the more likely they are to achieve high levels of
productivity and have so invested large sums of money in the education system,
which functions as a resource for national development.
Let us discuss the role of government in education!!
The governments of the Caribbean see to the development of education
Making primary education free for most primary school children
Universal secondary education
Encouraging and implementing school feeding programmes for
children in some countries
Granting government scholarships to individuals who desire to
pursue tertiary level education
Establishing adult education programmes to meet the demand of the
job market
Covering the cost for books through the establishment of book rental
schemes in secondary institutions
Placing greater emphasis on early childhood education to minimize
or to eradicate the problem of illiteracy
Subsidizing the tuition for tertiary education in some universities and
Revising the Curricula
Establishing a government office that oversees the educational systems in
the respective countries
These are just a few of the many ways in which the Caribbean governments
show support for the improvement in education.
People in the community who are physically challenged are often referred to as
people with special needs. The Caribbean has a lot of physically challenged
persons who finds it difficult to communicate with others because the public is not
educated on their state. Physically challenged persons include, but are not
limited to the following:
Hearing impaired persons
Blind persons
Paraplegics (persons whose lower part of their body is paralyzed )
Quadriplegics ( persons whose body is paralyzed from the neck down)
Amputees (persons who have lost parts of their body through surgery)
Cerebral palsy victims (disorder resulting from damage to the central
nervous system)
The Caribbean governments have recognized and highlighted the fact that the
physically challenged man possesses necessary skills and intelligences which
can be developed and used for the benefit of the society. Therefore, the
governments have placed a special thrust on ensuring that those with special
needs and skills acquire formal education just as the average persons.
The following considerations are given by the governments to those with special
Enact laws which will compel parents to send their special needs children
to school
Increased the number of special education units in primary and secondary
Establish special units in Ministries of education to provide for the needs of
special education institutions
Provide suitable transportation for the special need people, such as ramps
in schools and buses with wheel chair facilities
Provide library facilities for the blind and visually impaired students
(providing braille and suitable computer software)
Provide help for parents who need assistance in sending their of special
needs children to school
Ensure special training for teachers to attend to the physically challenged
There are many other contributions made by the government to individuals with
special needs and I am sure you can add to the list. The special considerations
given by the government and others have seen to the full participation of the
physically challenged person in the social life and development of the societies in
which they live.
We all, at sometime, engage ourselves in activities in an attempt to relax our
mind, body and soul. Those different activities engaged in are referred to as
Recreation. A person whose job is physically demanding in most instances
requires a hobby that is mentally stimulating (music, art, reading, etc) while
another person who is enrolled in a sedentary job will find physical activity
refreshing and rewarding ( climbing, hunting, etc). This contributes to good
physical and mental health so necessary for the development of the human
resource. Recreational activities provide for character building, self-discipline,
fitness, mental alertness among many other things. It is therefore important that
each person develops some leisure time activity because it is an important
contributor to the total well-being of man.
Cartoon- Employment, Unemployment and Underemployment
Insert the name of the cartoon characters that best describes the following
1. Unemployment ______________________________
2. Underemployment _______________________________
3. Employment _______________________________
Employment is important for the following reasons:
To earn an income to provide for family members
To preserve one's status and self respect
To provide a means for social mobility
To earn an income that will provide for the future as it relates to retirement
To enable one to purchase the goods and services needed to improve and
maintain their standard of living
The working population may be classified into three industries: primary,
secondary and tertiary.
Primary workers are concerned with the extraction of raw materials or natural
resources. Secondary workers are found in construction and manufacturing or
processing industries which change the raw materials into useful products.
Tertiary workers provide the service which enable primary and secondary
industries to produce the goods which are distributed to local and foreign
Classification of Workers in our society
You may have heard a friend or family member expressing difficulty in finding
suitable employment. Jobs are sometimes not readily available. The following
factors influence employment:
Level of competition in the labour market
Availability of natural or physical resources and the technology to exploit
Availability and use of capital to create employment
Availability and range of markets for locally produced goods and services
Prevailing economic conditions
Profitability of firms which will determine their ability to hire additional
There are many other factors and I am sure you can supply them.
The following mapping gives a brief overview of the governments' role in
creating employment opportunities for the people:
Unemployment has been a major issue in the Caribbean. In fact, this problem
has crippled many families and has had far reaching negative effect on the
society. The Caribbean governments are having great difficulty in addressing this
paramounting issue, amidst their efforts; it is still getting worst. In an effort to
understand this problem, let us first examine the possible causes of
unemployment in the Caribbean.
Chart highlighting some of the causes of unemployment in the
There has been a major concern as it relates to the borrowing relationships that
Caribbean countries have with international lending agencies. Entering into those
relationships seems to be one of the factors perpetuating the poverty cycle in the
countries. It is no secret that most of the Caribbean countries lack the capital to
build factories and establish projects which can create employment; however,
when they borrow from international lending agencies (World Bank, International
Monetary Fund (IMF), etc), most of the earnings from the projects or factories go
back into servicing the debts and so the government will continue to have less
capital to create new jobs.
Diagram showing the types of employment that exist in our society
The replacement of the labour force (skilled or unskilled) by the introduction of
automation, mechanization, computerization or other types of technology at the
Employers may not grant permanent status to certain workers, especially those
who are semi-skilled or low skilled. Such workers may experience long period of
inactivity (unemployment) between jobs.
This type of unemployment results from a down swing in the levels of economic
activity in a given area. For example, the drop in prices for certain products on
the world market will affect the local industries that normally export such goods.
This therefore would cause a cut back on production and inorder to save costs,
employers would lay off workers
This type of unemployment occurs after the crop season or the tourist season
has ended.
This type of unemployment is caused by normal factors such as being fired for
inefficiency, becoming redundant or leaving in search of a better job.
Unemployment resulting in a change of demand for one kind of product or
service as opposed to another. For example, the demand for Caribbean bauxite
from Jamaica and Guyana has declined, many persons have been displaced
from their jobs.
The following conditions may exist in the Caribbean on account of the high rate
of unemployment:
Human and physical resources will be underutilized
Decline in the standard of living
Some people may lose their wealth, savings and property because of
inability to service loans
"Brain drain" in the region will continue to rise
Increased emotional and psychological problems leading to suicidal
Widespread social and political instability which will make the countries
seem unattractive to potential investors who could create job opportunities
Broken families
Increase in social problems such as drug abuse, prostitution, child abuse,
unplanned pregnancies etc.
Illegal migration
Government revenue will fall as a result of reduced spending by the unemployed
Is there a difference between a job and a career? Good question isn't it? Let us
see if we can find the difference.
There are many persons who actually believe that choosing A career is the same
as choosing a job, but that is where they go wrong.
Discuss the information presented above with your class mates and see if you
can make a distinction between a job and a career.
After being exposed to the information presented above, we can therefore
conclude that choosing a career is not as simple as we would have thought; it
requires much guidance and information to in the process of selecting the most
appropriate courses at school.
What is Career Guidance?
Career guidance is the process used to help individuals choose a career that is
related to their interests, capabilities, needs and ambition.
Choosing a Career
It is important that one chooses a career that is best suited to his capabilities,
interests and the developmental needs of the country. The following information
should therefore be collected to aid ones choice of career:
The demands of the particular job
The benefits associated with the job
The opportunities for advancement and promotion
The hours of work
The health and safety hazards associated with the job
Distance from place of residence
The levels of wages and salaries paid
Recognition and status of the job
Sources of Information on Career Guidance
The following factors underscore the importance of choosing a career:
It makes one better able to perform at his/her maximum potential in the job
for which he/she has been prepared
It encourages people to realize their goals through careful planning which
takes into consideration their social and economic circumstances
It provides for persons to be self actualized because they are engaging in
activities which they like
Productivity levels will be maximized
There are certain basic tasks that you are required to complete before gaining
entry into the world of work. These basic tasks are:
Preparing a letter of application
Preparing a personal resume
Preparing for the interview
Preparing for the examination
The letter of application serves to introduce the applicant to the employer. The
followings should be observed when writing this important letter:
1. State clearly the position/job for which you are applying;
2. State clearly, yet concisely, why you want the job and refer to your
qualifications, experience and personal characteristics;
3. State clearly why you are interested in the organization and indicate clearly
how it will benefit by employing you;
4. Ensure that your letter is free of grammatical and spelling errors.
Your letter, as well as your resume is your greatest marketing tools. If they are
properly written, the employer may respond by inviting you for an interview.
Preparing for the interview
The interview gives you an opportunity to sell yourself to your prospective
employer and likewise give your prospective employer an opportunity to carefully
assess you. It is therefore important that you:
1. Research the organization. A good knowledge of the organization gives a
good impression.
2. Dress appropriately and avoid excessive accessories
3. Arrive on or before time for the interview. A last minute entrance makes a poor
4. When asked questions, speak clearly and politely
5. Ensure that all necessary documents are in place ( extra copies ) in the event
they are requested of you by interviewer
The Examination
Depending on the nature of the job, you might be required to sit an examination,
so it is important that you prepare. It is however also important that you find out if
such will be required so you can make adequate preparation.
Self Employment
There are many factors that account for persons being unemployed, in this
regard, self employment becomes an option.
The following chart highlights critical components of a business plan
The resume gives a summary of your employment history and qualifications for
your prospective employer. It is therefore important that the information
presented is factual and can be proven. A good resume entails the following
Personal data
Career objective
Work experience
Special skills (job related)
Extra curricular activities
Name: Ann Marie Carter
Address: Lot 24 States Heights, Spanish Town P.O. St. Catherine
Sex: Female
Date of birth: December 20, 1979.
Telephone: (1876) 333-3333
Nationality: Jamaican
Marital Status: Married
Career Objective: To be gainfully employed to an organization that enables me
to grow professionally and personally and affords me the opportunity to act on
my own initiative, employ creativity and the knowledge acquired to achieve the
company's objectives.
Education and Qualifications:
2006 - 2008 The University College of Cambridge
Masters of Arts in Linguistics (Spanish and French)
2000 - 2002 The International University of Carlong
Bachelors of Arts in Spanish Education (Hons.)
1996 - 1999 Moravian Teachers' College
Diploma in Spanish Education (Credit)
1991 - 1996 Albion High SchoolCaribbean Examinations Council (CSEC)
General Proficiency
Spanish, English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Principles of Accounts and
English Literature.
Special Skills: September - December 2006 Certificate of Proficiency in
Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Spread Sheet
Work Experience: May 2002 - May 2009 The Spanish Embassy, George
Headley Drive, Kingston 4.
Special Responsibility: 2003 - 2009 Chief Spanish Translator, The Spanish
Interests: Writing, reading and playing the guitar,
References: John Doe
General Manager of Nathamar's Food Producers Limited
54 Line Road, Kingston 10
(1876) 543-2233
Marisela Lopez-Hernandez
Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica
14 Dominica Drive, Kingston 8
(876) 988-7777
Lot 24
States Heights
Spanish Town P.O.
St. Catherine
June 11, 2009.
Mrs. Diana Lancaster
The Human Resources Manager
Haven Resort Hotel
St. Ann
Dear Mrs. Lancaster:
I am applying for the position of Spanish Translator as advertised in the Daily
Globe on Sunday June 10, 2009. I am a graduate of the University College of
Cambridge where I successfully read for my Masters Degree in Linguistics, with
Spanish being my major. I worked for seven years as a Spanish Translator at the
Spanish Embassy. My work ethics has awarded me the position of Chief
Translator after two years of working with the organization. With the realization of
the importance of technology in the workplace, I pursued and successfully
completed a computer course to adjust to the ever changing work world.
I was awarded employee of the year for four consecutive years at the Spanish
Embassy, and I intend to bring the same level of hard work and dedication to the
position in your hotel. I am interested in becoming a part of your team because
your organization has established and maintained an incomparable relationship
with Spain which has positively impacted Jamaica and the region.
Attached is a copy of my resume. I am willing to attend an interview to discuss
my future with your organization at your convenience.
Yours sincerely,
Ann Marie Carter
Regional Integration
Bilateral Agreement - An agreement between two groups, countries
or nations
Multilateral agreement - Agreement among many groups, countries
o nations.
Common Market - An economic unit, formed of nations , intended to
eliminate or markedly reduce trade barriers among its members
Single market - A group of countries that have few or no restrictions
on the movement of goods, money and people between the
members of the group
Economic integration - the process by which the economies of a
group of countries are drawn more closely together so that the
group as well as the individual countries becomes stronger or more
Independent State - self government of a county , nation or state by
its residents and population
Underdeveloped country - a relatively poor country with little or no
material wellbeing.
Developing country - a country that has not yet reached the stage of
economic growth to stand on its own for further growth.
Developed country - a country that has high level of development
and high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.
Trade Liberalization - the movement towards the removal of trade
barriers among the members of the World Trade Organization
Globalization - the process by which countries all over the world are
becoming connected or similar because large companies are doing
business in many different countries.
Multinational Corporation - Sometimes called transnational
corporation is a corporation or enterprise that manages production
and delivers services in more than one country.
Trading Bloc - made up of a large number of countries, with the
same political and economic aims, linked by special trading
arrangements among them.
Free trade Area - an arrangement whereby a group of countries
agrees to remove the tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade among
Intra-Regional Trade - countries in the region buying locally
produced goods from or selling locally produced goods to, other
countries in the region.
