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Launch of Second Annual GB Technology Summit



#Freeport, GB, October 13, 2018 – Bahamas – Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson, one of the pioneers of the Grand Bahama Technology Summit, said during the second such summit, focus will be on showcasing education programs and highlighting the efforts and achievements of government and the Grand Bahama Technology Hub Steering Committee over the last year.

“In particular, we will highlight the Ministry of Education’s ICT plans for our schools, which recently signed a deal for technology upgrade and provision of tablets for teachers and students across the nation,” said Minister Thompson.

“We will also highlight BTVI’s ICT courses and certificates, which are now offered to Bahamians free of charge.  And we will see the first ICT trained high school students who completed the first phase of their summer certification course, and our new programme with the YMCA to provide coding certification to 100 young Grand Bahamians.”

The Minister’s remarks came during an official launch of the Second Annual Grand Bahama Technology Summit in a grand affair press conference at Pelican Bay resort on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.  The Tech Summit is slated to take place in Freeport, Grand Bahama, November 14-16, 2018 at the Grand Lucayan.

During the press conference, Minister Thompson noted that one of the most exciting aspects will be the unique opportunity for registered participants to take part in certificate courses offered by high-level international technology companies.

Availability for these courses will be limited based on prerequisite training, as well as class size capacity.

“We will be hosting executives from tech giant CISCO Systems, which is another global technology company with over 70,000 employees,” said Minister Thompson.  “We will have the benefit of CISCO Networks Academy Training Modules which will provide training in the area of Networks and Programming.

“In addition, we will also have a team from CompTIA ( is the Computing Technology Industry Association, a non-profit trade association, issuing professional certifications for the information technology (IT) industry.  It is considered one of the IT industry’s top trade associations.  They will be providing Training modules in Corporate Digital Transformation and Cyber Security.

“We are further pleased to partner with local title sponsors ALIV and GIBC, Our special innovation partner sponsor Grand Bahama Power Company, and our gold sponsor the Grand Bahama Port Authority.”

Exhibitors expected to be at this year’s convention include FowlCo Logistics, Buckeye Bahamas Hub, Hutchinson Ports, Freeport Container Port, Grand Bahama Airport Company, Freeport Harbour Company, Seagrape Inc. (Nassau) and Unified Technologies (USA).

Minister Thompson said he was particularly pleased to note that during the summit, he, along with all Grand Bahamians, will get to hear from one of the summit’s innovation partners, GB Power Company, which will unveil its renewable energy plan for Grand Bahama and will highlight and showcase the use of electric vehicles on the island.

“We are also hoping to hear how Grand Bahama Power will bring down the cost of electricity on Grand Bahama,” quipped Minister Thompson.  “So I’m sure that everyone in Grand Bahama will be attending the Second Annual Tech Summit.

In addition to the impressive line-up of international speakers expected at this year’s summit, Minister Thompson said, there will also be a lineup of well-versed, professional Bahamians in the field of technology from around the globe who will also be presenters.

Registration for the Second Annual Grand Bahama Technology Summit is now opened, and interested persons can log on to or visit the official Facebook Page, Grand Bahama Technology Summit, to register.


By Andrew Coakley

Release: BIS

Photo Caption: Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson, was the keynote speaker at the launch of the Second Annual Grand Bahama Technology Summit, on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at Pelican Bay resort.  The conclave is set for November 14-16 at the Grand Lucayan.


(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)



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Bahamas News

Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell



#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning  of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.

Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.

On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.



Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases



October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at:

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World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes



Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

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