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15,000 Youth To Benefit From US$20 Million Digital And Animation Project

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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.

Animation Training
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.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.

The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’

The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year.  Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.

While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home.  So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.

In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg.  The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.

Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.

This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.

 

Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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