Fiscal Policy - the use of government spending and revenue
collection to influence economy.
Monetary Policy - the process a government, central bank or
monetary authority of a country uses to control the supply of money,
availability of money and cost of money or rate of interest to attain a
set of objectives oriented towards the growth of the economy.
Major Challenges Facing the Caribbean Region
In February, 2002, the Caricom treaty was revised, thus giving birth to the
Caricom Single Market and Economy. This saw to the deepening of
relationship among Caricom Member States. This was necessary to due to
the process of Globalization.
The following are some of the outlined objectives of the CSME:
Free movement of goods, services, labour and capital among the Member States
Improved standard of living and work
Full employment of labour and other factors of production
Accelerated, co-ordinated and sustained economic development
Expansion of trade and economic relationships with third states
Enhanced levels of international competitiveness
Organization for increased production and productivity
The achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage and effectiveness
of Member States in dealing with third States, groups of States and entities of
any description;
Enhanced co-ordination of Member States foreign and extra-regional economic
Enhanced functional co-operation including:
(i) More efficient operation of common services and activities for the
benefit of its peoples
(ii) Accelerated promotion of greater understanding among its people and
the advancement of their social,
cultural and technological development
(iii) Intensified activities in areas such as health, education, transportation,
and telecommunications.
The following bodies (Principal Institutions) have seen to the proper
functioning of the OECS.
1. The Authority of Heads of Government of member states - This
consist of the Prime Ministers of Member States. This institution is
regarded as the supreme policy making institution of the OECS as they are
bequeathed with the responsibility for the general direction and overall
operation of the organization.
2. The Foreign Affairs Committee - Responsible for coordinating and
developing foreign policies for the entire OECS Member States.
3. The Defence and Security Committee - This committee is responsible
for ensuring that there is concerted and cooperative action among member
states in defending their sovereignty, political independence and the
democratic system of government.
4. The Economic Affairs Committee - This committee is responsible for
the economic affairs of the OECS. It ensures that member states trade
freely among each other and formulates plans for further economic
5. The Central Secretariat - This arm is responsible for the general
management of the OECS.
The OECS is very organized, and this has led to the formation of other
institutions that assist in the performance of their functioning,
1. Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) - The Monetary Authority for
the Member States of the OECS.
2. Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court - Adjudicates over the Member
States of the OECS.
3. Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) - Serves as advisors to the
governments of the OECS on all matters relating to Civil Aviation - airports
and airfields developments, adequacy and efficiency of air services etc.
4. Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Responsible for establishing code of ethics and regulatory policies which
govern and guide the management of the Telecommunications Sector in
the Member States.
The Caricom Secretariat is the principal administrative organ of the
Community. It is located in Georgetown, Guyana. This organ is
headed by the SECRETARY GENERAL. The functions of the Caricom
Secretariat include:
§ Making arrangements to facilitate meetings of the Organs and
Institutions of the community.
§ Implementing and taking appropriate follow-up action on
determinations taken by any Caricom body or institutions.
§ Initiating, organizing and conducting studies on issues relating to
economic integration.
§ making available , on request , services to Member States of the
Community on matters relating to the achievement of its objective.
§ Collecting, storing and disseminating to Member states the
activities of donor agencies, international, regional and national
institutions for the achievement of objectives of the community.
§ Preparing draft budgets and conducting fact-finding assignments
in member states.
§ Providing technical assistance to national authorities to facilitate
the implementation of Community decisions.
West Indies Associated States Council of Ministers (WISA)
The membership of the West Indies States Council of Ministers included:
This was the first major attempt at regional integration in the Caribbean.
They operated on the principle of strengthening the movement for self
government, promoting economic development and to safeguard the
democratic system of the member states that included:
St Kitts/Nevis/ Anguilla
St. Vincent
St. Lucia
Trinidad and Tobago
Functions of the Conference of Heads of Government
The Conference of Heads of Government consists of the heads of
government or Prime Ministers of each member state of the Caribbean
Community, with the exception of Guyana and Suriname who has
Executive Presidents representing their interests. Montserrat uses their
chief Minister to represent their interests at the Conference of Heads of
Government. The heads of Government are expected to meet at least once
a year and carry out the following functions:
Decide on policies and general direction of Caricom
Act as the final authority for the conclusion of treaties on behalf of
Caricom and for entering into relationships between Caricom and
International bodies.
resolve conflict and disputes among member states
make the financial arrangements to meet the expenses of the
The Caricom Secretariat is the principal administrative organ of the Community. It is
located in Georgetown, Guyana. This organ is headed by the SECRETARY GENERAL.
\The functions of the Caricom Secretariat include:
Making arrangements to facilitate meetings of the Organs and Institutions of the
Implementing and taking appropriate follow-up action on determinations taken by any
Caricom body or institutions.
Initiating, organizing and conducting studies on issues relating to economic integration.
making available , on request , services to Member States of the Community on matters
relating to the achievement of its objective.
Collecting, storing and disseminating to Member states the activities of donor agencies,
international, regional and national institutions for the achievement of objectives of the
Preparing draft budgets and conducting fact-finding assignments in member states.
§ Providing technical assistance to national authorities to facilitate the implementation
of Community decisions.
Exploration of the factors promoting regional integration
Common language - The language of the Caribbean people is
English, and this facilitates easy communication.
Close Proximity - The Caribbean countries are relatively close to
each other, hence, travel by air or sea from one country to another
can be done in a relatively short space of time.
Caribbean countries share a common history - Most of the
Caribbean people are descendants of people who had been
subjected to slavery and indentureship. This makes it possible for
the Caribbean people to embrace each other.
Common Cultural Heritage - The Caribbean people share a
common culture in terms of language, dress, music, cuisine and
general lifestyle. All these features make the integration process
Small population - The Caribbean countries are at a disadvantage
when competing against international markets because of their
small size. Thus, coming together makes it easier to influence
international markets.
The Limited human and physical resources available in the
Caribbean region necessitate the pooling and trading of these
resources among Caribbean countries.
Common economic, political and social problem - The Caribbean
countries encounter similar problems, inclusive of, but not limited to
unemployment, difficulty in accessing international markets, lack of
adequate capital, poor housing and inadequate health facilities.
The common challenges of Globalization and Trade
Liberalization - Companies all over the world are doing business in
many countries, filtrating into the Caribbean region creating
unwelcomed competition. The Caribbean government can no longer
restrict extra-regional imports to protect regional
manufacturers/companies, hence, Caribbean businesses are
required to amalgamate or face ruin.
The increase in the number of trading blocs - Across the world,
economic groupings and trading blocs are being established where
a large number of countries are linked by special trading
arrangements among them. For example, the European Union
(E.U.) The Caribbean is required to do the same to ensure
productivity and continuity in its economic growth.
Factors Hindering Regional Integration
Caricom member states have made several attempts at integration, while
some of these attempts have been successful, others have met upon
obstacles that persist to present. The following factors have hindered the
integration process of the Caribbean region:
Absence of common model or strategy for development Caricom member states have pursued different strategies for
political and economic development. There are some that depend
on agriculture, another on tourism, one on petroleum. The fact that
the varying countries are placing different emphasis on different
strategies suggests that a common policy will not exist and countries
will only be interested in policies that relates to the strategy they are
pursuing. Jamaica would be more interested in debating a common
policy on tourism or agriculture because they depend on those for
economic development, but would generate little or no interest in a
policy on petroleum because they do not pursue such for
Differences in stages of growth and development - The fact that
the Caribbean countries pursue different strategies for development
means that they will all be at different levels of growth and
development. The less developed countries are hesitant to trade
with the more developed countries because of fear that they might
be at a disadvantage. Such fear has led to the delay in the
implementation of certain factors that would ensure or facilitate the
integration process.
Competition for location of industries - The government of each
Member States wants what is best for their country; such aspiration
usually leads to competition between the countries for the location of
new industries. The competition often times evolves into envy and
jealousy among member states.
Conflict between territorial and regional demands and loyalties
(Insularity) - The Caribbean countries tend to be more interested in
satisfying the immediate needs of the residence within their
countries than attending to the demands of the region. The member
states work hard to attain international attention as an individual
country than working together as a part of Caricom to attain the
Absence of Common Currency - The value of the money in each
Caribbean country is different. There are some member states that
do not accept the currency of others. In this regard, Caricom
residents travelling through the region have to obtain the relevant
currency. A common currency would provide for greater level of
Unequal distribution of resources - Some member states are
blessed with more natural resources than others. Those countries
that are abundant in natural resources have utilized the income
gained from this wealth for their country's benefit rather than for
regional benefit.
Lack of diversification in production - It is interesting to note that
most of the Caricom member states produce similar products. Most
of the member states are dependent on agriculture; therefore, they
process and manufacture products from sugar cane, bananas,
cocoa, coffee and ground provisions. This puts constraint on intraregional trade.
Influence of multinational corporations - Trans-national
corporations have contributed to some of the Caricom Member
states running a foul to the objectives of Caricom. Those
corporations enter individual member states and bargain with
individual governments to grant special benefits such as tax free
holidays, repatriation of profits, duty free on raw materials among
other things. Those benefits, most times, run contrary to the
objectives of Caricom.
There are many benefits to be derived from being a member of
Reduction in unemployment and underemployment - The
removal of the barriers to intra-regional trade among member states
of Caricom increases employment in the region as consumers buy
more regionally produced goods. Buying regionally produce goods
ensure that jobs are maintained or created because of the demand.
Increased market size - Caricom is committed to trade within the
region. Therefore, integration provides a larger market for individual
member state.
Free movement of goods, labour and capital - All goods which
meet the Caricom standards are traded duty free throughout the
region, therefore, all goods created within the region can be traded
without restrictions. There is also an agreed upon policy called The
Caribbean Community Free Movement of Persons Act enacted in all
CSME member states. Under this Act, it allows for the free movement
of certain categories of skilled workers, which will later evolve into the
free movement of all persons across the CSME member states.
There is also a move to eliminate the various restrictions such as
foreign exchange controls which will allow for the free movement of
capital across the CSME member states. This will allow for the
convertibility of currencies or a single currency and capital market
Better response to economic implications of globalization and
trade liberalization - The act of the larger international companies
doing business across the world and in the Caribbean has forced the
Caribbean businesses to amalgamate in order to survive, thus
creating a greater sense of unity. Caribbean governments can no
longer protect the regional manufacturers by restricting extra-regional
imports, as such; the Caribbean people have been encouraged to
support regional manufacturers. Regional manufacturers have
improved their products and services, and this has made it possible
for them to compete with producers in developed countries.
Improved levels of international competitiveness - Caricom has a
stronger, more persuasive voice on international matters than as
individual countries. The size of a country dictates to its power, and
the integrated approach of the Caribbean countries has lent to
greater influence on the international scene. Individual member
states are too small to withstand economic competition from more
developed countries and trading blocs. A united voice among
member states has resulted in better prices for extra-regional exports
and cheaper prices for imports to the region from other international
Increased co-operation among member states -The Integration
process among member states of Caricom has allowed for greater
co-operation and utilization of the services offered by the different
institutions of the organization.
Improvement in the quality of life - The increased job opportunities
accrued through the cooperative effort of the Caribbean states have
led to job creation and economic development and a consequent
increase in the quality of life for the Caribbean people.
Regional integration requires the full cooperation and support of citizens. The
lack thereof will stifle the overall integration process which begins with the man in
the street.
As a concerned citizen of the Caribbean community, it is ones role to foster the
continued development of local and regional businesses by investing time and
capital. Such facilitates the development of the region.
An external factor in the integration process is the challenges of trade
liberalization. This has allowed for the flood gate to be opened for extra-regional
imports to the Caribbean, in this regard, the Caribbean people must therefore
and is required to support regional producers in order to ensure their survival and
the economic development of the region.
Every man, woman, boy or girl has a unique role to play in the integration
process. It is in this regard that being informed on the importance of cooperation
within the region becomes paramount. There are previous organizations,
inclusive of, but not limited to the West Indian Federation, that failed because the
masses were not educated on the importance of the federation. Therefore, an
informed citizen will see to the achievement of regional integration.
The business organizations of the Caribbean can be described as the engines for
expansion and growth in the region. The business operators are found in all of
the major sectors inclusive of agricultural, manufacturing, industrial and services.
One can therefore assume that the business organizations are major contributors
to our economy. Private businesses account for at least fifty percent (50%) of
employment which highlights the significant role that they have to play in the
advancement of the region.
However, the varying limitations and challenges faced by business organizations
include low levels of productivity and quality, difficulty in accessing credit and
capital markets, insufficient resources for research and development and
inadequate infrastructure has facilitated the integration of business organizations
across the region. Globalization and trade liberalization have further necessitated
the development of networking and the formation of strategic alliances among
the Caribbean businesses to become competitive on the international scene.
In 2005, the Caribbean Association of Small and Medium Enterprises was
established with the objective of facilitating joint ventures between businesses in
the Caribbean through trade and market penetration. This integrated approach
would make the small businesses more competitive and sustainable in the
developing global environment.
Educating the citizens about the objectives and benefits of
integration - one major problem that existed in Caricom was the poor
dissemination of information to the people in the region. There existed a
gulf between articulators of Caricom and the people of Caricom - the man
in the streets. The average citizen knows little about the objectives and
benefit of Caricom, it is therefore the role of the government to embark
upon public education and facilitate the advancement of the integration
process by educating the citizens on the objectives and benefits of regional
integration. The mass media, schools, town council meetings, forums can
be used as vehicles to champion this cause which is critical to the
development of the region.
