Jamaica News: The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) will continue to invest in Port Royal as it seeks to return the seaside town to its former glory and enable the area to contribute in a significant way to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
This was the word from CMU President, Professor Fritz Pinnock, as he addressed a service of thanksgiving in celebration of Maritime Awareness Week at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church in the historic town on Sunday (September 23). “The overall goal of the university is to transform the town into the economically vibrant place it once was… through education and training,” he said.
He informed that the CMU will be reserving scholarships for qualified residents to pursue programmes of study at the university, thus ensuring that they are part of the process of change.
He said that the university will also be assisting the community to transform a football field into a stadium to promote wholesome extracurricular activities, and will continue to support the Royal Basic School, which it has adopted.
The university has established a campus in the town that offers degree programmes in customs, freight forwarding and immigration; employed residents during the refurbishing of the campus and offered free Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) classes to residents.
Through public-private partnership, the CMU has established a residential facility for students at the old Admiralty House in Port Royal, which has enhanced economic activity in the town.
Professor Pinnock and Dr. Ibrahim Ajaguna, in their 2014 publication entitled: ‘Piracy to Transshipment: Jamaica’s Journey to Becoming a Logistics Hub’, highlighted Jamaica as a maritime country and the role of Port Royal as the pioneering mercantile hub of the Caribbean.
The area was dubbed the most economically important English port in the Americas in the 17th century.
The physical features of Port Royal made it a strategic location, with flat topography, safe and protected geographic space, and deep waters close to shore, making it easy for the servicing of large ships in port.
Maritime Awareness Week is being observed from September 23 to 28 under the theme ‘IMO 70: Better Shipping for a better future in recognition of the 70th anniversary of the International Maritime Organization’.
Source: JIS News