KINGSTON, Sept. 10 (JIS):
Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, says the Government will continue to create the enabling environment for technology and innovation.
This, he said, is being done by ensuring that Jamaicans have access to the Internet through the e-learning initiatives, and community access points. He noted that an island-wide broadband network is also being rolled out.
“We are playing a role in facilitating the build out of the infrastructure and that really is no different from the same way you build a highway. But the highway is not just a road, it is a highway to economic development and it is the same way we see the island-wide broadband network that we are doing,” he stated.
Mr. Robinson was responding to questions during a roundtable discussion at the 2nd annual Venture Capital Conference held on Tuesday (September 9), at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
He noted that the Government has been undertaking initiatives to support and foster innovation such as the Tablets in Schools Initiative and the ‘Start Up Jamaica’ programme.
“We are rolling out those tablets and (while) it may be primarily educational, I think it will also facilitate this culture of innovation and entrepreneurship once it is used properly. You’re going to have 25,000 kids having tablets in the next month or so and that opens up a whole set of other opportunities for entrepreneurs, who programme content etcetera,” he said.
Students and teachers at 38 learning institutions are being equipped with tablet computers under the pilot of the Tablets in Schools programme, which got underway at the start of the new academic year.
Start-up Jamaica is a five-year programme, which will provide business support for young innovators and entrepreneurs to grow their ideas into marketable products and services, thus contributing to economic growth, increasing employment, and generating foreign exchange.
Mr. Robinson, in the meantime, stated that infusing courses centred on innovation and entrepreneurship into the school curriculum will create more highly qualified technology graduates for the job market.
“We have to start at the schools so those kids, ages 15 and 16, can recognise that there are (other) options… you can build and develop your own business and your own ideas…and the more we can infuse it earlier on in our education system, the better,” he said.
The 2nd annual Venture Capital Conference, organised by the Development Bank of Jamaica, was held under the theme: ‘Towards a Dynamic Ecosystem…Linking Capital, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Growth’.
PREPARE FOR PRICE SPIKES AT THE PUMP: OPEC TO MAKE MAJOR GAS PRODUCTION CUTS
#TurksandCaicos, October 5, 2022 – A significant jump in gas prices may be looming as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to cut production in its meeting on October 5th. Gas prices rose more than $2 dollars on Tuesday in anticipation of the meeting.
Gas prices had soared to incredible highs in early 2022 following sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and western countries subsequently shunning the oil and gas provided by the Eurasian nation.
Gas Prices in the Turks and Caicos rose more than $1.68 reaching highs of $8.10 and power bills in June caused widespread panic and outrage in residents, prompting calls for the government to investigate and birthing forgiveness programs for the swaths of families unable to pay the bills in full.
The TCI has still not quite recovered from the ultra high prices earlier this year based on the government’s monthly gas price index and $2.5 million was just allocated to put a cap on fuel prices for domestic customers.
Now according to analysts at Reuters, oil production may be cut up to 1 million barrels per day. Currently oil prices are trading well below 100 dollars but all eyes are on the OPEC meeting to be held in Vienna.
With demand staying strong across the globe as the Russia-Ukranian war drags on, quarantines and lockdowns become a thing of the past, and upcoming sanctions to Russian crude oil consumers must brace for what analysts say will likely be a jump, once again, in prices.
Virginia Mourns Black Community Leader Murdered on Vacation in Turks & Caicos
#TurksandCaicos, October 5, 2022 – Kent Carter was an army veteran and the first Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Arlington Virginia. An established realtor in his native US and described as a ‘stand up guy’, Kent was an active leader in his community— until last Sunday when criminals in an effort to take out rivals, uncaring of innocents, sprayed the vehicle he was traveling with bullets.
For months Turks and Caicos community leaders have been warning that gun violence is robbing us of our bright young men, now another nation has been robbed as well. It has been confirmed that Carter leaves behind a wife and at least one young daughter.
Kent’s death was confirmed by the NAACP Arlington Branch on Wednesday in a notification of loss.
“NAACP Arlington Branch mourns the tragic and unexpected loss of our 1st Vice President, Kent Carter, who passed away Sunday, October 2, 2022, while vacationing abroad.”
In the immediate hours after the announcement the story was picked up by multiple major American media houses including Fox News and tributes began to pour in. Virginia Senator Don Beyer described it as a ‘terrible loss’. Across the board from political organizations to county board members, to homeowners whom he had helped close on properties the environment was one of shock and disbelief.
Magnetic Media has observed the effect Carter, who described himself as a proud ‘girl dad’ had on the individuals around him. He participated in food drives, black upliftment sessions and was a regular vacationer to other places worldwide. Carter was not only a social activist he was a top realtor in his area and his personal social media is filled with smiling photos of families and individuals he helped to make homeowners, calls to action and social outreach programs. The outpouring of grief was astounding.
His neighbor Robert York described him to Fox News.
“Just a really great, standup guy, you know? One of the best neighbors you could have,” he said “He and his family, just really great neighbors. So this is just incredibly sad news.”
After enjoying a jet ski ride on Sunday October 2nd he was headed back to his hotel when gunmen rained bullets on the vehicle he was traveling in with when the operators of the rides who were themselves the target of the attack.
Indiscriminately cruel are the words that must be used to describe these criminals to whom innocence has proved to be no deterrent and proximity enough for a death sentence.
The tragedy raises tough questions. How many of our young men are involved in the ‘gun and drug trade’ which National Security officials have fingered for the attack? How deeply are they embedded? How many of them are on the streets in reasonable day jobs?
The government was aware of the issue at least as weeks ago at the very onset of this violence the premier rejected the idea that the young men involved in crime were not able to support themselves saying rather that they were trying to take shortcuts to wealth.
“In this microwave generation where instant gratification surpasses everything else there are too many young people who don’t want to go through the process and work hard. If you’re not prepared to do it the old-fashioned way and to be honest you’re making a shortcut that could potentially end in an early grave.”
Photo Credit: NAACP Arlington Branch
Statement on Incident Involving Visitor on 2nd October 2022
#TurksandCaicos, October 4, 2022 – The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) regrets the unfortunate incident involving the death of a visitor to our islands on 2nd October 2022. The incident which occurred was accidental and not one in which the victim was targeted. While the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police force (RTCIPF) continues their investigations, we wish to reassure the public (citizens, residents, and visitors alike) that the safety and security of all, is our top priority.
The TCI has long established itself as a safe destination for visitors from around the world. Evidence of this can be seen in the countless awards the destination has won, most recently at the World Travel Awards. Our commitment to providing safety to residents and visitors is unwavering. The government will continue to work with local authorities including the RTCIPF and our partners in the international community to protect residents and visitors alike.
The incident which occurred on the date mentioned above is one that is rare and does not reflect who we are as a people. On behalf of the government and people of these islands, we extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the victim.
As this matter is now an on-going police investigation, further statements will be referred to RTCIPF.
The TCI remains a safe destination and the government is working assiduously for it to remain as such.
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