Enacting, enabling legislation - Any matter decided on by Caricom
cannot be enacted within member states unless the government for
individual member states agree to such. The integration process can be
stifled or advanced by the action of individual government of member
states. A government may delay the progress of the organization
(Caricom) by simply refusing to agree to draft legislation or proposal which
it thinks may put the country at a disadvantage. The result: a delay in the
integration process because territorial interest supersedes regional
objectives of Caricom. One can therefore conclude that critical to the
integration process is the participation of governments to enact or enable
legislations that foster regionalism.
Harmonizing policies - The current aim of Caricom is to develop policies
that encourage regional integration and transformation to the CSME. On
the agenda to support the integration process is the full introduction of a
harmonization framework that promotes the co-ordination of foreign
policies among member states. The lack thereof sometimes leads to the
harmful effects of competition, and that has been the main stimuli for
wanting to harmonize taxes. It is therefore resting on the governments to
accommodate the harmonization of common policies across the member
states that enhance the objectives of Caricom and support the efforts of
the integration process, which invariably benefits all.
Areas of Regional Integration
Areas of regional cooperation
Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute
The Caribbean community presses forward towards regional food security.
CARDI is one such organization that supports this drive and in an effort to ensure
the attainment of regional food security, they have pursued the following
1. to provide for the research and development needs of the agriculture of the
2. to provide an appropriate research and development service to the agricultural
sector of Member States:
3. to provide and extend the application of new technologies in production,
processing, storage and distribution of agricultural products of Member States:
4. to pursue for specified periods long-term research in pertinent areas:
5. to provide for the co-ordination and integration of the research and
development efforts of Member States where this is possible and desirable.
The West Indies Cricket Board is branded as one of the oldest examples of
regional cooperation. The West Indies Cricket Board's membership includes the
6 territorial cricket associations of various countries and territories which contest
the West Indies first-class and limited overs competition in the Caribbean. The
member associations are:
♦ Barbados Cricket Association
♦ Guyana Cricket Board
♦ Jamaica Cricket Association
♦ Leeward Islands Cricket Association
♦ Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board
♦ Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control
The key functions of this organization include:
♦ selecting a cricket team from the West Indies to contest matches abroad;
♦ arranging inter- territorial cricket matches;
♦ selecting suitable umpires for matches involving the West Indies team
♦ assist in financing cricket matches played in the West Indies or abroad
♦ formulating and amending cricket laws in conjunction with other international
CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean
association football.) is the continent - wide governing body for football (soccer)
in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. There are three South
American entities, the independent nations of Guyana and Suriname and the
French department of French Guiana that are also members of the
The football confederation organizes competitions, offers training courses in
technical and administrative aspects of the game and builds football throughout
the region through funding and other assistance. The primary administrative
functions of the organization are to organize competitions for national teams and
clubs and to conduct World Cup qualifying tournaments.
The OECS Sports Desk
Vision Statement
To achieve holistic development of our societies and integration of our region
through the prioritization of sport and physical education in the agendas of OECS
member states
Role of OECS sports desk in the integration process
The OECS sports desk serves to assist member states with the development and
implementation of their national programmes in mobilizing resources and acting
as a "clearing house" for information on sporting activities within the OECS
region. The desk integrates the needs of the member states into its work
programme through:
Accessing information on opportunities for scholarships for promising
athletes - the Sports desk will establish links with regional and extraregional tertiary institutions and agencies.
Assisting in the coordination of regional championships
Promoting the introduction of physical education in all schools in Member
Promoting the effective marketing of sports and;
Providing support to member states towards improving sports administration,
programme development
The Caribbean Environmental and Health Institute (CEHI) was formally
established in 1988 for the purpose of ensuring that the Caribbean citizenry, both
present and future will be able to experience a long and healthy life. The institute
is headquartered in Castries, St.Lucia and has a membership of sixteen
Caribbean countries. The CEHI serves as the technical arm of Caricom that
provides technical and advisory services to the sixteen member states in areas of
environmental management and environmental health.
To provide technical and advisory services to Member States in all areas
of environmental management including Environmental Quality Monitoring,
Environmental Impact Assesment, Environmental Health Information,
Water Resources Management, Laboratory Services and Project
Development and Management.
To act as :
i. a regional reference centre for the collection and dissemination of
technical and scientific information;
ii. a focal point for various environmental data, especially health-related , in
the Caribbean region.
To promote and coordinate applied research relevant to the environmental
problems of the Caribbean region as identified by its Member States
To prepare and keep inventories of:
i . education and training programmes especially those in related
ii. regional experts and other manpower resources
To conduct courses, seminars, symposium and other workshops
To arrange and accept grants for financial scholarships and fellowships to
facilitate the training of nationals of Member States.
To stimulate the provision of engineering, public health laboratory and
other related environmental services for Member States in accordance with
their desires.
To promote uniformity in professional practice, design and technical
methods in programmes formulated for the improvement of Environmental
Health and environmental management.
CAREC, A public health information, service and consulting organization,
dedicated to being the best at providing information that people need to improve
health and prevent disease in the Caribbean
To improve the health status of Caribbean people by advancing the capability of
member countries in epidemiology, laboratory technology and related public
health disciplines through technical cooperation, service, training, research and a
well trained motivated staff.
CAREC is administered on behalf of 21 Member countries by the Pan American
Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization's Regional Office for
the Americas. CAREC enjoys an international reputation for its work in support of
Public Health in the Caribbean. Under a Multilateral Agreement, CAREC
provides laboratory reference and epidemiology services to 21 Member
countries. The institution is headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad, where there
is a well equipped laboratory and qualified staff that carries out continuous
research on diseases and disseminates the information to member states, thus
safeguarding the health of Caribbean people.
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA)
This agency was established in 1991(with head quarters in Barbados) and given
the mandate to coordinate regional disaster management activities. There are
currently sixteen members referred to as Participatory States. The agency is
governed by a Council comprising the Heads of Government of Participating
States and is headed by a Co-ordinator.
What is CDEMA?
CDEMA is the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. This is the
new name of the regional disaster management body formerly known as
CDDERA (the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency)
September 1, 2009 was the official date of transition to CDEMA. CDEMA has
replaced and advanced the work of CDERA by embracing the principles and
practice of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) which is an integrated
and proactive approach to disaster management .CDM seeks to reduce the risk
and loss associated with natural and technological hazards and the effects of
climate change to enhance regional sustainable development
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) seeks to
carry out the following functions in all participating States:
Mobilizing and coordinating disaster relief;
Mitigating or eliminating , as far as practicable, the immediate
consequences of disaster in Participating States;
Providing immediate and coordinated response by means of emergency
disaster relief to any affected Participating State;
Securing, coordinating and providing to interested inter-governmental and
non-governmental organizations reliable and comprehensive information
on disasters affecting Participating States;
i The adoption of disaster loss reduction and mitigation policies and
practices at the national and regional
ii Cooperative arrangements and mechanisms to facilitate the
development of a culture of disaster loss
reduction; and
Coordinating the establishment, enhancement and maintenance of
adequate emergency disaster response capabilities among Participating
The Caribbean Media Corporation, formed in August 2000 as a result of a
merger between the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) and the Caribbean
Broadcasting Union's commercial operations, is the leading multimedia
organization in the region. It is dedicated to the excellence in communication
services, which include radio, television, print, satellite uplink distribution and
news media across the Caribbean, the United States of America and around the
To work with media houses in the region to highlight the best skills in journalism,
broadcasting, publishing and technical services.
Way Forward
The CMC strives to make inroads within the media industry by forging closer
links between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. They continue to expand
its outreach through satellite delivered media services for radio and television,
while setting the standard for quality and reliability within the Caribbean's media
University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies was established in 1948 with three campuses:
St. Augustine in Trinidad, Mona in Jamaica and Cave Hill in Barbados. This
institution developed a curriculum in the various faculties that were relevant to
the needs of the people in the Caribbean. Before then, Caricom members had to
go abroad for higher education. Since then, the information and knowledge
gained from UWI has assisted greatly in the social-well being and higher
standard of life among Caribbean people.
Aim of the University
To help unlock the potential for economic and cultural growth in the West Indies,
thus allowing for improved regional autonomy.
The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) was established in 1972 under
Agreement by the Participating Governments in the region to conduct such
examinations as it may think appropriate and award certificates and diplomas on
the results. Previously, the examination body (General Certificate of Education)
was based in England and the subject matter was more relevant to Europe than
the region. C.X.C. replaced the General Certificate of Education (GCE)
examinations used by England. C.X.C. is an institution of CARIBBEAN PEOPLE
by Caribbean people.
This is the highest court of appeal for CARICOM Member States. This court
operates on the following mission and vision:
The Caribbean Court of Justice shall perform the highest standards as the
supreme judicial organ in the Caribbean Community. In its original jurisdiction it
ensures uniform interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of
Chaguaramas, thereby underpinning and advancing the CARICOM Single
Market and Economy. As the final court of appeal for member states of the
Caribbean Community it fosters the development of an indigenous Caribbean
To provide for the Caribbean Community an accessible, fair, efficient, innovative
and impartial justice system built on jurisprudence reflective of our history,
values, and traditions while maintaining an inspirational, independent institution
worthy of emulation by the courts of the region and the trust and confidence of its
Communication – The process of transmitting verbal, visual or written
information from one individual or group to another.
Communication – The process of transmitting verbal, visual or written
information from one individual or group to another.
Communiqué –An official announcement issued by government after
some negotiation or deliberation about an intent or agreement.
News Agency – An organization that supplies news/information to
subscribing newspapers, television stations, magazines and broad casting
Medium – Any means or device used to transfer message from one
sender or source to a receiver or audience. (Medium, mode and channel of
communication are synonymous in nature.)
Message – Spoken or written information which is transmitted to someone.
Receiver – The person or audience to whom the message is sent.
Sender – The person or source that sends a message.
Transmission – The process by which electrical signals and messages
are sent out by radio, television or any other similar equipment
Journalism – the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing
or broadcasting of news and information in the print or electronic media by
a reporter.
Propaganda – the spreading of ideas, information, or rumours for the
purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or a person. It may be
transmitted via a mass medium.
Censorship – the official control or suppressing of books, letters, news,
films on grounds of immorality.
Freedom of expression – the right to express oneself freely in speech or
writing without violating any existing law
Freedom of the press – the right of the press to gather and publish or
broadcast information, ideas or opinions freely without government
interference or prior censorship.
Oral Traditions – cultural practices and ideas handed down through oral
communication (stories, speech etc.).
Voice mail – computer based answering machines that records telephone
messages and store them in the recipient’s voice mailbox at the telephone
Electronic mail – this is the sending and receiving of messages from one
computer to another over a telephone or across networks to other
Website – a medium in the internet to advertise internationally. Exploring a
website usually begins with the homepage, which leads to more
information on the site.
Teleconferencing – interactive group communication (three or more
people in two or more locations) through electronic media such as video
equipment, computers and telephone lines.
Telecommuting – Working at home or at any place other than the office
and communicating with an employer, co-workers or clients by telephonelinked computer.
Telecommunications – The means of communicating at a distance by
radio, telephone, telegraph, television, computer.
Pager – a personal radio device that enables people to contact you when
you are away from a telephone and informs you of all calls which you
should return.
Encoding – message sent in the form of code that is meant to be
understood only by the sender and the receiver.
Libel – A published statement (usually untrue) damaging to a person’s
reputation or character. The intention is for the public to form a bad opinion
of him or her.
Slander – An act of speaking untrue things about another person with the
intention of damaging people’s opinion of him or her.
Internet – The global communication network that allows almost all
computers worldwide to connect and exchange information.
Copyright – The exclusive rights to copy sell or publish a literary, musical
or artistic work.
Plagiarism – the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and
thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own
original work.
Various form of communication used in the Caribbean
Look around you!!! Look at the improvements in communication. Today, one can
agree that communication has taken on a completely new meaning. Amidst such,
it is still categorized in the forms of VERBAL and NONVERBAL Communication.
Before we begin to explore the forms of communication, it is important that we be
made to understand that the entire process of communication can be divided into
major parts which include and not limited to:
Media of Communication
There are various modes/media used to transmit information in and around the
Caribbean communities, those include the following:
Important Note: Some of the media listed above are classified as “Electronic
media of communication.” They are so termed because they transmit
information using electricity. For example, radio, television, computers all
requires the use of electricity in its operation.
Factors that influence forms and media of Communication
Factors that influence forms and media of communication:
1. Geographical conditions
2. Socio-cultural factors
3. Technological factors
Let us explore the above factors!
Improvements in Communication Technology
The chart above highlights some improvements in communication technology,
identify the type of communication technology labeled A-F.
Simplified Communication Process
The sender is the person or the source that sends the message which may be in
a form or code (encoding) that is meant to be understood only by the sender
and the receiver. The encoded message may be in the form of a signal, a sound,
or a written symbol. The message is transmitted from a sender to receiver
through a particular mode or medium such as telephone, an e-mail, television,
radio, face to face conversation, cell phone etc. Usually, a feedback is required
to determine if communication has taken place, but before the receiver can give
a response, he or she must be able to interpret the form or code in which the
message was sent correctly. The ability to interpret the message which came in
varying forms such as signal, sound or symbol is called decoding.
