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Statement from BAMSI on the Passing of its Chairman, Tennyson Wells

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#Nassau, September 25, 2019 – Bahamas – The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) is saddened to announce today that its Chairman, Tennyson R. G. Wells – statesman, businessman and nationalist at heart – died early Tuesday morning.

Mr. Wells served as president of BAMSI and Chairman of the Board since early 2017, only recently stepping down in July 2019 as president, but continuing on as Chairman. Under Mr. Well’s leadership, BAMSI implemented a new operating model and production cycle that secured greater financial gains for the Institute and created a more stable and secure entity for its hundreds of employees.

During his time of service to BAMSI, Mr. Wells built a legacy of outstanding service, compassionate stewardship, fiscal responsibility and forward focus. He remained committed to streamlining the lnstitute’s financial output and maximizing its production to service a growing local market.

Supporting the staff and protecting their jobs was also a high priority for Mr. Wells. His aim was to stabilize and reorient the staff, allowing them to utilize their best strengths for the good of BAMSI.

As part of his legacy, his ultimate goal was to see Bahamians achieve, and as such, he was intent on instituting a succession plan for BAMSI. Mr. Wells put in place a strong leadership team that will continue to carry out his vision- that of fiscal responsibility, a strengthened academic focus, increased production and improved employee productivity.

Under his leadership, BAMSI implemented a Business to Business model that saw a substantial increase in sales, the start of a forecasting cycle, greater focus on research and the implementation of best agricultural practices.

As a Family Island man at heart, Mr. Wells was born in Deadman’s Cay, Long Island, he understood how important BAMSI was to the people of North Andros. Not only was BAMSI providing their children with the opportunity to gain a tertiary level education in the field of Agriculture and Marine Science right at their door step, but it also provided jobs for many Androsians and allowed the community to experience an economic boom. As BAMSI grew, so did the North Andros community, new infrastructure was put in place for the North Andros campus and an influx of students, lecturers and staff needed access to housing, retail outlets and other resources.

Based on his extensive professional and political experience, Mr. Wells was able to initiate a number of capital development projects for BAMSI, including the rebuilding of the main office in the BARTAD complex in Andros, and construction of a new packing house.

Among his more important initiatives, was the establishment of the “BAMSI Gives Back” Foundation. this was the multipronged opportunity for BAMSI to positively impact the community and its staff. Starting in the early 2019s, the Foundation was a way for the Institute to help employees connect the dots between the work they do and build a stronger, food secure community, where everyone has access to locally grown, fresh and nutritious foods. Ultimately, Mr. Wells believed the experience of donating to the less fortunate and most vulnerable in society would help build a more productive, more compassionate and engaged workforce.

Perhaps most importantly, he treasured his roots in Long Island and placed a premium on the strength and resilience of Bahamian ingenuity and creativity. He will be missed, and our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time.

Signed by Donald Symonette

Release: BAMSI

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Development Bank and Food and Agriculture Organization Partner to Empower Women-Led Businesses 

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Nassau Bahamas, 29 February 2024- The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) are excited to announce the signing of a groundbreaking contract aimed at advancing the Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund’s Building Back Equal project.

The initiative is jointly led by UN Women, FAO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It will support women-led businesses in the agriculture, creative, and tourism industries, and will serve as a regional pilot for best practices in gender equitable financing in advancing small island developing states (SIDS).

Gavin Christie, the Bahamas Development Bank’s Deputy Chairman, said, “This partnership signifies a significant step forward for BDB, FAO, and the nation at large. It underscores BDB’s dedication to driving inclusive economic development and gender equality, aligning with the sustainable development goals. As we support and empower women-led businesses, we are fostering social growth and sustainability in The Bahamas.”

Nicholas Higgs, the Bahamas Development Bank’s Managing Director, added, “The collaboration with FAO underlines our commitment to not only bolster the economy but to also ensure that women entrepreneurs are at the forefront of this advancement. By providing these targeted funds, we aim to catalyze a transformation in the industries that help form the backbone of our economy. This initiative is not just about financial investment, but also about investing in the skills and capabilities of women-led enterprises. The empowerment of women is a cornerstone for resilient and sustainable economies, and BDB is proud to lead by example. Through these efforts, we aspire to create a ripple effect that will not only uplift women within The Bahamas but also set a precedent for gender equity in funding across the region and globe.”

BDB is the national coordinating authority on the Joint SDG Fund and has played a crucial role in shaping the project’s design and implementation. The total contract allocation to BDB for the FAO-funded section of the project is $186,000. The proposed blended financing instrument is a collaboration between BDB and FAO, and will combine capital from the Bahamas Development Bank with non-reimbursable funding from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The strategic partnership will provide women-led businesses with access to low-cost capital after undergoing technical capacity development. A portion of the funds will also be allocated to a grants program.

BDB will also sign a similar agreement with UN Women, which will add a further $100,000 to the fund for women-led businesses and further showcase its commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs in diverse sectors.

The Bahamas Development Bank is implementing a streamlined approach to its adjudication process to facilitate a faster decision-making process, ultimately ensuring expedited access to funding for women-led beneficiaries in the program. An announcement regarding applications will be announced in March.

 

Photo Caption: Standing from left to right are the Bahamas Development Bank’s (BDB) Deputy Managing Director, Dave Munroe; United Nations Country Representative, Aneesah Abdullah; BDB Deputy Chairman, Gavin Christie; Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Representative, Alexis Bonte; FAO Bahamas Representative, Precious Fortune-Thompson; BDB Board Member, Kyron Strachan; BDB Strategic Development and Initiatives Manager, Sumayyah Cargill and FAO Bahamas National Correspondent, Keith Phillipe.

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Storm Chasers Gear Up !

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 27th, 2024 – In the unfortunate event of a hurricane when most people are huddled in bed there’s a group of around 287 people across The Bahamas and soon to come, the Turks and Caicos islands who are in the storm working keenly to provide invaluable insight to meteorologists about the real life impact and intensity of weather events.  This is already benefiting The Bahamas department of meteorology, and very soon the Turks and Caicos Islands will also stand to gain.  The origin group is Stormwatch Bahamas, which is moving assertively now to hatching Stormwatch Turks and Caicos. We spoke to Craig Lowe, Founder and Storm Rescue Unit Captain for The Bahamas.

 

“It’s all about growing the weather community and protecting the public.” he explained.

 

That depends on much needed partnerships with locally emergency agencies. This weekend for the first time a Skywarn Instructor from the National Weather Service will be training both teams to take on the huge task of becoming a Storm Chaser. TCI is already equipped with the president and several volunteers but Lowe says they are always accepting more.

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Bahamas Record Tourism Arrivals 2023

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Bahamas#Tourism, February 27th, 2024 – The Bahamas tourism sector set a new tourism record with over 9 million arrivals in 2023, an unprecedented milestone according to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Investments and Aviation. Air arrivals climbed by 17 percent and cruise arrivals 43.5 percent. This indicates a 38 percent increase over 2022, solidifying The Bahamas as a sought after destination in the Caribbean. 

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