KINGSTON, Sept. 10 (JIS):
BY: ALECIA SMITH-EDWARDS
Some 15,000 young Jamaicans are to benefit from employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the digital and animation industries under a US$20 million five-year project being undertaken by the Government.
Dubbed ‘Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries’ the project will target youngsters age 15 to 30 years in both urban and rural areas.
The funds are being provided by the World Bank, under a loan facility for which an agreement was signed with the Government of Jamaica on September 8, during a ceremony held at the downtown Kingston offices of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS).
Being implemented by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), the project seeks to build the skills of animators; establish training programmes; improve employability in the global online labour market; and fund a technology incubator called ‘Start Up Jamaica’, which will provide critical support to young technology entrepreneurs to bring ideas to market.
It involves collaboration among a number of ministries and agencies and private sector companies.
The animation component will include training of animators and the strengthening of existing programmes at selected institutions as well as support the establishment of a training programme to be delivered by the HEART Trust/NTA.
State Minister for MSTEM, Hon. Julian Robinson, told JIS News that the emphasis on training is important as the only issue preventing further growth of Jamaican animation companies is the availability of skilled personnel.
“So, we are going to be ramping up our training in animation, targeting not just the established institutions, but we want to get down to the grassroots. You have a lot of talented young Jamaicans, who have not necessarily been exposed to animation before, but who have the skills, who have the aptitude. We want to put them through a programme that will equip them to deliver animation content, and for many of them to become their own entrepreneurs,” he said.
Online Job Market
Under the online job component, young people will be able seek employment opportunities across the globe, utilising the Community Access Points (CAPS) established by MSTEM across the island, and at the HEART Trust/NTA centres in Manchester, Montego Bay, Papine and at the Garmex Academy on Marcus Garvey Drive.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, stated that the online market presents a unique opportunity for young Jamaicans, many of whom have high school diplomas and college degrees.
He said that through the virtual economy, the youth can access employment opportunities globally, “a solution that is attractive for small island states where the size of the local market hinders growth and job creation”.
Start Up Jamaica
A major part of the funding will go towards ‘Startup Jamaica,’ a Government initiative aimed at providing technical support to local entrepreneurs and innovators in the area of technology.
‘Start-up Jamaica’ is a public/private partnership for economic growth and development, which aims to help Jamaica’s innovators and entrepreneurs grow their business ideas into a product, thus increasing employment and access to foreign exchange.
The project will also focus on: ‘Skills and Capacity to Enhance Employability and Entrepreneurship’; Early Stage Investment for Tech Start-ups; Support to Science, Technology and Innovation; and Project Administration.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, in his remarks, stated that the project will provide an opportunity to “unleash the innovative and entrepreneurial talents of Jamaicans”.
“We have demonstrated time and time again… that we have first rate talent in animation and in the digital skills that will enable us to move up the value chain as far as participation in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the digital economy is concerned,” he stated.
Senior Social Development Specialist at the World Bank, Fabio Pittaluga said the project is “innovative not just for Jamaica but for us as an institution,” and has huge opportunities for the development of the digital economy in Jamaica.
“There is a huge capital of talented, capable creative young people, who can be a force of transformation for the economy, the digital world and the online virtual economy. The digital media could really be some of the means by which that raw talent can be harnessed and provide economic growth opportunities, foreign exchange opportunities and jobs for Jamaica,” he stated.
The ‘Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries’ project involves collaboration with the Ministries of Finance and Planning; Industry, Investment and Commerce; Education; Youth and Culture; the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ); Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), and the Office of the Prime Minister.
Private sector stakeholders, including JNBS, Lime, and Oasis500, will provide capital to finance start-ups, as well as non-monetary support.
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
Guyana to build regional food hub
#Guyana, September 29, 2023 – Guyana is making moves to become the primary food production center for the Caribbean, going ahead with plans to develop a USD$14 million regional food hub.
In fact, as reported by the Observer, the facility has already been identified on the country’s Soesdyke /Linden Highway.
“We want Guyana to be the food hub, the primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean don’t have. We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water,” he said, adding that with the multi-million dollar US investment, the country can, “modernise the infrastructure, and start ramping up the productions.”
Also, the Agriculture Minister pointed out that the project is geared to make for a more competitive local Agriculture industry as well as developing high-yielding varieties, pest-resistant and climate-resilient varieties.
Additionally, in the facility’s development, Guyana, Mustapha said, will work with Belize.
In fact, with more on Belize’s involvement, Dr. Ashni Singh, Finance Minister, informed that the Government is in talks with the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley about sourcing inputs from northern Brazil and transporting them through Guyana to Barbados and vice versa.
Singh also reportedly revealed that the project will help develop the growing logistics industry in Guyana.
Considering regional food import cost, with this development, Guyana is the leading Caribbean Community country pushing ahead with plans to reduce the multi-billion dollar regional food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, the Observer says.
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