In the activities below, identify verbal and non-verbal communication that may be
Factors Responsible for Breakdown in Communication
In objective three, you were exposed to the various media of communication that
are used on a daily basis. Even though one may choose the most up to date
medium of communication, the intended audience may not always receive the
message sent and the sender may not be able to evoke a response from the
intended audience (receiver). When such occurs, we can safely say that a
breakdown in communication has occurred. There are many factors that account
for this breakdown in communication.
READ!!: It is of great importance that the message be sent in a form that is
clear, accurate and suited to the receiver’s level of education to ensure that the
receiver responds to the message
Overview of some of the factors responsible for the breakdown in
♦ Age and Gender differences:
- Teenagers usually have a different set of vocabulary than that of adults, thus
making it quite difficult for adults to understand them, thus creating a barrier to
effective communication.
- Individuals enrolled in certain gender may communicate among themselves
using certain words which another gender may not easily understand
♦ The Existence of racial or religious prejudices between sender and
- There are certain words or statements used by individuals that may result in
hostility and violence, thus hindering and breaking down the communication
♦ Differences in beliefs and ideology between the sender and receiver:
- The kind of beliefs and ideology we carry with us can adversely affect
communication between a sender and a receiver. Individuals may choose not to
hear or understand message being communicated simply because they share
different beliefs on issues, thus thwarting the communication process
♦ Differences in Socioeconomic status:
- Individuals who are seated in certain economic status may communicate
among themselves using certain words, codes, jargons which may prove difficult
for other individuals from other economic groups to interpret and respond.
♦ Unresolved conflict between sender and receiver:
- Just imagine having an unresolved conflict with your friend. Any efforts at
communication can prove very difficult as anything said can be easily
misinterpreted. This situation quite often leads to a breakdown in communication.
♦ The receiver’s mistrust of the sender:
- An individual may choose not to hear information being communicated by
another on the grounds that the person sending the message cannot be trusted
because of previous experience where the sender had transmit inaccurate or
false messages.
♦ Technical factors such as the interruption in electricity supply, power
surges and failure of equipment (transformers, satellites, audio visual
equipment) that are used to transmit messages.
♦ Geographical factors such as mountains, forests and weather may affect
reception resulting in poor communication. Differing weather conditions such as
heavy rains, floods, hurricane may aid in the uprooting of electrical and telephone
poles, thus preventing the use of certain kinds of communication technology.
♦ The use of inappropriate form of communication:
- When choosing the form of communication, one has to think carefully of the
intended audience, as the form chosen should prove appropriate for the intended
receiver. For example, the use of radio to reach someone who is deaf is deemed
♦ The use of too many technical jargon in speech:
- Have you ever been engaged in a conversation where the sender made
extensive use of technical jargon or high sounding terms with the intent to
impress you? If yes, at the end of it all, I am sure you would agree that it was a
waste of valuable time as the message being put across to you was not
understood. The over use of technical jargon often impede the communication
How the Regional Mass Media can Help to Promote Regional Integration
The Mass media is divided into: Print media and Electronic Media
Print Media:
Electronic Media:
Mass media also function in the following areas:
Act as watchdogs for the society
Expose wrong doings in the society
Serves as a medium for public expression
Task: Discuss the points listed above.
News Agency – An organization that supplies news or information to subscribing
newspapers, television stations, magazines and broad casting companies.
News agencies play a very important role in the transmission of information
throughout the Caribbean. Caribbean media houses rely heavily on them for
news outside as well as inside the region; therefore, there lies the need for good
journalism. In an effort to ensure good journalism, media houses:
Contract experienced journalists who engage in investigative journalism;
Make extensive use of telecommunications equipment;
Present facts without malice, misrepresentation or sensationalism;
Write and edit stories before publishing.
These are just a few of the many things that media houses carry out to ensure
accurate reporting.
Caribbean Media Corporation
The Caribbean Media Corporation is an organization that employs journalists,
reporters and photographers that are stationed in several countries; whose
responsibilities are to collect, write and edit information for transmission to media
houses in the Caribbean. These news agencies also purchase foreign news from
international agencies.
Important Roles of Caribbean Media Agency
The Caribbean News Agency:
♦ Fosters Regional unity through reporting on events and issues that occurs on
regional soil; promoting regional pride
♦ Reduces the cost for regional communication agencies in collecting foreign
♦ Serves to promote the local Caribbean Culture by providing information to
international media houses
♦ Provides an easy access to getting news
♦ Keeps the Caribbean community informed of international news that has
effects on world politics, economy, financial, environmental, social and other
important areas.
Role of Radio and television
The primary role of radio is communication. In fact, radio is the world’s most
widely used media form. Two of its most primary purposes are to inform and
entertain. Radio allows for communication of information and entertainment over
long distances, which makes it one of the perfect mediums for mass
communication. Radio is interactive in nature as it has the capacity to provoke
dialogue because of the varying issues aired, thereby soliciting the participation
of the local population through call in programs or letters. Notice carefully, radios
can be found just about anywhere – in a car, bus, truck, back pack, food
container, in the pocket, on a phone, and I can almost safely say that there is not
a house that exist without a radio.
Some basic purposes television serve:
Television is a convenient source of cheap entertainment;
It exposes people to new developments in arts, education, technology and
It offers company to those who are without family and friends;
It provides an outlet for creative talents;
It appeals to all senses;
It brings those cultures that were once distanced right into your living room
Regional mass media and regional integration
The mass media can be used as a vehicle to bring the Caribbean people
together in the following ways:
Merge regional media houses and allow for the free movement of media
workers throughout the Caribbean;
Engage in joint production of programmes – thus facilitating the sharing of
ideas, thoughts and feelings of the Caribbean people;
Preserve and project our Caribbean identity by promoting the way of life of
the Caribbean people;
Organize Regional Festivals that call upon and require the creative energy
of individuals throughout Caribbean territories; and
Promote Regional competitions in arts, sciences, education and
Challenges over Cultural Penetration and Development of the Region
The mass media affect all areas of our lives. One cannot underestimate the
power of the mass media as it encourages people to modify their beliefs,
attitudes and behaviour pattern, be it negative or positive. In essence, most of
what we do is influenced by the mass media.
Many of the challenges we face today in the Caribbean, inclusive of social,
political, economic, health and educational ills are as a result of the penetration
of the global mass media on the Caribbean society.
In a more positive sense, the global mass media makes way for a constant
interplay between cultures of the world and such allows for positive development,
but there arise problems when the Caribbean culture becomes subsumed by that
of more powerful nations.
Let us look at how different modes of communication affect our Caribbean
identity, attitudes, behaviour, perception and our regionalism
Many of our Caribbean people have access to cable television that airs programs
that portray lifestyles and values of developed societies, some of which are
deemed inappropriate for our Caribbean people. These may include, but are not
limited to, violence, nudity and promiscuity. Conversely, there are programs
aired that mirror lifestyles and values of developed regions that may spur
motivation to improve one’s lifestyle and standard of living in the developing
country. They influence our Caribbean people to adopt those lifestyles. The result
is a non appreciation for our own Caribbean culture.
Most of the television programmes aired originates mainly in North America
where the focus is on American values, news and issues. Look at our Caribbean
people; listen to how they speak, who they emulate, how they dress, and the
music they listen to. Does it reflect the true Caribbean spirit? This brings into
sharp focus the idea that the Caribbean culture becomes subsumed by the more
powerful nation.
It must be noted that television programmes sometimes negatively affect the
creativity of the Caribbean people as advertisers are more likely to sponsor
foreign programmes rather than local programmes because the masses are
more likely to view those foreign programmes as oppose to the local Caribbean
The advertising of popular foreign products by television stations has influenced
local consumers to purchase foreign goods as substitutes for local produce. This
affects the economies of the region as there is a decline for locally produced
goods, thus resulting in a fall out in revenue earning powers for the local
Importantly, the television helps to keep the family together.
The diagram above highlights the forms of ownership of mass media in the
Exploring the forms of ownership of mass media in the Caribbean
Cultural Heritage
The Caribbean people share a rich and dynamic cultural heritage which has
been transmitted from generations to generations, mainly through oral
traditions, speech and song. The Caribbean culture has been passed on
through cultural groups, artists, mass media and institutions.
The many different art forms that exist in our Caribbean society have served as
channels of communicating and transferring our cultural heritage. These art
forms are divided into two categories:
The Visual Arts – photographs, pictures, drawings, sculptures and
The Performing Arts – Story telling, drama, music, dance
A scene from Stable Theatre’s March Production “Once on this island”, highlighting Caribbean
oral tradition.
Transfer of cultural heritage through Cultural groups
Different cultural groups have used their art form to communicate cultural
heritage in the Caribbean. Many cultural groups, in collaboration with Caribbean
governments have organized festivals and shows with intent to preserve our
unique and distinct Caribbean identity and also to educate and develop a sense
of culture pride in the younger generation. Popular festivals held in the Caribbean
include CARIFEST, Crop Over and Carnival.
Carifesta stands for Caribbean Festival of Arts. Its varied programmes include
exhibitions, displays demonstrations, concerts, recitals, discussions, pageantry,
plays, an amusement park and youth village. This festival showcases the rich
cultural heritage of the Region and at the same time gives recognition to its
outstanding artists and art forms.
Activity: Identify at least three cultural groups that can be found in your country
and assess their role as cultural agents.
Transfer of cultural heritage through Institutions
Institutions are necessary for preserving and transferring our cultural heritage.
Paramount among those institutions is:
Museums: Display and store historical and cultural artifacts for the public.
They also interpret material evidence and associated information for the
public benefit. In essence, the museums provide an ideal learning
environment that offers active hands on participation or passive
observation (Hein, G.E, 1998).
Archives: Stores public records and records of historical and cultural value
and makes them available for the public viewing.
Art Galleries: These institutions collect, preserve, study and present
important pieces of local art work for public viewing.
National Trusts: Ensure that artifacts and other historical items such as
pictures, buildings are preserved and exhibited in museums.
Mass Media – transferring our cultural heritage
The mass media has a tremendous role to play in promoting and transferring our
cultural heritage. These can be achieved by:
Allotting adequate air time or space to programmes that highlight the local
culture of the Caribbean people;
Creating programmes that allow for interaction among the audience to
share their views on the Caribbean culture;
Exchanging local programmes with other regional media house;
Hosting and airing competitions that require participants to have in depth
knowledge of their culture;
Making financial contributions to the production of local cultural shows.
The role of the Government in preserving and transferring our cultural
The government is responsible for the day to day operations of the country;
hence, they have the awesome responsibility of ensuring that measures are put
in place to ensure the continuity and practice of its culture. The following are
efforts of the government in preserving and transferring our cultural heritage:
There are many other roles that the government plays in transferring our cultural
heritage. Can you think of any other?
List them here.
Collaborating with artistes on cultural ventures
Allowing for free movement of performing artists within the region
5. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Regulatory Functions
Let us begin this chapter with an activity. You have been exposed to the following
terms in objective one. To test your knowledge, match the term on the left with its
correct meaning in the box on the right.
Regulating the Mass Media
The mass media is very important to the society; yet, it can also abuse its
freedom. It is in this vain that the governments in collaboration with professional
media associations have draft legislations that seek to regulate the media to
protect the privacy and reputation of individuals, protect the security of the state,
prevent sedition and most importantly, to promote good morals.
The following regulatory practices are imposed by the Caribbean governments to
ensure that the rights of the citizens are preserved:
a. Licensing – Individuals or companies are required to acquire a license from a
government ministry, before they can set up a radio or television station or
publishing house. Foreign radio and television stations likewise have to acquire
the license issued by the government to relay radio or television signals.
b. Censorship Boards – These boards comprise members representing
different occupations and interests. Their responsibility is to examine and remove
the whole or parts of a book, reports, broadcasts, films and letters on the grounds
of immorality or threat to national security. The following are criteria used by the
censorship board to rate films:
P.G. Parental guidance required
R- Restricted
U- suitable for persons of any age
X-rated – not to be viewed by persons under age eighteen
c. Broadcasting Commission – This commission establishes the code of
conduct which governs the duties and functions of the media. In essence, they
act as a watch dog for the society.
d. Legislation – broadcast legislations are enacted to prohibit the transmission
of any material deemed profane, indecent or information that may incite violence
against any group. If a media house contravenes these regulations, then they
stand the chance of being fined or have their license revoked.
The following are ways in which the professional associations aid in regulating
the mass media:
Self-regulatory associations/bodies – these associations set
guidelines/code of ethics in relation to fairness, accuracy, impartiality in
reporting, respect for individual’s privacy, and the promotion of and respect
for public morals to promote high standards of journalism. They also
provide opportunities for ongoing training for its members and carry out
investigations into complaints levied against their members so as to
enforce the necessary disciplinary action.
Editing – Media houses in an effort to ensure honest and unbiased reporting
employs qualified editors.
This is a legally registered word or symbol used by manufacturers or sellers to
distinguish their goods or service in the market place.
Can you identify with any of the following trademarks?
These trademarks are registered and so prevent other manufacturers or sellers
from using the same sign, symbol or word.
A copyright is the exclusive right granted to the author or creator of an original
work, including, but not limited to the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work.
