Jamaica, monetary policy in reggae

Posted on Jul 27, 2021, 12:23 PM

In 2017, Jamaica’s central bank set an inflation-control target of 4% to 6% price increases per year. “We were at a crossroads. We had to explain this change to the people to avoid a failure, a lack of confidence and support for this reform. I had to design a public communication campaign, bigger and more daring than what we had done before ”explains Tony Morrison, the communications director of the Jamaican central bank at the Official Forum of Monetary and Financial Institutions (OMFIF) .

Two years later, with music being a universal vector of communication that affects the entire population, the central bank entrusted various reggae groups with the task of creating clips around the theme of inflation. “Neither too high nor too low, inflation must be stable and predictable” according to the chorus of a clip published last September on the Youtube account of the country’s central bank. Jamaican reggae star Tarrus Riley will also make his musical contribution to price stability and the country’s currency, which is losing 9% this year.

Inflation had reached nearly 20% at the time of the great financial crisis of 2008. It was 6.4% in 2020 and 4.3% last June. In 1992, it hit its record 80%.

The central bank will communicate more in the coming months on its digital currency launch project. A pilot project to test its viability will be launched in August with the support of the National Commercial Bank. The country is hoping for a launch of the currency next year. Something to inspire reggae groups.


After the publication of these clips “I spoke with the European and Indian central banks, which seemed to want to be inspired by us”, recalls Tony Morrison. In February, India’s central bank called on the talent of a Punjap rapper “Viruss” to warn people of the risks of cybercrime. The first central bank to use music in its communication was that of Norway. Its Governor Olsen presented the new 200 kroner banknotes.

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