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BAHAMAS: Minister Thompson — Gov’t. to launch High Tech Summer Training Program

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#Freeport, Grand Bahama, June 21, 2018 – Bahamas – The Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister, will launch a program that will allow 150 students in Grand Bahama and Nassau to take part in an innovative High Tech Summer Training Program.

“Over the next three summers and before they graduate high school, they would have obtained IT certifications,” said Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson.

“The certifications which they will obtain will be in Python Development, Website Development, Java Script, Linux Fundamentals, Network Certification and others. We are focused on training and capacity building for a digital economy.”

According to Minister Thompson, the program, which was the brainchild of the Prime Minister, will begin on the 27th of this month.  The announcement came during Minister Thompson’s address at the opening ceremonies of the first Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, at Grand Lucayan resort on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.  The conference will close on Friday, June 22.

Minister Thompson told conference delegates that The Bahamas is in the final stages of completing its framework for blockchain and cryptocurrency and will closely monitor the discussions and recommendations from professionals and panelists at the 2018 conference.

“Over the next three days we seek to realize our goal of facilitating investments, starting and developing companies, and building business relationships with Blockchain technology companies,” said Minister Thompson.

“We hope that through this conference we see the establishment Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and FinTech enterprises, which we anticipate will transform financial services in The Bahamas and continue to do so globally.

The Minister said that the conference is truly a historic event and one that is in line with the government’s overall goal for Grand Bahama.

“Upon taking office last year, this government dedicated itself to making The Bahamas a premier place to do business. We firmly believe that Grand Bahama Island is uniquely suited to become an internationally recognized technology and innovation hub.

“As such, we have set out to establish Grand Bahama as this region’s Silicon Valley.”

Minister Thompson noted that in November of last year, the Office of the Prime Minister (Grand Bahama) hosted its first Technology Summit, which was instrumental in beginning the strategic planning process of building a technology sector for The Bahamas. He said that the government has since begun implementing recommendations of the Steering Committee.

The hosting of the Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference is the coming to life of one of those recommendations.

“Over the past year, we have made significant progress on this Technology Hub initiative,” said Minister Thompson. “The Committee has met and has provided the government with a strategic plan on how we move forward.

“Our Prime Minister, who has been Grand Bahama’s champion, has led a delegation on a Tech Trade Mission to Austin, Texas, to meet with Tech Giants. The Commercial Enterprise Act has been passed and Technology companies have already been fast tracked and approved.  We have formed an investment unit in the OPM Grand Bahama, focusing on investor white glove treatment particularly for technology companies.  These officers are on site and ready to assist local and international investors. We are focused on cutting down the approval time for applications with a goal of a 30-day approval process.

“The Ministry of Finance has embarked on a Digital transformation process of government which will bring immediate change for our citizens.  We have also attracted major technology company conferences.  For example Dell has communicated that over 1000 employees will be in The Bahamas for their 2019 conference.  We have also seen the recent opening of GIBC Digital who has already begun hiring and training a total of 50 Bahamians and will officially open this month.”

Minister Thompson said it is his belief that Grand Bahama is well on its way to becoming ‘the’ premier place to do business. He welcomed investors to dialogue with the government to set up business on the island and find their second home in Grand Bahama.

 

By: Andrew Coakley (BIS)

Photo Caption: Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson was one of the main speakers at the opening of the Bahamas Blockchain Cryptocurrency Conference on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at the Grand Lucayan.

(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

 

 

 

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BFN urges Bahamians to pay attention to hunger ‘crisis’

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Great Commission Ministries thanks network for nearly a decade of support

 

#TheBahamas, September 26, 2022 – Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) director, Mario Carey, is making an urgent plea to the public to pay attention to the hunger crisis that many face in The Bahamas.

Carey made the comments as he and BFN Executive Director Archdeacon James Palacious paid a visit to Great Commission Ministries, one of nearly 100 feeding centres that BFN regularly supports and a beneficiary of the network for nearly 10 years.

“It’s sad and shocking to see the extent of this issue in The Bahamas,” said Carey.

“This is a crisis that isn’t being adequately addressed. How is it that in The Bahamas so many people go hungry every day and it’s such a struggle to feed them?”

The plea came just days ahead of the BFN’s inaugural golf tournament, ‘Tee Off for Hunger’ which BFN hopes will raise funds to provide more than 50,000 meals in the fight against hunger.

In recent months, BFN has been providing more than 70,000 meals per month to the most vulnerable in The Bahamas. And Palacious said the hunger problem in the country continues to be a dire one.

Palacious said the demand BFN is facing has remained steadily high, particularly as Bahamians continue to struggle with an increasing cost of living and continued high unemployment.