Copy right laws afford the creators of literary, musical and artistic works a form of
monopoly on the use of their works – no one except the creator, has the right to
copy, distribute, adapt their work or collect payment from the reproduction and
distribution of their work.
There are two categories of rights under the copyright law for creators of literary,
musical and artistic work:
1. Economic rights – those rights that gives the copyright owner the opportunity
to make financial gains from the exploitation of his/her literary, musical or artistic
Copyright owners make financial gain when the following occurs:
- The copying or reproduction of the work , e.g. reproducing a printed page by
handwriting etc
- Making an adaptation of the original work, e.g. the translation of a literary piece
in another language
- Communicating the work to the public by way of public performances,
broadcasts or displays;
- Issuing copies of the work to the public; and
- Suing any person who reproduces the work without permission.
2. Moral rights - these rights are different from economic rights because it is
concerned with protecting the personality and reputation of the author/creator.
Moral rights gives the author/creator of literary, musical and artistic work the
right to be identified as the author/creator of the work and the right to object to
derogatory treatment of the work which amounts to distortion or alteration which
negatively affects his/her reputation as an author/creator.
In the past, copyright laws only applied to the copying of books, however, over
time, the need arise to protect and cover a wider range of work including:
1. Paintings
2. Photographs
3. Motion pictures
4. Sound recordings
5. Maps
6. Dramatic pieces
7. Computer programs
Assignment: Conduct a research into the procedures that must be followed for a
work to be copyrighted.
Patent is a set of exclusive rights given by a state to an inventor or their assignee
to protect them against unauthorized use of their inventions for a limited period of
time. There are conditions that must exist for the invention to be patented:
1. The invention must be novel – not known to the country before
2. The invention must be useful
In Jamaica, for example, in order to obtain a patent, one must make a petition to
the Governor General. Once the state grants the Patent, the inventor is given the
monopoly to use his/her invention within the country, excluding others the right to
use, make or sell it. Under the Patent Act of Jamaica, a Patent lasts for 14 years.
Consumer Affairs
Consumer - Any individual or institution that uses goods and services
Budget – A plan/ statement outlining a consumer’s income and
expenditure for a specific period.
Budgeting – The process of balancing income with expenditure
Saving – the unused portion of the income of an individual, business or
Goods – Any product that can be used to satisfy some desire, needs or
Services – Intangible products that are not goods such as Education,
Medical Treatment, Transportation, Banking etc...
Demand – The amount of goods which consumers are prepared to buy
at a given price at any given time.
Supply – The quantity of goods and services which sellers put on the
market at a given price
Disposable Income – the money remaining for an income earner to
spend on goods and services after taxes and other compulsory
payments have been deducted.
Income – The payment one receives for ones services, labour, property
or investments.
Investment – The act or process of using one’s money to buy bonds,
shares, mutual funds, stocks, life insurance, and land in an attempt to
make a profit in the future.
Bonds – Long-term loans to a government or business
Ownership – Exclusive right to enjoy, occupy, possess, rent, sell, use,
or even destroy an item or property
Pricing – Fixing a money value to a thing to be bought or sold.
Marketing – The act of engaging in activities that educates consumers
about goods and services in order to persuade them to buy them.
Thrift – the wise and careful use of money and possessions in order to
get the maximum benefits from them.
Credit union – a financial institution owned and controlled by its
members with the purpose of providing credit/loans at competitive rates
and offering other financial services to its members.
Black market – A system used by people to illegally buy and sell goods
that are otherwise scarce, banned or difficult to get hold of.
Hire purchase – A system or method of buying goods through making
regular installments while enjoying the use of the goods. However,
ownership of the goods does not pass to the buyer until full payment of
the loan.
Dumping – the act of a manufacturer in one country pricing a product
below its cost of production in another country.
Electronic Commerce (E-commerce) – transactions in which
consumers and businesses order and pay for goods and services on the
Securities – are usually negotiable financial instruments representing
financial value, for example, bonds, common stocks, shares and
treasury bills.
Dividend – A share of profits issued to share- holders
Exchange rate – The value of the money of one country compared to
the money of another country.
Devaluation – an official reduction or substantial drop in the exchange
value of a currency by lowering its value relative to the currencies of
other countries.
Inflation – The persistent rise in the prices and cost of goods and
Categories of consumers
Let us explore the three main categories of goods:
- can be categorized as free, economic, consumers’ or producer’s
♦ Free goods - These are goods that are available in unlimited quantities and
do not command a price; sunlight, air, rain, water are all examples.
Have you ever paid to have your shoes, toys, clothing or any item repaired?
What about taking the bus to school? If you answered yes to any of the
above, then you would be classified as consumer of services. In essence, we
could therefore surmise that a service is work done to satisfy a need or a
want. As mentioned earlier, consumer goods come in the form of
consumables and durables. Those durable goods quite often need to be
repaired and therefore, the individual(s) who do the repair is providing a
service. In the same breath, we oh so often make regular checks to the
doctor, dentists, hair salon and even more often sits before a teacher. When
we do these things, consider yourself as making use of valuable services.
So, can you make a listing of other valuable services you have made use of?
Credit is basically acquiring things before actually paying for them. Puzzled?
Let us break it down!! When one makes an arrangement with a seller that
makes it possible for the individual to buy a good or service and pay for it
later, then he is considered a consumer of credit. Get it!!! We do not always
have the needed cash to pay for an appliance, buy a car or a house etc,
hence, individuals may obtain loans to buy the car, enter into a mortgage to
purchase the house or enter into a hire purchase agreement to buy the
appliance. Acquiring goods through any of the above means therefore means
that the individual is consuming credit.
Personal Loans – Loans are sums of money that has to be repaid in regular
installments with interest. Loans most time takes the form of cash, but also
may be in the form of overdraft. Loans are usually obtained from institutions
such as banks, finance corporation or credit unions. Note however that there
are some basic criteria that one must satisfy in order to be qualified for a
personal loans, the varying institutions usually draft their own criteria.
Credit Card – A small plastic card issued by a financial institution which
enables the consumer to purchase goods and services or pay bills
electronically without paying cash or a cheque at the point of purchase. All
credit cards are so designed that when swiped in a machine, it is instantly
linked by a telephone line to the card holder’s bank. Each card holder is
entitled to a specific amount of credit from the bank, hence, if the credit limit is
exceeded, the card will automatically declined. If the card is accepted at the
point of transaction, a statement will be issued, requiring the holder of the card
to sign receipt of the credit. The value of the purchase will then be
automatically credited to the seller’s account. It is important that one be aware
that interest will be charged to the credit card holder if the monthly balance on
the account is not paid on or before the due date.
Hire purchase agreement – This is a contractual agreement between two
the hirer – the person who takes the goods for use
the owner – the person who lends or rent the goods.
Under this arrangement, the consumer hires a good for a fixed period of time
by paying a deposit on the good and agrees to pay the balance of the
purchase price with the interest in regular installments over a period of time.
The goods become the property of the hirer upon full payment for them.
There are advantages and disadvantages attached to utilizing this service. For
point of discussion, outline and discuss three advantages and disadvantages
in its use.
Factors which influence consumers demand for googs and
Size of income: It is no surprise that the size of the consumer’s income
will influence the demand for goods and services. There is direct corelation between an increase in the level of income and an increase in
the demand for goods and services. The consumer’s disposable
income plays a major role in determining what to buy and in what
quantity. As a consumer income rises, the result will more than often be
a rise in consumption as the consumer will be able to buy more.
Taste patterns: demand heavily rely on the taste patterns of people. A
change in taste will bring about a change in the demand for goods and
services. In Jamaica, many of the people has a overwhelming taste for
jerk chicken, if the consumers develop a greater taste for barbecued
chicken, then the demand for jerk chicken will decrease and an increase
for barbecued chicken. Hence, the taste patterns of the consumers
heavily influence the demand for goods and services.
Savings: A consumer who is committed to savings will always think
twice before spending. It is therefore safe to surmise that one’s saving
pattern affects his/her demand for goods and services. A consumer
committed to savings will be more a tuned to buying the necessities
needed for everyday survival , rather than spending randomly.
Credit facilities and conditions: The presence of credit facilities will
influence the customer buying decision and afford him /her the
opportunity to purchase goods and services on credit without having to
consider his/her financial constraints or low income.
Fluctuations in supply: Expectations of consumers regarding the
supply of goods also influence their demand. If consumers anticipate a
shortage in supply due to some reason, the demand for the goods will
rise. Contrarily, if consumers expect an increase in supply, the demands
for the good will fall.
Pricing: Pricing is one of those most important factor that influences
demand for goods and services. It is a general attitude for the demand
for a particular good or service to increase when the price falls,
contrastingly, if the same price for the said goods and services
increases, the demand for the commodity contracts. This is however not
a general rule as it relates to pricing and consumer demands.
Advertising: Advertising provides information to consumers particularly
through the mass media. Consumers are therefore treated to an array of
choices about goods and services. Advertisement therefore increases
the demand for goods and services through its persuasive nature and
creates demand for new products on the market by providing valuable
information to the public. Advertising is one of the most effective tools
used by manufacturers/producers to increase the demand for their
goods and services.
Consumer Expectations: Consumer’s expectation, regarding future
prices of goods and services influence their demand to a large extent. If
consumers anticipate an increase in the prices of goods and service
due to some reasons, the demand for those goods and services will rise
to avoid more prices in the future.
Consumers use the following modern technology to conduct business
♦ Tele-banking;
♦ ATM;
♦ E-commerce;
♦ Internet banking;
♦ Debit and credit cards.
Tele-banking: Some customers cannot be bothered with going into a financial
institution to transact businesses, instead, they make use of the telephone to
check on account balances and last transactions, transfer funds between
accounts, make credit card payments and make payments of bills. This
service offered by financial institutions constitutes.
ATM – automated teller machine.
These are computerized telecommunications devices that make it possible for
the clients of financial institutions to perform financial transactions in public
space twenty four hours a day without the need for a bank teller or cashier.
ATMs are also called automatic banking machines (A.B.M).
Individuals who hold an ATM card issued by their banks are identified by
inserting the plastic ATM card with a chip that contains a unique card number
with security information. The user upon inserting the card into the machine
will be required to enter his / her Personal Identification Number(PIN) which
will then allows the user to access his/her account. The ATM affords the
customer the following benefits upon accessing their bank accounts:
Cash withdrawals
Deposit money to account
Credit card cash advances
Purchase pre-paid cell phone credit
Check in on account balances
E- commerce: This has become and becoming a booming trend in today’s
society. Electronic commerce is not merely confined to financial and
commercial transactions of buying and selling products or services over the
internet and other computer networks. Its goes much further to include the
processes of developing, marketing, selling, delivering , servicing and paying
for products and services over electronic systems – internet and other
computer devices.
Consumers are making extensive use of this modern technology because of
its 24-hour availability and global reach, right inside their home.
Internet banking: This is a system that allows customers to conduct financial
transactions on a secure website operated by their virtual bank, building
society or credit union.
There is a steady increase in internet/online banking because customers can:
Check their balance – this allows for the customer to check on his/her
account balance at any time, making him/her aware of how much
money is at his/her disposal. This service is made available to members
of financial institutions after signing up with the institution for online
Transfer funds: Some customers open different types of accounts
connected with their online banking services. They may have a
checking account and a savings account. Here the customer can
transfer funds between the accounts at anytime without interference
from the human resource (bank teller). The customers navigate through
the accounts and select the transfer button which will open up an
application that will lead the customer through the process.
Pay Bills: Online banking presents a great convenience for customers to
set up accounts and add the relevant account numbers and addresses
of their respective billers so that they can send whatever amount they
Pay credit card bills: Customers sometimes make use of the online
banking service to pay their credit card bills in an effort to circumvent
the process of going into the bank.
Debit Cards: These are plastic cards issued by financial institutions to their
customers for easy access to their bank accounts. Debit cards allow for
instant withdrawal of cash, usually from an automated teller machine located
in public places. These cards are also used to make purchase of goods and
services by swiping the card in a machine at the retailer; unlike the credit
cards, the goods or services paid for using debit card is transferred
immediately from the card holder’s account.
Credit Cards: A small plastic card issued by a financial institution which
enables the consumer to purchase goods and services or pay bills
electronically without paying cash or a cheque at the point of purchase. All
credit cards are so designed that when swiped in a machine, it is instantly
linked by a telephone line to the card holder’s bank. Each card holder is
entitled to a specific amount of credit from the bank, hence, if the credit limit is
exceeded, the card will automatically declined. If the card is accepted at the
point of transaction, a statement will be issued, requiring the holder of the card
to sign receipt of the credit. The value of the purchase will then be
automatically credited to the seller’s account. It is important that one be aware
that interest will be charged to the credit card holder if the monthly balance on
the account is not paid on or before the due date
The governments have established agencies to protect and educate the
consumers, some of which include, but not limited to:
Prices commission;
Bureau of Standards;
Food and Drugs division;
Fair trading commission;
Consumer Affairs division;
Public Utilities board;
Public Health Division.
What do they do in protecting the consumer?
Prices Commission: This organization has specific roles to play in protecting
the consumers against unfair pricing by manufacturers and business owners.
