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Bahamas Development Bank Poised to Expand Products and Services

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#Nassau, October 29, 2019 – The Bahamas – The Bahamas Development Bank is presently undergoing a transformation through which it intends to expand its products and services to maximize existing powers under the Bahamas Development Bank Act, 1974.   

The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) is making efforts to incubate emerging or struggling industries to expand the economy, create moreopportunities and ensure that natural resources will continue to provide for future generations, Managing Director Dave Smith said in his address of the annual Exuma Business Outlook on the topic, ‘Connecting Resources, Maximizing Opportunities: Transforming Exuma.’

He continued: “These kinds of transformative programs have a higher rate of success/sustainability because BDB is able to connect technical expertise, funding, and governmental support through partnerships with international agencies such as IICA (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, CARDI(CaribbeanAgricultural Research and Development Institute),and various government ministries, departments and agencies such as the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.”

This approach, he said, creates an environment that facilitates the “ease of getting into and/or doing business”through the bank’s favorable credit terms, coordination that reduces barriers and greater awareness of the available concessions under various encouragement Acts.

The 13th annual Exuma Business Outlook was held October 24th at Sandals Emerald Bay resort. The theme for the event was ‘Stimulating Growth: We’ve Made it our Business.’

Providing an overview, Mr. Smith said the bank’s mandate is to advance opportunities for economic empowerment for Bahamians. Established in 1974, he said unlike any other bank in this country it is a developmental finance institution, driven by profit and the responsibility to create positive externalities that support overall national development through economic investment.

During the past four decades BDB has extended credit to hundreds of entrepreneurs in various sectors such as manufacturing, fishing, services, transportation and tourism; played a significant role in building essential inter-island connections and acted as the principal funding agent for mailboat services and more.

 “This kind of facilitation translates into wealth creation, job creation, increased exports and reduced imports, thus transforming and growingour economy,” he noted.

Today, the bank continues to act as a catalyst for economic development providing loan funding for small and medium Bahamian enterprises through partnerships with the Small Business Development Center.

Mr. Smith highlighted the bank’s investment in a number of programmes and initiatives aimed at spurring economic activity across the archipelago.  He cited two examples: the Industrialization of Cascarilla in Acklins, Crooked Island and Samana Cay and an Apiary Programme in Grand Bahama where more than 30 young persons were trained in “bee keeping.”

He advised that a sustainable approach to development that includes climate resiliency for businesses and residents is more necessary since the passing of Hurricane Dorian.

“As we look to rebuild, BDB will champion opportunitiesfor Bahamians that will ultimately enhance our self-sufficiency. In the short term, we are proposing a poultry revitalization project for Grand Bahama and a small ruminant program for Long Island that will combine training, logistics, and market preparedness.  We anticipate that these pilot projects will be duplicated where appropriate,” he said.

Bonefishing tours, fishing boats and equipment, vehicles and taxis, hotels and motels are among the industries that the BDB has extended loans for in Exuma.

He said the bank is working to strengthen partnerships with impactful organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce.

As BDB transforms, Mr. Smith noted: “While our credit extension facilities have supported SME growth across the archipelago over the last four decades, we will increase our efficacy by expanding or activities to include those typically offered in our region by development financing institutions (e.g. capital leases, guarantees, equity positions) in concert with other local development institutions.”

“Further, as BDB continues to be a catalyst for economic development we recognize stakeholder collaboration and partnership, service consistency and communication to raise awareness in the areas of access and opportunity as important axioms for BDB’s success. We intend to be transparent and inclusive as we craft and communicate our progress on specific programs and policies,” he added.

Release: BIS

Photo Caption: Bahamas Development Bank Managing Director, Dave Smith.

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Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

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BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

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Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis pledges to govern in the interests of all Bahamians

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#TheBahamas, September 19, 2021 – During his ceremonial swearing-in today as the nation’s fifth Prime Minister, Hon. Philip Davis pledged to govern in the interests of all Bahamians and to consult widely with the Bahamian people.

The best way to make progress as a nation is to bring people together, said Prime Minister Davis, who was presented with his instruments of Office in ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre, on Saturday 18 September 2021.

Prime Minister Davis was officially sworn in as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Friday 17 September 2021 at the Office of the Governor General.

“We will uphold the constitution and the rule of law, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly, so that it’s not one rule for one set of people, and another for another set of people,” said the Prime Minister.

“There is much work to be done; but I know that by working together we can succeed and build the kind of prosperous, independent Bahamas that our founding fathers dreamed for us.”

Prime Minister Davis said that while there are big challenges ahead for The Bahamas, his team has the right vision and policies to take the country forward.

The Prime Minister said the new administration is coming into office at a time when the Bahamian people are hurting as never before.

The country faces many crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy in decline and deeply concerning challenges in education, said Prime Minister Davis.

If everyone works together towards a common purpose, in the common interest and for the common good, great things are possible for The Bahamas and its people, said the Prime Minister.

But no government can do great things on its own, Prime Minister Davis added.

“I am sure that my government can only succeed if we partner with the Bahamian people,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are going to listen, we are going to consult widely and we are going to bring people together.”

_
18 September 2021
Office of the Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Contact: opmcommunications@bahamas.gov.bs
Website: opm.gov.bs

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