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RBC Royal Bank takes decisive action to help clients impacted by COVID-19

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TORONTO (CANADA) – March 18, 2020 — Today, RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) announced plans to provide financial relief to its Caribbean clients impacted by the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

Effective immediately, most RBC Personal banking clients in the Caribbean will benefit from an automatic three-month payment deferral on credit facilities. Business and Corporate banking clients are also eligible for the relief program, following individual eligibility assessments with an RBC representative. Automatic payment deferrals will be applied as of March 17, 2020 and remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until further advised.

To be eligible for the program, Personal banking or Business and Corporate banking client accounts must be current and in good standing as of March 2, 2020. Clients who are already participating in RBC relief programs for other circumstances are excluded from this program.

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The relief program is intended to provide flexible solutions and help clients manage through the impacts of COVID-19, such as pay disruption; childcare disruption due to school closures; or dealing with the COVID-19 illness itself.

These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of the financial system and the critical role banks play in the economy. RBC will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the evolving economic conditions in each country and territory where the bank operates. RBC may consider other relief measures, if necessary.

RBC has a long history of standing by Caribbean clients through challenging times and this commitment will continue throughout this crisis and beyond.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Inaugural Ethiopian Airlines flight arrives for historic Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM 2024) in The Bahamas

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By LINDSAY THOMPSON
Bahamas Information Services

HE Mahamadou Issoufou, former president, Republic of Niger, and Leader of the African Continental Free Trade Area

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Just before 5pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 Ethiopian Airlines – a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner — touched down at Jet Aviation bringing 241 delegates for the historic 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM 2024), and the Third Edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) in the capital.

It was also history in the making for Ethiopian Airlines – its inaugural flight to The Bahamas: touching down under hazy skies and warm conditions indicative of June weather.

On hand for the arrival was the Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Immigration and National Insurance, as well as other officials.

The Department of Immigration and Jet Aviation set up a welcome desk near the tarmac, to allow for a smooth process, and offered water and soft drinks.

Among delegates were His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou, Former President, Republic of Niger and Leader of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, former prime minister of Ethiopia; Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson for the African Union Commission/United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; international media, performers and musicians, and other conference participants.

It is the first time AAM will be held in the Caribbean region. The meetings will run June 12 – 14, 2024 at Baha Mar Resort, Cable Beach. The theme for the event is: “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa.”

It is envisioned that the impact of the three-day event will be heightened by the Opening Ceremony, the Presidential Plenary, and high-level panel sessions.

On April 11, 2024, The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed an Agreement for The Bahamas to host the 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) and the third edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) from 12 – 14 June 2024.

At that signing, Prime Minister Davis underscored the importance of his country hosting the historic meetings.

He said: “Hosting both the AAM and ACTIF demonstrates the determination and commitment of The Bahamas to leverage on the shared history, identities, and cultures of AfriCaribbean nations to forge significantly greater trade, investment, and direct transport linkages.”

Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson for the African Union Commission escorted by Ivan Thompson, Protocol Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs

And added: “Doing so will stimulate economic growth and development, which will feed through to immensely beneficial societal impact. It is also vital that we enhance our global influence by speaking with a unified voice on matters such as securing global action to meaningfully address climate change.”

The focus will be on the emerging neo-protectionism from advanced economies and the need for Africans to pursue self-determination in the context of a global Africa that includes the Caribbean and the Diaspora generally.

The AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) will be marked by colourful events to celebrate shared AfriCaribbean culture, as well as elevate the essence of the two regions’ shared socio-economic aspirations.

Among the Keynote Speakers are: the Hon Philip Davis, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; the Hon Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali, Chairperson of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and President of Guyana; and His Excellency Issoufou, Former President, Republic of Niger and Leader of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Other speakers include Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Economic Affairs, The Bahamas; His Excellency Ulrich “Rick” Alexander Fox, Ambassador-at-Large of The Bahamas and CEO of Partanna Global; Dr. Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Former Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve, USA; and Mr. Jeannel Wyclef Jean, Musician, Muse IC Incorporated.

(BIS Photos/Mark Ford)

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Caribbean News

New UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Visits Dominica  

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ROSEAU, June 21, 2024: The new United Nations Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Simon Springett, is currently in the Commonwealth of Dominica to present his credentials ahead of key meetings with Government and national officials.

Today, Mr. Springett formally presented his credentials and met with Prime Minister the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, ahead of courtesy calls with Dominica’s President H. E. Sylvanie Burton, and several other senior Government Ministers.

Prime Minster Skerrit who expressed gratitude for the collective support received from the UN Development System to date, pledged to continue working to strengthen their partnership in coming years, noting that he was also “looking forward to establishing the UN Common Premises”, which is expected to expand UN cooperation and joint support in Dominica.

Meanwhile, the new UN Head also gave assurances of continued UN partnership and expansion of support to cover existing gaps. He added: “I am honoured to be here in Dominica, the beautiful Nature Isle, and to pledge my commitment, along with the UN Team, to supporting the Government in building resilience,  and further advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.”

