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BAHAMAS: Minister Thompson says GB is in state of readiness as it braces for Hurricane Dorian

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#Freeport, GB, August 29, 2019 – Bahamas – The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in Grand Bahama has been activated, as a potentially category three storm rolls towards the Northern Bahamas.

Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson met with all members of the Grand Bahama Disaster Preparedness Committee, along with representatives from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) on Wednesday afternoon in the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Committee, which consists of representatives from all of the relevant agencies in the country, gave the Minister a report of their readiness as Hurricane Dorian leaves behind a wave of destruction in Puerto Rico and turns its sights on parts of the Northern Bahamas.

“We are in a state of preparedness, getting ready for the effects of what could possibly be a very strong hurricane,” Minister Thompson told members of the media during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon, following the meeting with the Disaster Preparedness Committee.

“This hurricane we must take seriously. We take the attitude that we will pray, but also prepare at the same time. We have met with all of the key stakeholders and we want the public to be in a state of readiness. This storm is not to be taken lightly.

“We want to send the message to the residents of Grand Bahama and to the Northern Bahamas to take special heed to all of the alerts and all of the news relating to the passing of this hurricane. We urge residents to begin preparing their houses and their businesses to ensure that they are secured.”

As to the latest updates, on Wednesday afternoon Hurricane Dorian was passing Puerto Rico and is expected to skirt the Southern Bahamas, as it moved northwest. A turn to the west is expected to take place on Saturday, which will take it right over Abaco and Grand Bahama. During that time, it is expected to be a category 3 hurricane.

“All indications are that the islands of Abaco, Grand Bahama, the Berry Islands and even Bimini will experience strong gale force and hurricane force winds by Sunday morning,” said Shavon Moxey-Bonimy, Chief Meteorologist at the Freeport Weather Office. “Residents in these islands to make sure and prepare now for this hurricane.”

Minister Thompson called on residents to pay close attention and to heed the advice from NEMA and the Royal Bahamas Police Force when it comes to information regarding evacuations. While evacuations in some areas are not mandatory, Minister Thompson noted that those who know that their homes are in flood prone zones should evacuate ahead of the storm passing over Grand Bahama.

“We also want to assure the public that NEMA has been preparing for months and they have been in a state of readiness for months, preparing for this time,” said Minister Thompson.

Administrators in Grand Bahama who were on hand for the press conference urged all Grand Bahama residents to take heed to the warnings given and to do the necessary preparations immediately.

“I want to echo the sentiments of the Minister for Grand Bahama and to say to those who are residents of Grand Bahama and the surrounding Cays, that even though NEMA and the Grand Bahama Disaster Committee have done our part, we need the residents to do their part to ensure their safety,” said Don Cornish, Administrator for Freeport.

“One of the things that we’ve done over the years is we’ve trained persons for these sorts of situations. We’ve trained First Responders and needs assessment responders, as well as shelter management managers.”

Ms. Karen Seymour, Manager for Tourism on Grand Bahama, said that they have already made contact with all of the hotels, resorts and timeshare facilities on the island, keeping them abreast of preparedness plans.

With over 1,000 visitors on the island, Ms. Seymour said that they are in contact with the airlines and the ferry services to help visitors change reservations and leave the island before the storm approaches, as a part of the Ministry’s safety measures for their visitors.

Successive meetings will continue on Thursday and Friday between the Office of the Prime Minister, NEMA and representatives of the GB Disaster Preparedness Committee, as the storm approaches. 

“We have been here before, we have done this before, we have gone through these situations before and we are in a state of readiness, but we want persons to be vigilant and to be prepared,” said Minister Thompson.

“As I said, we will pray for the best, but we will be prepared for the worst.”

By Andrew Coakley

Release: BIS 

Photo Caption: Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson (centre) urged residents of Grand Bahama to begin making all of the necessary tasks to prepare for the passage of hurricane Dorian, during a press conference at the Office on the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon, August 28, 2019.  Before meeting with the press, Minister Thompson met with representatives of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and with members of the Grand Bahama Disaster Preparedness Committee, many of whom accompanied the Minister during the press conference.

(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

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AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024) set to strengthen Africa-CARICOM linkages  

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Speakers at ACTIF will include global superstars Viola Davis, Serena Williams, Didier Drogba and African and CARICOM Heads of States

 

Nassau, Bridgetown, Georgetown, May 28, 2024 – Excitement mounts as The Bahamas prepares to host the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) and the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) from 12 – 14 June 2024 in The Bahamas. Themed “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa,” ACTIF2024 is set to forge significant pathways for economic prosperity between Africa and the Caribbean.

Other distinguished speakers will include Heads of State from seven CARICOM countries, former Prime Ministers, Ministers of Trade, Economic Development and Finance, Dr. Roger W Ferguson, Former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, USA, Prof. Andreas Klasen, Professor of International Business and Director of the Institute for Trade and Innovation at Offenburg, and many more.

Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank, said: “We are witnessing shifts in the global economic landscape and the trade strategies of major economies, making it imperative for African and Caribbean nations to unite for mutual prosperity. The Afreximbank Annual Meetings and AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum in The Bahamas will serve as a strategic platform to enhance our economic bonds. These events indicate a vibrant assertion of our shared destiny. We are poised to harness the dynamic economic growth within our regions, enhancing our collective resilience and prosperity.”

The event promises to be a pivotal platform for high-level discussions on economic development and regional integration.

Building on the successes of the inaugural AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum held in Barbados in 2022 and the gathering last year in Guyana, this year’s Forum in The Bahamas will further elevate and expand upon the discussions and initiatives previously set in motion. ACTIF2023, which focused on strengthening economic bonds and creating new investment opportunities, sets a precedent for meaningful collaboration between Africa and the CARICOM nations.

Afreximbank invites industry leaders, trade organisations and other stakeholders in the CARICOM region to participate and attend.

Registration is now open at https://2024.afreximbankevents.com.

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International Community must address conflict between Israel and Iran

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

With tensions between Israel and Iran at an all-time high, a United Nations affiliated group is urging for calm and dialogue as their violent actions can cause tragic devastation on innocent civilians.

According to Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an organisation that is dedicated to promoting peace through civilian-led initiatives, “it is a clear indication that the greatest victims of war are innocent civilians. 

How could those lost lives ever be brought back? What could compensate for the outcry of children and the anguish of the youth in devastated dwellings?,” the group noted in a media statement, adding that  the international community should  take “decisive measures” to address the conflict.

It is also advocating for the establishment of “comprehensive international laws” to safeguard peace for future generations. “HWPL remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering dialogue and reconciliation, offering hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and Iran,” the group said.

HWPL is a non-profit organisation, with a mission to promoting peace through education, and advocacy. It has a global network spanning over 170 countries. The organisation works to build bridges of understanding and cooperation, striving towards a world free from conflict and violence.

According to reports in various international media outlets, Iran and its militant partners on April 13 initiated a large-scale attack against Israel through launching several hundred ballistic missiles and drones. The international society expressed concerns over the possibility of war between the two states, since Tehran’s direct attack on Israel was unprecedented.

Experts have pointed out that the attack on Israel was Iran’s response to an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria on April 1, which killed seven military advisers including three senior commanders.

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CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference Presents Dynamic Study Tours to Promote Sustainable Practices

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The Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC 2024), slated for April 22-24, 2024 in Grenada, will feature a series of exclusive study tours aligned with the conference theme, The 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership. These tours have been thoughtfully curated to offer participants an enriching and unique opportunity to delve into innovative sustainability practices and glean insights intended to catalyze transformative action for a more resilient and sustainable Caribbean.

STC 2024 is jointly hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Government of Grenada, through the Grenada Tourism Authority, and will welcome a wide range of participants, including government officials, tourism professionals, environmentalists, members of the media and researchers.

This valuable addition to the conference will allow participants to visit various sites and interact with local communities, gaining firsthand knowledge of best practices in sustainable tourism management, conservation efforts, and community engagement. 

Study Tour Options:

  • The Underwater Sculpture Park/Grand Anse Artificial Reef Tour: Led by Aquanauts Grenada, guests dive into the intricate ecosystem of the Underwater Sculpture Park and Grand Anse Artificial Reef and learn about sustainable practices aimed at protecting and preserving these vital marine habitats.
  • Grand Etang Nature Tour: Dr. Guido Marcelle, an esteemed botanist, guides participants through the lush rainforests surrounding Grand Etang Lake to explore Grenada’s rich biodiversity and gain valuable insights into rainforest conservation efforts.
  • The Rasta Roots Expedition: Immersive Journey into Rastafari Culture and Lands: Led by Ras Ginga, an elder of the Nyahbinghi Tribe, guests experience the Rastafari culture firsthand, learning about organic living practices and farming practices of Grenada’s Rastafari community, complete with a taste of local culinary delights.
  • Mt. Parnassus Plantation and Cocoa Pod Botanicals: Experts Michael Jessamy and Tricia Simon guide participants through the cocoa and spice plantation, uncovering innovative applications of these crops in cosmetics and health products.

The conference’s diverse program, comprising presentations, panel discussions, workshops, study tours and networking opportunities, aims to foster collaboration and facilitate knowledge sharing to advance sustainable tourism in the Caribbean region.

Event sponsors and partners include interCaribbean Airways; Royal Caribbean International; Silversands Grenada; Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada’s newest resort; and LINK Strategic Partners, an international strategic communications and community engagement consulting firm with offices across the U.S. and in Manchester, England.

 Visit caribbeanstc.com for further information about the conference and registration details. To learn more about the Grenada Tourism Authority, visit puregrenada.com.

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