The government saw it necessary to control prices by:
♦ Fixing the maximum percentage whole sale and retail mark up on some
basic food items and basic consumer durables;
♦ Informing the consumer through mass media or other official gazette on the
controlled prices;
♦ Training price control inspectors to monitor the controlled prices; those
found in breach will be prosecuted.
This department has the authority to set ‘cap’ prices on goods if demand and
supply conditions are such that consumers may have to pay exorbitant prices.
Bureau of Standards: This organization is primarily concerned with setting
standards that will benefit and serve the best interests of the consumers.
Some of those standards include, but not limited to:
The compulsory standards for labelling and packaging of goods outlined by
the Bureau of standards include:
♦ Label must be in English;
♦ Brand name of product clearly identifiable;
♦ Indicate size, weight;
♦ Show contents or composition of the product;
♦ Name and address of the manufacturer.
The Bureau of standards seek to protect the unsuspecting consumers by
making checks on products that are sub-standard entering the country,
resulting in hundreds of products being disposed of before reaching the
The compulsory standards for labelling and packaging of goods outlined by the Bureau of
standards include:
Label must be in English;
Brand name of product clearly identifiable;
Indicate size, weight;
Show contents or composition of the product;
Name and address of the manufacturer.
The Bureau of standards seek to protect the unsuspecting consumers by making checks on
products that are sub-standard entering the country, resulting in hundreds of products being
disposed of before reaching the shelfs.
Consumer Legislation
Locally Produced Goods and Services
The Caribbean is known to be one of the largest importing regions in the
world. The governments of the Caribbean countries have realized this and the
crippling effect such is having on the region’s economy, hence, campaigns
has been launched to reduce the importation of certain products and replace
them with locally produced goods. For example, Jamaica has launched a
campaign entitled “grow what you eat and eat what you grow”. This is in
response to the high importation of certain products that can be locally grown.
This is also a thrust to protect their local domestic markets and to encourage
local consumers to use locally produce goods and services as oppose to
imported ones.
It has become increasingly important for the Caribbean countries to reduce
their high level of importation and start to produce more using local physical
and human resources, such will reap the reward of:
Increase in the production of local goods, hence creating a market for
export thereby earning needed foreign exchange;
Greater employment opportunities through utilizing our local resources;
Greater self sufficiency – the fact that the Caribbean countries will be
producing what they need will reduce the dependency on foreign
Increase in foreign exchange savings- the money spent on importing
goods would be reduced , hence, savings would be inevitable;
Improvement in the quality of life;
And there are many more benefits.
The Caribbean governments have come together and have put in place a
policy to combat the high importation of goods, this policy bans or reduces the
importation of certain goods from the extra-regional countries and replaced
them with locally produced substitutes, and such is termed Importation
This policy came about because the Caribbean was facing the following
economic problems:
We can all therefore surmise that import substitution is a measure aimed
at replacing a foreign item with a local one - substituting an imported
good with a local one.
Import Substitution Measures
Import substitution is a measure aimed at controlling competitive imports and
protecting the local manufacturers, thus restricting imports and forcing
consumers to buy more locally produced goods.
The following measures are imposed:
Import duties – These are taxes charged on imported goods which are
intended to make them more expensive , thus making the cost of the
local items more attractive;
Quotas/Licensing impositions – The government can periodically restrict
the quantity of particular goods that importers are allowed to import
during specific period. Those importers have to apply to the
government for license to import goods into the country, thus giving the
government the opportunity to track and control the quantities of
Negative List – A negative list contains items of goods that have been
prohibited from entering the country. Citizens are barred from importing
goods on that list on the grounds that they may be of inferior quality. It
has been reported that foreign manufacturers use the Caribbean at
times as a dumping ground for the goods that they want to get rid of;
Devaluation – This has the effect of restricting imports by reducing the
purchasing power of the local dollar on international markets.
Devaluation therefore means that imports will be more expensive and
exports cheaper, thus reducing the demand for imported goods;
Exchange Control – This has the direct intervention of the government
where they instruct the commercial banks not to sell any foreign
exchange at all or only a fixed amount to importers to pay for
Other Agencies
Food and Drug Division of the Ministry of Health:This is the monitoring agency
of the ministry of health that monitors aspects of the importation, manufacture,
storage, distribution, sale and deception in marketing and disposal of food and
drugs. They test new food items, drugs and cosmetics to find out if they are
safe for human consumption before being put on the market.
The Fair Trading Commission: The primary roles of this commission is to
administer and enforce laws relating to utility regulation, consumer protection
and fair competition.
The following are responsibilities of the Fair Trading Commission in two
The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is the administrative body responsible for
implementing the Fair Competition Act (FCA). The functions of the FTC
include the following:
To carry out, on its own initiative or at the request of the Minister or any
other person, investigations in relation to the conduct of business in
Jamaica in connection with matters falling within the provisions of the
To advise the Minister on matters relating to the operation of the FCA;
To make available to the businesses and consumers, general
information with respect to their rights and obligations under FCA;
To undertake studies and publish reports and information regarding
matters affecting the interests of consumers; and
To co-operate with and assist any association in developing and
promoting observance of standards of conduct for the purpose of
ensuring compliance with the FCA.
Consumer Protection
The division serves as one of the guardians of consumers’ rights. Officers of
the division provide public education awareness, investigate consumer’s
complaints and seek amicable resolutions where possible. The division also
monitors any promotional material released by businesses.
Fair Competition
Under the Fair Competition Act the division seeks to promote and maintain
competition by investigating and prohibiting anti-competitive practices and by
informing businesses and consumers about the importance of effective
Utility Regulation
The Utility Regulation Division regulates two utility companies – Cable and
Wireless (Barbados) Ltd and The Barbados Light and Power Company Ltd.
The division oversees rates and service standards and investigates queries
and complaints
Consumer Affairs Division:
This division is established by the government to inform, educate and
empower consumers to protect themselves in the market place. The following
are effective ways in which the division attend to and protect the rights of the
♦ Provide complaint resolution services and assist consumers in getting
♦ Run vibrant consumer education programmes , informing them of their
♦ Engage in market research;
♦ Initiate action for consumer legislation based on consumer complaints and
♦ Mediate between the consumers and business sector so as to promote fair
trading practices.
Public Utilities Board: This is a regulatory authority with a statutory mandate
to ensure safe, adequate and proper utility services at reasonable rates by
fixing the prices which are charged (electricity, water and telephone). The
board has the awesome responsibility of monitoring utility service and
responding to customer complaints.
Public Health Division of the Ministry of Health:
This division is responsible for protecting and promoting the health of the
citizens. They look after the conditions under which food is prepared and sold
to the public. Their general responsibility is to certify persons involve in the
preparation and sale of food and drink.
How do they ensure that the consumer’s health is protected?
♦ They ensure that those who are running and working at food retail outlets
are knowledgeable in all aspects of food handling;
♦ They issue licenses to food outlets after premises are inspected to ensure
basic amenities are present such as running water,, toilet facilities, spacious
and clean kitchen area;
♦ They check to see that operators or workers engage in the preparation of
food and drink are not suffering from communicable diseases;
♦ They do periodic visits , usually unexpected by operators of food retail
outlets, and check to see if the premises conforms or meet the sanitary
guidelines outlined.
It is important to note that the inspectors authorized by the Public health
division of the ministry of health has the authority to close down those food
outlets that do not satisfy the sanitary guidelines crafted by the Public health
Consumer Protection
There are varying devices used by manufacturers or suppliers to exploit
consumers. The following are some of those devices and knowing about them
will reduce the likelihood of such to happen to you:
False Claims on Advertisement – Manufacturers will do just about
anything to have their products sold, advertisement is one sure way of
luring customers to their shelves. This they do by making claims in the
advertisement that is very enticing such as making their products more
that what they actually are. The customer who falls to such
advertisement eventually realize that all the claims mentioned in the
advertisement is far from the truth. This constitutes false claims on
False ‘Sales’ – This scheme is devised with the intention of having the
consumers purchasing goods or services that they do not really need.
This is done by offering reduced prices on goods and services, when
the sale price might still be higher than the price before the sale was
Black – Marketing – This is an unfair act where goods with ceiling prices
established by law are sold above the control price.
Hoarding – In a situation where goods are in short supply, sellers
remove the scarce goods from the shelves and sell to consumers who
are willing to buy above certain amount. This practice sometimes
influences price increase.
Bait-and-switch – Consumers suffer exploitation when sellers
intentionally advertise goods at a low low price and upon enquiry of the
said goods, are informed that they are no longer in stock, thus giving the
seller an opportunity to persuade the consumer to buy a substitute,
usually at a higher price.
Right to safety- protection from
products and services that can prove
harmful to the consumer’s health
The consumer has the responsibility to use
the products and services safely, following
all necessary instructions and guidelines
Right to Choose – to access a
variety of goods and services at
competitive prices
The customer has the responsibility to
choose wisely
Right to be informed – the right to
information that ensures that all
product statements are accurate and
The customer has the responsibility for
analyzing and using information about
products wisely
Right to consumer education – to
have access to programs and
information that help make better
buying decisions.
The customer has the awesome
responsibility of learning about the changing
nature of products
The right to be heard- by
government in the creation of laws
The consumer has the responsibility of
expressing concerns to those who can help
and regulations that may affect the
Right to a healthy environment- to
live and work in an environment that
does not endanger their health
The consumer has the responsibility of
making choices that minimize the
environmental impact of their purchase on
Ways consumers practice thrift in the Caribbean
The residents of the Caribbean communities have always been encouraged to
become thrifty consumers in an effort to get more and value for their money.
The response towards this practice has been overwhelming, as we have seen
a proliferation of advertisement encouraging this practice.
Let us explore the following terms before advancing into further discourse on
this important matter:
Shopping wisely for goods and services
Caribbean families have adopted good shopping and spending practices in
order to become shifty. Good spending and shopping habits will go a far way
in helping the consumers to get the maximum benefit from their money. Let us
go shopping!
Distinguish between needs and wants;
Before going shopping, make a list of the goods you need so as to avoid
impulsive buying;
Make a budget and carry a pencil and or calculator to ensure that you
remain within your budget;
Avoid shopping too late , instead shop early in the morning so as to get
the best in perishable foods;
If possible, buy items in bulk;
Check carefully the weighing and measuring equipment to ensure you
get the quantity that you paid for;
Watch the cash register at the check out counter and take time to count
your change properly;
Ensure that you collect your receipts and warranties on goods in the
even t that the good is faulty and you want redress;
Check expiry dates on goods before purchasing them;
Compare prices;
Avoid too much credit as a result of impulsive buying;
Carefully examine goods and their packaging to ensure that they have
not been damaged or tampered with;
Ensure that as you shop, you save a portion of your income for
unforeseen expenditure.
Remember, a thrifty consumer save more, get value for their money become
more responsible and enjoy a better standard of life.
Use and Care of Possessions
A thrifty consumer understands the concepts of using wisely and caring for
possessions; the lack thereof will lead to continuous replacement and
depletes the disposable income available. Hence, consumers are advised to
use and maintain possessions properly by following the manufacturer’s
instructions for the care and use of the items.
Conservation and Recycling
Conservation and recycling are two very important tools employed by thrifty
consumers. In fact, every unique member of the family, children and parents,
ought to explore conservation and recycling strategies at home and in their
neighborhood to avoid wastage. The following are strategies that can be
employed in and around the home:
In the Kitchen
Use cloth napkins and table cloths instead of paper;
Use leftover foods to create tasty dishes and fabrics to make décor;
Reduce wastage of utilities by ensuring that pipe taps are properly
secured, turning off taps when not in use and unplugging electrical wires
when out of use;
Buy a set of plastic cups and dishes for ‘outdoor’ so you don’t have to
buy paper plates and cups for outdoor parties;
In the Bathroom
Purchase and use toilet paper that is made from recycled content;
Install a showerhead and toilet that conserve water;
Depends on what you are doing, if washing, use a container to hold the
water so as to avoid wastage.
Dining/Living/Family Room
Use scrap paper or waste paper to write notes or take message;
If you are printing or copying something for personal use, which does
not have to be clean and immaculate, consider using the flip side of an
old document or letter you got in the mail;
If you are writing a research paper, letter or some other important
school paper, do your proof reading and spell check on the screen
before printing the document. This is a sure way of avoiding wastage of
Purchase recycled paper and office supplies such as toners which can
be refilled instead of buying a completely new one;
Pass on used clothing to younger siblings;
Maintain possessions in the room by properly following the
manufacturer’s manual for care and service.
On the Streets
Drive your car at or below the speed limit to conserve fuel
Check to ensure your car tires are filled to the appropriate pressure as
stipulated by the manufacturers or user manual.
Service vehicle as recommended by the car specialist
It is important that as consumers, we plan an outline of our income and
probable expenditure for a period of time. This is a good example of thrifty
behavior. The governments likewise have to make a budget for the financial
year of their countries.
Effective Budgeting:
Consider income in relation to needs;
Examine various expenses and then determine those to which greater
priority should be given;
Separate needs from wants;
Dedicate a portion of income to savings;
Live within your income;
Record revenues and expenses;
Deposit sizeable savings to meet future planned and unforeseen
The real solution to a life of prosperity is learning to live within your means, it
doesn’t matter much if your salary is big or small. If you follow the simple rules
listed above, then you can begin to enjoy life at its best.
