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Reggae artiste Taurus Riley was part of the BOJ's inflation campaign which won the Central Banking Publications award. (Photo: BOJ)

Bank of Jamaica wins international communications award

Reggae artiste Taurus Riley was part of the BOJ's inflation campaign which won the Central Banking Publications award. (Photo: BOJ)

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has won an international award for its communication strategy, the central bank announced yesterday.

The Bank of Jamaica in downtown Kingston, Jamaica (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

The BOJ received the inaugural “Best Communication Initiative Award” from Central Banking Publications at its 7th annual awards.

Central Banking Publications is a British-based organization that specializes in market intelligence and journalistic coverage of the global central banking community. It also provides training seminars, stages conferences and presents annual awards to central banks, bankers and other entities in the financial sector.

“However fun or innovative it may seem, the communication programme is firmly based on economics, and for making sure we maintain that integrity.”

– Communications Director at the Bank of Jamaica, Tony Morrison

The publication said the BOJ’s communication strategies “broke the central banking mould with a reggae-inspired communications strategy aimed at educating the public on inflation targeting and the country’s transition from a fixed exchange rate regime.”

Further, it added “Since December 2018, the central bank has called upon local reggae stars to produce a series of tracks aimed at educating the public about the importance of inflation and the Bank of Jamaica’s new four to six per cent” stating “That middle ground is what we want, ’cause low, stable and predictable inflation is to the economy like what the bassline is to reggae music” was a verse in one of the songs now viewed over 55,000 times on YouTube.”

Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Richard Byles

Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Richard Byles said “We are thrilled to learn of the decision of the Central Banking Awards Committee to name Bank of Jamaica the winner of Central Banking’s Communications Initiative Award. We sincerely thank Central Banking for the official recognition.” He continued “Our staff – and indeed Jamaica – will be overjoyed when the news become public. We congratulate our team for leading this initiative. Bank of Jamaica’s communication strategy seeks to break down complex economic matters around inflation targeting, including using our popular art form, reggae, to carry the message. It is our desire to continue to use creative and innovative ways to communicate in a manner where every Jamaican can better understand and support the measures we continue to put in place to further strengthen the Jamaican economy for the benefit of all.”

Adding to Byles’ remarks, Communications Director at the BOJ, Tony Morrison, said “We are still in the early stages of what was always intended to be a long-term and hopefully permanent communication programme, with a lot more work to do, so to receive a global award at this time, on the heels of all the international attention the programme has already received, is gratifying.”

Morrison who conceptualised and led the programme, added “However fun or innovative it may seem, the communication programme is firmly based on economics, and for making sure we maintain that integrity, I’m especially grateful for the support of Deputy Governor Wayne Robinson and his Research Division as well as the moral support of the IMF. As a proud Jamaican, of course, it also means a lot to gain international recognition for my country.”

The Central Banking Awards were judges by a panel including members of the Central Banking editorial and editorial advisory teams, which includes former central bank governors and Nobel-prize winning economists.