Juan Antonio Briceño, affectionately known as Johnny Briceño (born July 17, 1960), is the fifth Belizean politician to serve as the Prime Minister of Belize. He served as leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) and the Leader of the Opposition, from 2008 to 2011. Previously, he was Deputy Prime Minister from 1998 to 2007. On February 8, 2016, Briceño again became Leader of the Opposition in Belize.
In 1993, Johnny Briceño was elected to the National Assembly as the representative for the Orange Walk Central division; in 1994 he ran in the municipal elections in Orange Walk Town and served as a member of the Town Council for two terms from 1994 to 2001. In 1994 he was elected Co-Chairman of the People’s United Party; in 1996 he was elected to one of the two top positions, as Deputy Party Leader and he became the youngest Belizean ever to become Deputy Leader of the People’s United Party. Briceño served as Deputy Party Leader from 1996 until 2008 when he resigned and offered himself as a candidate for Party Leader. During his years as Deputy Party Leader Briceño and the PUP won national elections in 1998 and in 2003 and as the leader in the northern region the Party won more than 50 percent of their seats in the national as well as in local elections.
A decade in government, Johnny Briceño served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Natural Resources and the Environment. He also assisted the Prime Minister with many of his international obligations.
The Rt. Hon. John Briceno was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Belize on 12 Novermber 2020. He is currently holds the portfolios of Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, Economic Development & Investment.
Honorable Eamon Courtenay was appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immgration of Belize since 13 Novermber 2020.
Over the years, Nigeria has maintained good bi-lateral relationship with Belize and since 1990 has been sending volunteers from pool of Nigeria technical aids corps which was overseen by the Nigeria High Commission in Jamaica and which has concurrent accreditation to Belize. To further deepen the bi-lateral relationship, Belize initiated a process to establish a presence in Nigeria and in 2010, both countries reached an agreement and a Consulate was opened in Abuja with Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Ifedi who was at that time a Professor and Coordinator of Public Sector Management at the University of Belize, appointed to represent Belize.
Since then, several cultural, educational and investments interest has been built, including the establishment of Nigeria-Belize Chamber of commerce which in tandem with the Consulate successfully hosted the First Lady of Belize, Her Excellency Mrs Kim Simplis-Barrow during her visit to Nigeria for the Africa First Ladies Conference and launching/Fund raising of her project The Inspiration Centre, Belize and held an investment opportunities discussions with the Beltraide, which has been yielding robust outcomes. To deepen cultural ties, Members of Belize contingents has twice featured prominently at the annual Cross River State Calabar Carnival. Educational Linkage program dicussions are at advance stages with several institutions in Nigeria.
All Nigerian citizens must have a Nigerian passport valid for the duration of their visit to Belize.