Andrew Michael Holness (1972-): history-making prime minister
In acknowledgement of Black History Month, The Royal Gazette continues the publication of stories throughout February on African-American, Black Bermudian and global African people, events and institutions, and their contributions in history
Andrew Michael Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, was born on July 22, 1972, in Spanish Town, Jamaica, and named in honour of former prime minister Michael Manley to Morris Holness, a farmer and socialist, and Carol Harvey Williams, a civil servant. He has three brothers and two sisters. Holness graduated from St Catherine High School in Kingston in 1990 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Studies from The University of the West Indies in Mona in 1994, while he was the executive director in one of Jamaica’s oldest non-government organisations, the Voluntary Organisation for Uplifting Children. In 1996, he completed a Master of Science degree in Development Studies from UWI.
In 1997 at the age of 25, Holness was first elected as a Member of Parliament to represent the constituency of West Central St Andrew. Also, that year Holness married Juliet Landell, from St Catherine, and a member of the House of Representatives. They parented two children, Adam Holness and Andrew Holness II.
Holness was sworn in as Minister of Education in 2007. In addition, Holness instituted numerous programmes regarding literacy that spotlight Jamaica at a national level, including a Jamaica Teaching Council, National College for Education Leadership, and the National Education Trust. From 2011 to 2012, he was Head of Government, having succeeded former prime minister Bruce Golding. He led the Jamaica Labour Party and served as Leader of the Opposition in 2012 after losing at the polls.
In 2016, Holness at age 44, became the youngest elected prime minister in Jamaica’s history, the first born after independence was gained in 1962, and the ninth overall after the JLP defeated the People’s National Party at the polls, winning 32 seats compared with 31.
On September 3, 2020, Holness and the JLP won re-election by a landslide and he was sworn in for another term as Prime Minister of Jamaica. The JLP won 49 seats to the 14 won by the PNP.
“Administrator Samantha Power’s Meeting with Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Michael Holness,” https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/press-releases/mar-31-2022-administrator-samantha-power%E2%80%99s-meeting-prime-minister-jamaica-andrew; “Andrew Holness,” http://www.caribbeanelections.com/knowledge/biography/bios/holness_andrew.asp; “Andrew Michael Holness, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP Current Prime Minister,” https://jis.gov.jm/profiles/andrew-michael-holness/
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