“It’s concerning to see the extent of the need in our country,” said Palacious.

“And at the Bahamas Feeding Network, we do all we can to provide assistance, but the demand is great and ceaseless. We deeply appreciate and ask for the continued support of the business community and the public at large to be able to carry on our work in these difficult times.”

Bishop Walter Hanchell, founder and president of Great Commission Ministries, said the organization has been seeing a sustained increase in people seeking help with the basic necessities in recent months.

Great Commission Ministries provides hot meals to roughly 500 people each day, in addition to distributing meals to the sick and shut-in, as well as the provision of grocery packages to struggling families.

Hanchell, who has been helping to feed Bahamians for over three decades, said the past few months have been challenging, as more and more new faces show up seeking assistance. Although the organization receives monetary and in-kind support, the need frequently outweighs the supply.

“Every day you see it,” said Hanchell. “And we are seeing more middle-class people who are now struggling. We help as many as we can, but of course we have limited resources.”

Carey said Hanchell’s observations point clearly to a worsening problem.

“The thing is, this is just one organization, and there are hundreds of them,” said Carey.

The Bahamas Feeding Network spends over $120,000 on its monthly efforts. And Palacious said a generous patron who covers the network’s monthly rent helps to ensure that just a small percentage of donations goes towards administration costs.

Carey said now is the time for everyone to take the issue of hunger in The Bahamas seriously.

“This is beatable,” he said. “We can beat this if people buy into it and everyone makes a contribution.”

Hanchell echoed his sentiments, noting that homelessness is another serious issue that he is working to combat, with plans underway to construct a 100-bed shelter next year.

“We are going to be asking a lot of corporate Bahamas, and the government and private citizens to make that happen,” he said.

Hanchell added, “In November we celebrate 35 years of nonstop ministry and we thank God for the Bahamas Feeding Network and all that they have done to support us over the years. They have been a tremendous blessing.

“It’s not been an easy road but the Lord has been with us.”

 

Photo Caption: Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) representatives visit long-time beneficiary Great Commission Ministries. L-R: Great Commission Ministries Elder Mina Hanchell, Great Commission Ministries President Bishop Walter Hanchell, BFN Executive Director Archdeacon James Palacious, BFN Director Mario Carey, Aventus Ventures CEO Kevin Hobbs, Great Commission Ministries Operations Manager Maxine Bethel

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Da Rocks’ Jonquel Jones and Sun aim to repeat win in bid for WNBA Championship

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#USA, September 18, 2022 – Jonquel Jones of Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama power forward and centre for the Suns had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in a victorious and glorious effort against the Las Vegas Aces on Friday night. The Connecticut Suns holding on in game three, which could have been elimination if that score went the Aces way.

Now, on ESPN Sunday Jones is hoping for another win and a tie of the series which is a best of game five.

The Sun are now 4-0 in elimination games in the playoffs so far this postseason.

There was other good news on the weekend for Bahamian Jonquel, as she was named an All-WNBA Second Team selection.  Jones scored 126 overall, receiving 12 first team votes and 22 second team votes which came as no surprise to many.  Jonquel leads the Suns in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots.  She averages 14.6 points per game, ranking in the top 20 in the WNBA for scoring.

Add to the road Jonquel is still on for WNBA Champion and historic Bahamian athlete, as a member of the All- WNBA First Team, she will receive $10,300 and each member of the Second Team will receive $5,150.

The Bahamas continues to be proud of this outstanding player.

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Tourism, Investments & Aviation Minister I. Chester Cooper Elected Vice Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization

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#TheBahamas, September 16, 2022 –  The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, was elected to continue to serve as a vice chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) during the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism Meetings this week.

DPM Cooper is leading a delegation which includes Latia Duncombe, Acting Director General (ADG) and Dr Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Acting Director of Aviation, to the four-day CTO Business Meetings which are taking place in the Cayman Islands 12-15 September 2022.

“I am grateful and honoured to serve in this capacity on behalf of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the entire Caribbean region,” DPM Cooper said.

“It is important that we continue to forge deeper relations with our tourism counterparts and support each other as we aim for full economic recovery. It is my hope that ongoing efforts will enhance our tourism product across the region and position the Caribbean as the most desirable destination year-round.”

In his role as CTO Vice Chairman, DPM Cooper will provide updates regarding the region’s performance and developments.

The CTO is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising over 24 member countries and territories and provides support to those members in marketing, sustainable tourism, communications, and research & information technology. This year’s conference focuses on regional recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for the future of tourism.

CTO Business Meetings have been on hold since 2020, making this meeting the organisation’s first in-person event following the onset of the pandemic.

For more information, visit Bahamas.com.

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