The society and thrifty behavior: Consumers are encouraged to exercise
thrifty behaviours because such has a far-reaching effect not just on the
family, but on the society on a whole. Thrifty behavior minimize the wastage of
the country’s precious resources as individuals employ better conservation
and recycling measures in and around the home.
Business people often seek to exploit the consumers, but with increase
knowledge and thrifty behavior, such will be controlled or limited and the
government will have fewer complaints to deal with.
Benefits of saving
People have recognized the need to save, as such; they have utilized the
following forms of savings:
Can you add to the reasons people save?
Good job!!
Benefits of savings to the country:
The increased savings can be used to help finance the economic
development of the country;
The government can better able to cater to the less fortunate as
more persons are able to cater to their own personal needs;
Can you think of other benefits of savings to the country? Get into
groups and make a listing of those benefits.
Benefits of credit union to consumers
A credit union is a financial institution formed, owned and controlled by a
group of people who share a common bond such as residence in the same
community and membership of a particular profession or an organization. The
main purposes of a credit union are that of saving money regularly together
and lending money to one another when needed.
The savings of each member is called shares, and it is from those funds loans
are made to members.
Members have easier access to loans because of their
membership. Interestingly, at the end of the financial year, after cash has
been deducted for the operating expenses and the reserve fund, the
remainder of the money earned is paid back to members as dividends on their
savings and interest refund on their loan payments. The interest, which is
refunded on loan payments, is called patronage refund. The interest rate on
loans in a credit union is far lower than that offered by commercial banks
because interest is calculated on the monthly unpaid balance instead of the
sum borrowed.
The credit union relies on the pooling of funds by members, through the
purchase of shares, to operate its business and in the same manner; the
credit union depends on volunteers from within its membership to serve as
officials or committee members. This therefore means that the policies framed
come directly from the members who communicate their suggestions,
concerns and comments, usually at the annual general meetings. These
principles therefore ensures self reliance.
Strategies for devaluation and inflation on consumers
The Caribbean countries have been experiencing rapid devaluation and
inflation in its economy. The evidence is clear, look around you! Look at the
constant increase in the prices of goods and services (inflation) and look at
the amount of money the country has to pay for imports (devaluation)!
The following strategies could be pursued in an effort to deal with the problem:
Home gardening – produce more of their own food rather than
purchasing everything.
Explore self employment such as identifying and offering a needed good
or service in their neighbourhood or community – lawn maintenance,
baby sitting, small business, etc.
Reduce expenditure to – this speaks to purchasing things that are
necessary – needs, as opposed to buying that which is wanted
(something you can do without).
Practice recycling of household products/items.
Tourism: the movement of persons from one place to another, either for
business or pleasure.
International tourism: the movement of a person outside his/her own country of
residence e.g. a person who travels from Trinidad to the United States
Regional tourism: the movement of a person within his/her region e.g. a person
who travels from Jamaica to Barbados
Domestic tourism: the movement of a person from his/her home to another part
of the country e.g. a person who lives in Castries, St. Lucia visiting the Pitons in
St. Lucia
Excursionist: a cruise ship passenger who does not stay in hotels or other
accommodations. This person sightsees at ports of call during the day, and sleep
on the ship at nights.
Tourism Sector: this term refers to that part of country's economy that is directly
or indirectly affected by tourism.
Economic linkage: where one economic sector provides the requirements for,
or is linked to, another economic sector. The money earned in the region remains
and is spent in the region.
Economic leakage: the proportion of money spent by tourists which does not
stay in the country visited.
Tourism product: a product is defined as anything which is produced,
manufactured or made available to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers.
The tourism product therefore refers to all the facilities and amenities which have
been made available by nature and man. These products provide tourists with a
variety of experiences.
Nature tourism/Eco-tourism: caters to those who want to observe animal and
plant life in rainforests, mangroves, bird sanctuaries and the sea bed.
Sports tourism: offers visitors the opportunity to participate in marine and landbased sporting activities.
Health tourism: facilities which help tourists to relax and recuperate from
illnesses, health resorts and special spa facilities near mineral springs, for
example, in Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia.
Heritage/ Cultural tourism: for those who want to experience the culture and
the history of the destination such as indigenous festivals, music, food, dances,
art, language and dress. Archaeological and historical buildings and sites,
monuments and museums also form part of this product.
All inclusive: when a tourist pays a lump sum for a number of tourist products at
the country of purchase.
Timeshare: entails purchasing an apartment or room in a country and sharing its
use at an agreed time and duration of the year.
Marketing tourism: the process of selling of goods and services related to
tourism. This could be done by pooling funds from different businesses to create
a major impact - for example, the use of travel agencies and airlines of a
particular theme all at the same time. It can also be achieved through brochures,
magazines, newspaper, television and radio.
Host country: the country which hosts or accommodates the tourists through the
sharing of land, facilities, infrastructure and culture.
Supply country: the country from which the tourists come from.
Home port: Port from which a cruise ship loads passengers and begins its
itinerary, and to which it returns to disembark passengers upon conclusion of
Tourism – the act of travel and visiting places. It includes private travel
for holiday and recreation purposes but also business travel. It is also
concerned with the provision of services to support this leisure travel.
International Tourist – a tourist who travels outside of the geographical
region of his/her country of residence.
Regional Tourist – A tourist who travels from one country to another
within the geographical region in which he/she lives.
Domestic Tourist – A tourist who travels within his/her own country
spending at least one night away from his/her normal place of
Excursionist – An individual who spends less than twenty – four hours in
a country and does not necessarily sleep in the country.
Cruise passengers – These are persons travelling on a cruise ship
Tourist Industry – The range of organized activities which have been
developed to satisfy the needs of the tourist.
Tourism Sector - That distinct part of a country’s economy which is
directly or indirectly affected by the tourist industry.
Economic Linkage – this speaks to the volume of tourist expenditure
that has contributed to opportunities in employment, foreign currency
earnings and general development in the host country.
Economic Leakage – a situation in which all of the foreign currency
earned through tourism does not remain within the host country.
Tourism product – This speaks to anything which is able to meet tourist
Nature tourism – tourism involving travel to areas of natural or
ecological interest to observe animal and plant life.
Sports tourism – refers to travel which offers visitors the opportunity to
either view or participate in a sporting event, whether marine based or
land based.
Health tourism – the practice of travelling across international borders to
obtain facilities to help in relaxation and recuperation from illnesses. For
example, health resort hotels with special spa facilities near mineral
Heritage tourism – the practice of travelling across borders to
experience the culture and history of the destination; for example,
indigenous festivals, music, food, dances, art, language and dress.
All inclusive – This speaks to a situation in which a tourist is given a
package deal inclusive of lodging, food and tours for one price.
Tourism Marketing – this refers to the organized, combined efforts of the
national tourist board and or the businesses in the tourism sector of an
international, national or local area to achieve growth in tourism by
maximizing the satisfaction of tourists.
Host country – a country which provides facilities for and receives
Types of tourism product
The Caribbean countries provide a variety of facilities and amenities, either
man made or natural which provide tourists with a variety of experiences. The
tourism product of the Caribbean therefore includes all the satisfaction,
experiences and memories which the region offers a visitor who takes part in
any of its tourism activities.
The tourism products of the Caribbean are:
♦ Sand
♦ Sea and Sun
♦ Nature/eco-tourism
♦ Health
♦ Sports
♦ Heritage
♦ Festival
♦ Special events tourism
Differentiating between the types of tourism products
available in the Commonwealth Caribbean:
The Caribbean offers a sunshine paradise, complemented by the beautiful
and sandy beaches with crystal clear waters that provide visitors with a sense
of renewal. These are the traditional tourism products of the Caribbean.
This type of tourism appeals to those tourists who want to observe a wide mix
of flora and fauna in rain forests, mangroves, bird sanctuaries and sea bed.
Health Tourism
The Caribbean region has seen an increased interest by tourists in mountain
resorts, health resort hotels with special facilities that aids in relaxation and
recuperation from illnesses. The Caribbean governments have placed great
emphasis on this product due to the growing interest, as more and more
people looking beyond the cosmetic or orthopedic surgery market.
Sports Tourism Product
This product offers tourists the opportunity to participate in marine (water
skiing, swimming, sailing etc) and land-based sporting activities (golf, cricket,
tennis, mountain biking etc).
This product allows for those tourists who delight in experiencing the culture
and history of other destinations such as music, food, dances, art forms,
dress. The rich historical past has left a legacy of plantation houses, forts, and
artifacts which reflect the way of life of the past generations usually prove
exciting for tourists.
This product offers a diversity of opportunities for entertainment to tourists
who desire to engage or enjoy the rhythms of the Caribbean – Jazz festivals,
Reggae Sunfest, Carnival, Divali etc.
Factors tha influence development of tourism in the host and supply country
In this section, we will be looking at the factors that attract visitors to the host
country and factors that enable people in the supply country to visit the host
The following factors influence the development of tourism in the host
♦ Accessibility
♦ Availability, cost and quality of tourist services
♦ Perception of safety and security
♦ Political stability
♦ Infrastructure, especially sanitation and water supply, roads, air and
The Caribbean region is centrally located, thus making the area easily
accessible by air and sea to tourists from countries to the north and south. In
recognition of the strategic location of the region as a popular tourist hub,
Caribbean governments have embarked on advancing their cause by
investing in and owning airlines to transport visitors to the region. For
example, LIAT is jointly owned by some Caribbean countries, Caribbean
Airlines is owned by Trinidad and Tobago (today they have acquired the Air
Jamaica fleet of airlines), Guyana Airways is owned and operated by Guyana,
Cayman Airways is owned by the Cayman Islands and there are others as
well. All of this is ensuring that tourists are transported to their shores.
Availability, cost and quality of tourist services
The governments have a unique role to play in ensuring that tourists are given
quality services upon arrival in the region. The governments have established
ministries to develop policies and guidelines for the industry. Governments
seek to train and educate citizens on the importance of being hospitable and
providing quality services at reasonable costs to the tourists.
Service is very important in the marketing of the Caribbean as an ideal
destination for tourists. At all levels, from the tourist arrives in the country and
having interaction with the immigration officers to the hotel workers and
service providers, it is important that those persons with whom they come in
contact exercise good interpersonal relations.
Perception of safety and security
The Caribbean region has a reputation as a relatively safe and peaceful area
that does not pose any undue risks to visitors. These factors have served to
attract tourists to the region.
Political Stability
This speaks to the host countries having good governance, respect for law
and order, racial harmony and healthy relationships between political parties.
This atmosphere serves not only to attract tourists to the region but also to
attract potential local and foreign investors to erect new hotels and restaurants
to accommodate more tourists to the islands.
Infrastructures – sanitation, water supply roads, air and seaports.
The Caribbean countries have made special attempts and efforts at erecting
and improving the facilities needed by tourists. The governments have
constructed airports and seaports to accommodate large volume of tourists to
the islands. The governments have also sought to create a network of well
maintained roads to enable the tourists to move about within the countries
with ease and comfort. Special emphasis have been placed on ensuring
healthy, clean and well kept environment with adequate and reliable electricity
and water supply.
The Caribbean region mainly attracts tourists from international sources. Let
us look at factors that contribute to the tourists’ presence in the Caribbean
DISPOSABLE INCOME: The Caribbean community is supplied with tourists
mainly from highly developed countries that have high employment rate. This
affords the workers in those countries adequate disposable income which
enable them to travel particularly to the Caribbean on earned paid leaves from
their jobs each year.
ACCESSIBILITY / TRANSPORT: It takes a relatively short time by air for
persons from North America or Europe to reach a Caribbean destination. The
tourists have easy access to affordable and reliable transportation to and from
the destination.
EXCHANGE RATE: The value of the currency of developed countries is
higher than currencies of Caribbean countries. This favourable exchange rate
makes a Caribbean vacation affordable.
CLIMATE: The Caribbean climate is warm all year round. Vacationers flock to
our region to evade the freezing temperatures which limits their outdoor
recreational activities.
MARKETING: The Caribbean governments forcefully market the region as an
attractive destination for tourism. In doing so, the potential visitors become
aware of the destination and all that it has to offer.
Contribution of land based and cruise tourism
The following are ways in which tourism affect the economy of the
Commonwealth Caribbean:
Let us lead a discussion on those areas of economic impact:
[] Foreign exchange earnings – The Caribbean countries earn most of its
foreign exchange from tourism. The importance of tourism to the Caribbean
Commonwealth Community cannot be over emphasized as the foreign
exchange earned through this arena is used to pay for imports of goods and
services and for the repayment of international loans.
[] Direct Employment – Tourism provides direct employment for thousands of
workers in the hotel industry and other tourism related enterprises such as
restaurants and night clubs.
[] Indirect employment – This type of employment is created through linkages
with the agricultural, transportation, construction, distribution and general
services sectors. These areas employ individuals who provide tourists with the
desired comfort and relaxation.
[] Government Revenue – The Caribbean Commonwealth countries receives
much needed revenues from tourism through taxes levied on goods and
services purchased by tourists, head and departure taxes on visitors, fees
such as landing fees for aircrafts and berthing fees for cruise liners and import
duties on items imported for tourists.
[] Relationships between expenditure on infrastructure in resort areas – The
Caribbean governments invest heavily in the resort areas. This has seen
steady improvements in the infrastructure in those regions that has the effect
of boosting or attracting foreigners. These improvements in infrastructure do
not only benefit the tourists, but residents who live in and around those areas.