During his visit, Mr. Springett also met with the Minister for the Environment, Rural Modernisation, Kalinago Upliftment and Constituency Empowerment, the Hon. Cozier Frederick, and visited the Kalinago Territory, where he benefitted from a brief historical tour of the Kalinago Barana Auté (Village by the Sea).

The Mission also included meetings with the Minister for Finance, Economic Development, Climate Resilience and Social Security – Hon. Dr. Irving McIntyre; Minister for National Security and Legal Affairs – Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore; National Disaster Coordinator, Office of Disaster Management – Mr. Fitzroy Pascal; Commissioner of Police – Mr. Davidson Valerie and the UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (MSDCF) Focal Point, Dr. Adis King, among other officials, and with UN staff in Dominica.

On June 1, Mr. Springett was appointed by UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, with the approval of the host Governments. A national of the United States, he brings his distinguished 25-year career in international development to this critical role, having most recently served as the UN Resident Coordinator in Moldova since 2019, leading the UN’s efforts in that country.

As the highest-ranking official of the UN development system in the Eastern Caribbean, Mr. Springett will lead the UN Sub-regional Team (UNST) across 10 countries and territories. He will champion the UN’s mandates and advocate for the delivery of the MSDCF in close collaboration with national governments and regional institutions. A key focus will be strengthening cooperation and effectiveness of UN operational activities throughout the region.

In the coming weeks, the new Resident Coordinator is expected to present his credentials to other Member States in his area of responsibility.

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Sada Williams: Training alongside the best athletes in the world to become the pride of Barbados at Paris 2024

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Source Olympics.com

 

After participating in both the Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, 400m runner from Barbados Sada Williams hopes that the help she has received through her Olympic Solidarity scholarship, and the ability to train in Jamaica, will take her to the top at Paris 2024.

Sada Williams will be cheered on by the whole of Barbados at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, but the athlete appears relaxed about shouldering the hopes of an entire nation. She has the chance to become the first woman from the eastern Caribbean island to finish on the podium at the Olympic Games, and only the second athlete, after Obadele Thompson claimed the 100m bronze medal at Sydney 2000.

“There’s no pressure, really,” says Williams. “I know Barbados will be proud of me regardless of the outcome, and I couldn’t be happier to represent them at the Games.”

Aside from earning a medal in Paris, Williams is also hoping to break the 48-second barrier and record a personal best. The 26-year-old’s upward trajectory certainly suggests she is capable of this, with her bronze medals at the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships coming either side of a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Williams believes her recent performances have been helped by a move to Jamaica, where she trains in the same group as multiple Olympic medallist Shericka Jackson.

“I have training partners who are some of the best athletes in the world – training and competing with them is really great. It pushes me and us to be better athletes. In Barbados, I didn’t really have that type of competition or training group.”

Olympic Solidarity support

Williams’s move from Barbados to Jamaica was supported by an Olympic Solidarity scholarship, which provides financial assistance to athletes through monthly grants.

“The scholarship has provided me with the necessary funding to train and compete here in Jamaica. It’s also given me the opportunity to travel to various meets around the world, and to compete in and prepare for major competitions, such as the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.”

The scholarship has also shown Williams that coming from a small country with fewer resources for sport does not have to be a barrier to success.

“It shows me that there are people out there who believe in me and my potential,” she says. “They want to see me succeed at the highest level while representing my country. So, I’m truly grateful for that opportunity.”

Lessons from the Olympic Games

Paris 2024 won’t be Williams’s first appearance at the Olympic Games. Her time at Tokyo 2020 was “bittersweet”, after she failed to progress from the 400m semi-finals. But Williams also learnt a lot from her very first Olympic experience in 2014. Aged 16, she competed at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, reaching the 400m final.

When Williams was a teenager, there was no female athlete from Barbados whose success she could look to replicate. But now she is a source of inspiration for the next generation from her home country. She is hopeful Barbados can one day rise to the levels of neighbouring Jamaica and become an athletics powerhouse.

“I always hope that I’m inspiring young athletes from Barbados, whether I compete locally or internationally,” she says. “I always want the best for track and field in Barbados. I want other athletes in Barbados to believe that they can excel at the highest levels without needing to leave the country. It would be really nice to have the same facilities and resources as Jamaica or the United States in Barbados.”

Over 1,300 athletes supported through Olympic Solidarity

A total of 1,331 athletes from 159 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), covering 26 sports, received Olympic Solidarity scholarships for Paris 2024. Olympic Solidarity aims to ensure that talented athletes of all backgrounds have an equal chance of reaching and succeeding in the Olympic arena by providing crucial funding to help finance their Olympic dreams. With a particular focus on athletes and NOCs most in need, individual scholarship-holders receive financial support through monthly grants that contribute to their preparation and qualification for the Games, whether in their home country or at a high-level training centre abroad.

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