BAHAMAS: PM Minnis ‘Tables’ Administration’s White Paper on Over-the-Hill Development Partnership Initiative

#Bahamas, April 26, 2018 – Nassau – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis tabled his Administration’s White Paper on the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative in the House of Assembly Wednesday, signaling the start of two months of broad-based consultations.

A Town Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at the C.R. Walker Senior High School where the Prime Minister and members of his team will present the White Paper on the creation of an Economic Empowerment Zone to restore the Over-the-Hill Community (The OTH).

Officials will outline how the tax incentives and nuances of the programme will work to provide economic relief to the inner-city, in addition to the targeted programmes and initiatives to improve the lives of all residents in the inner-city communities.

The White Paper lays out the Minnis Administration’s policy objectives for the rejuvenation of the Over-the-Hill Community which was once “the epicentre of cultural and social development” in New Providence, particularly for those Bahamians of African descent.

The tabling of the document in the House of Assembly Wednesday (April 25, 2018) and the subsequent consultations that will take place, allows the Minnis Administration to begin the process of fulfilling a promise made prior to taking over the administration of governance, to “transform our inner-city communities in ways only dreamt about.”

Launched on December 4, 2017, with the distribution of tablets at the Willard Patton Pre-School, the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative (also known as the Over-the-Hill Rejuvenation Programme) is part of the Minnis Administration’s strategy of improving the lives and livelihoods of Over-the-Hill Communities.

Developed and facilitated by officials of the Economic Development and Planning Unit, Office of the Prime Minister, the Programme “strikes at the heart” of many of the problems facing inner-city communities and residents such as hard economic times and high incidences of crime and poverty that are exacerbated by poor infrastructure, the abandonment of the area by many traditional families and the increasing impoverishment of the environment by dilapidated housing and illegal garbage and waste disposal.

The Initiative is built on six pillars that include: Social Empowerment (through the implementation of Anti-poverty policies and practices); Economic Empowerment (through the creation of jobs and ownership opportunities for Bahamians), and Rejuvenation, improving the physical surroundings, including upgrades to historical and cultural assets.

Other initiatives include the Use of Smart, Green Technology; and the Empowerment of the Youth and Elderly by investing in social interventions.

“I am humbled to present this document to the Bahamian people,” Prime Minister Minnis told House Members.  “In 2014, I uttered the words: ‘We can transform our inner city communities in ways only dreamt about.’  Upon becoming Prime Minister, it was therefore my time to act and not just to dream. This has been a key priority of the government.”


By: Matt Maura

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