[] Effect of tourism development on availability of land for agriculture – Prime
agricultural lands are utilized for tourism facilities such as golf courses, site
attractions and resort developments. This practice reduces the amount of land
available for agricultural production.
The types of employments and career occupations in the tourism industry are
rather varied. The Caribbean community has made use of those
The workers in the tourism industry can be unionized. The unions represent
the workers for fair wages, job security, fringe benefits, holidays, opportunities
for promotion and other related benefits.
Tourism workers needed to obtain certain academic qualifications and skills
before entering the industry. The table below highlights a few of those
prerequisites for entering specific fields in the tourism industry.
Position in the hotel
Tourism Industry
Five CXC (CSEC) subjects including English A, Mathematics
and science subject for entry into the Aviation training
programme; structured aviation training, pilot license.
Secondary Education with at least one foreign language,
training in communication technique, emergency procedures,
catering and food preparation.
Individual must obtain a university degree and has
administrative experience
Sound knowledge of local geography, history and customs. (
fluency in languages would prove advantageous)
University degree and experience in management
The following regional organizations provide training for tourism workers:
[] The University of the West Indies Centre for Hotel and Tourism
[] The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Human Resource Development Unit;
[] The Council of Heads of Caribbean Hospitality Schools;
[] The Caribbean Hotel Association’s Caribbean Hospitality and Training
Further training for tourist workers are spear headed by hotel schools and
hospitality units at community colleges level to ensure that the workers meet
the needs of the tourism industry.
Hoteliers also have a key role to play in the training and quality of workers in
the industry. Hoteliers contribute by:
[] providing scholarships and study leave for employees to obtain further
training locally or abroad;
[] making financial contributions to institutions engaging in the training of hotel
workers to meet the demand of the industry;
[] encouraging their workers to attend retraining courses to update and
upgrade their skills;
[] organizing continuous on-the-job training for new recruits.
The tourism industry provides many opportunities for small investors to
become involved in it. The industry provides opportunities and avenues for
those interested in servicing the industry through training, offering and making
available information on financing and loans, and channels to pursue for the
development of businesses in guest houses, restaurants, bars, transport and
recreational services.
Impact of tourism on the physical environment
It is the physical environment of the Commonwealth Caribbean countries that
attract tourists to their shores; nevertheless, this industry contributes to
depletion in the quality of those very same physical resources that attract
them to the host countries.
Let us look at some of those pressures which the growing tourism
industry put on the physical environment:
Look carefully at this picture. What
is happening in it? Yes! It showcases the destruction of the physical
environment for the purpose of meeting the growing demands of the tourism
industry. This activity is prominently carried out in Caribbean countries to
facilitate the construction of luxurious hotels and roads on elevated areas.
This activity removes or reduces the aesthetic appeal of the area while at the
same time increasing the likelihood of soil erosion and further destroying the
habitat of the indigenous and endangered wild life.
Beaches: Hotels, for tourism purposes, are constructed relatively close to
beaches and such increases the possibility for the dumping of waste into the
beaches, contributing to beach erosion. Tourism has contributed to the
dredging of harbours and the reclamation of land to build or extend harbours.
This action changes the tidal patterns and likewise causes beach erosion.
Harbour dredging
Damage to Coral Reefs:
The delicate coral reefs have been damaged by the actions of tourists who
board pleasure boats and yachts that drop their anchors on the reefs. Tourist
divers and swimmers sometimes break off coral for the purpose of souvenir. It
is important to note as well that the disposing of sewage and waste water from
hotels into the sea also affects the delicate corals.
Swimming – causing damage to coral reefs.
Tourism and Conservation of Flora and Fauna
There are institutions that have a vital role to play in the conservation and
preservation of our physical resources. Those include:
Caribbean Conservation Association;
National Trusts and
National Parks.
The Role of the Caribbean Conservation Association
The Caribbean Conservation Association exists to enhance the quality of life
for present and future generations of the Caribbean by facilitating the
development and implementation of policies, programmes and practices,
which contribute to sustainable management of the region’s natural and
cultural resources.
The Caribbean Conservation Association is a movement powered by many
organizations, which focuses on natural resources that exist within the ring of
islands that make up the Caribbean community. It strives to protect the coral
reef and the wildlife movement.
National Trusts
These are usually charitable, non-profit organizations that seek to preserve
the unique heritage of a country, be it historic buildings, sites, places of
natural beauty or the environment. National Trusts are such institutions that
safeguard the physical environment.
Impact of tourism on the socio-cultural environment
The Caribbean countries are visited by people of different nationalities and
cultures. The continued interaction of these visitors with the local population
has resulted in changes in the lifestyles of some of the Caribbean residents.
Let us explore some of the ways in which the local residents have been
affected by tourism.
Effects of tourism on land ownership, land use, natural beauty and use
of beaches
Caribbean governments have enacted legislation allowing for foreigners
to own prime lands at very attractive prices. This has the effect of
pushing land prices up; thus making it difficult for nationals to purchase
lands because the prices exceed that which they are able to afford.
Locals are denied access to some beaches by hoteliers in some
countries as they (hoteliers) have made such beaches exclusive to
The construction of resorts on hill sides and elevated areas, are so
done, to give tourists a panoramic view of the landscape. These
constructions can reduce the aesthetic value of these hillsides
and further impact negatively on the wild life.
Sometimes residents are dislocated by governments who acquire the
lands on which they were living for the purpose of tourism developments
such as the construction and expansion of airports, development of ecotourism sites and resort areas and road construction.
The absent of land use policies or the lack of implementation of them
enables tourism developers to buy and use prime agricultural land for
golf courses, resort areas and site attractions.
Visitors’ perception of Caribbean societies
One would readily assume that there must be a good perception of the
Caribbean community that keeps attracting so many foreigners to the region. I
agree, but I put forward the point that there is, also a “not so nice” perception
of the region or aspects of the region and its people as well. So, what are
some of those popular perceptions of the Caribbean societies?
Visitors’ Perception of the Caribbean Societies:
The Caribbean:
♦ Citizens are poor and uneducated
♦ Countries are small
♦ Is safe
♦ Has a naïve and friendly population
♦ Countries are underdeveloped with poor and inadequate infrastructure
The tourist boards of the Caribbean countries have sought to influence the
visitors’ perception of the Caribbean societies through active marketing of
special features of the Caribbean and special achievements of Caribbean
citizens to major regions of the world through brochures, magazines, videos
and the internet.
Opportunities for visitors to meet Caribbean people
There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the Caribbean people. Infact,
tourism is serviced by the Caribbean people at all levels:
♦ Hotels, restaurants and bars
♦ Public beaches
♦ Festivals and cultural shows
♦ Shopping malls
♦ Entertainment centres and at sporting events
These are just few of those avenues through which visitors get an opportunity
to mingle with the Caribbean people. It is also through interaction with the
locals that visitors’ perceptions of the Caribbean countries are changed.
Relationships between citizens and visitors, citizens and returning
There could be conflict and tension between some citizens and some visitors
for the following reasons:
♦ Visitors are perceived to be enjoying privileges which some residents are
not allowed to enjoy and cannot afford to enjoy in their own country, for
example, access to some beaches, hotels and resort areas. This creates
animosity between visitors and locals.
♦ Some visitors show lack of respect and understanding for local culture;
♦ Visitors can be isolated from the locals in all inclusive hotels;
♦ Visitors are perceived to be wealthy and may be robbed or exploited;
♦ The quality of service which is offered to the visitors is not always
♦ Returning nationals annoy and frustrate residents when they constantly
criticize the standards in their native country by comparing them with
standards in their adopted country;
Attitudes of citizens to tourism
Citizens’ attitudes to tourism may range from indifference to enthusiasm to
alienation. The following factors dictate to the attitude demonstrated by
Effects of tourism on artistic expression and other aspects of traditional
Tourism plays an important role in creating employment for people in the
creative and performing arts and the handicraft industry. Tourists usually
purchase souvenirs in the form of paintings, pieces of sculpture and handicraft
items. This demand helps to revitalize the local arts and craft market industry.
Commercialization of local culture – The local craftsmen and artists has
been creating works for purely commercial purposes. The work no longer
reflects their ideas, beliefs, feelings and true creativity. They create things for
sale to the tourists. Performing artists are also guilty of taking serious aspects
of the local culture and presenting it to the tourists for purely entertainment
Government policies which influence the development of tourism
The governments are aware of the benefits to be gained from investing in
tourism; they therefore have developed policies to direct this industry.
Government Polices
Meeting Infrastructure Requirements – Governments finance the
construction of airports/seaports, medical facilities and sewage treatment
systems to accommodate the large volumes of tourists that visits the
Caribbean shores;
Providing a well trained workforce – establishing hospitality institutes with
qualified staff to train nationals for the wide range of jobs available in the
tourism industry;
Addressing environmental concerns – making and passing legislation's
that reduce pollution, protect coral reefs, providing beach controls and
enforcing penalties for illegal dumping.
Addressing social problems – passing legislation's that ensure a safe and
secure environment where tourists are protected from crime and harassment;
Creating a favourable investment climate – providing incentives for
foreigners and locals to invest in the construction and maintenance of hotels
and other costly tourism products;
Establishing an overseas marketing and promotional presence in key
markets – Establishing and maintaining tourism offices in potential foreign
markets and providing staff and funds for advertising and promoting
Education – Educating the general population on the importance of tourism to
the development of the economy.
The policies are not limited to those mentioned above.
The contribution of agencies in the development of tourism
The role of local agencies in the development of tourism:
The tourist board tries to educate the local communities on the importance of
tourism to the country’s economy and on opportunities available to them in the
industry through active dialogue and advertisements.
The role of regional tourism organizations
The Caribbean Tourism Organization
This organization carries out the following roles in ensuring the development
of tourism in the Caribbean:
♦ Monitors the industry’s performance in the region by carrying out market
research and analyzing the trends in the industry;
♦ Communicate those findings to policy makers;
♦ Collaborates with other regional tourism agencies;
♦ Provides education and training for tourism workers;
♦ Promotes public awareness of the industry;
♦ Encourages its member countries to promote the sustainable development
of tourism.
The Caribbean Hotel Association
The Caribbean Hotel Association is the regional body which represents the
interests of private entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry such as owners of
hotels and guest houses, travel agents, airlines and suppliers of goods and
services to hotels and restaurants.
This organization offers the following services to its members:
♦ Maintaining a database of available accommodation in the region;
♦ Marketing of tourism products to the global community;
♦ Provision of training for jobs in the tourism sector through the Caribbean
Hospitality Institute;
♦ Granting of scholarships to deserving candidates to pursue courses in the
hospitality industry;
♦ Provision of technical services in environmental management for the
sustainable development of tourism.
Hospitality Institutes
The Caribbean hospitality training institute provides training in the following
♦ Marketing of tourism
♦ Hotel management
♦ Catering
♦ Chefs
♦ Tour guides
♦ Events management
♦ Financial management
Each Caribbean country develops and maintains their local hospitality
institutes that serve the interests of the tourist industry in the particular
Role of donor Agencies
There are a number of regional and international financial institutions that
have been supporting the development of tourism in the Caribbean by
providing loans or making worthwhile donations. Here is a peak look at some
of those institutions:
♦ Caribbean Development Bank – assists the borrowing member countries
by mobilizing the financial resources from both within and outside the region.
This institution directs loans with long grace and repayment periods from
medium and large tourism projects.
♦ The European Investment Bank and the Commonwealth Development
Corporation – Plays a great role in helping to finance the development of the
region’s tourism industry through grants and soft loans.
There are other institutions that make donation to the industry, these include,
but not limited to
♦ Canadian International Development Agency
Challenges facing tourism development in the region
The following are constraints affecting the development of tourism in the
- It is no secret that most, if not all the Caribbean countries suffer from a
shortage of capital needed to direct investments. This shortage has affected
the overall development of the tourism industry because the infrastructures
needed to lure visitors to the islands prove lacking. However, the donor
institutions offer loans to the region to offset some of the infrastructural needs.
- Marketing and promotion are important in making tourists, travel agents, tour
operators and travel writers aware of and interested in the destination. These
activities are severely costly and as such, the lack thereof has placed heavy
constraints on the development of tourism in the Caribbean.
- Up to date, detailed information on the industry’s performance which may be
important in influencing investment in the industry may not be available ,
hence, the stakeholders in the industry may not be able to effectively plan to
maximize the potential benefits of tourism.
- In some islands, the hotel owners have to resort to recruiting managers from
overseas because of the shortage of qualified local hotel managers. There are
other countries that have to resort to bringing in trainers from abroad or
sending their staff abroad for training because of the shortage of or lack of
hospitality training institutions.
- The fear generated by this global trend of terrorism has put a damper on the
enthusiasm of people to go on vacation. This is further compounded by the
lengthy delay that tourists have to undergo at customs and immigration
checkpoints because of this threat and such proves very uncomfortable. The
Caribbean governments are also forced to employ additional intelligence and
security personnel to eliminate the threat of terrorism within their countries. It
is very expensive to employ these new securities and so this put further
constraints on the islands’ drive to develop tourism in their respective areas.
- Some of the Caribbean countries lack direct air access from their major
tourist generating markets on account of the fact that there are no scheduled
carriers servicing the route and sometimes, the island’s airports are not big
enough to accommodate the larger aircraft.