#TurksandCaicos, March 19, 2021 – After a long-hold on sporting activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, sporting activities finally breathe back into life, but with a phased approach. This was after the earlier efforts were thwarted with a raft of restrictions aimed at suppressing the virus’s spread.
“We were making our way to resume. We did resume. I guess sometime in last September,” said Jarret Forbes, TCI Sports Director, in an interview who adds the Fall season incline of the coronavirus force again a decline in sporting activity.
“We believe that with the guidelines established by the Ministry of Health, oversight by the National Federations and the Sports Commission. We were able to implement a plan where we can resume the sports in a safe manner.”
According to Mr. Forbes, the recent Cabinet approval to resume sports training for the CARIFTA ad FIFA teams while implementing the guides prescribed by the Ministry of Health aims to keep the participants safe. He added the decision was necessary to stay on the regional calendar of sports activities since the athletes are right now preparing for a wide range of competitions.
“Just, for example, our football programme is preparing for FIFA World Cup. But they have competitions for qualifiers starting as early as this month.:
The TCI National Football team, on Monday left for the Dominican Republic for intense practice ahead of FIFA matches with Nicaragua and Belize; both in March.
The Sports Director explained the resumptions of sports amid the Covid-19 pandemic is key to ensuring that anyone who represents the TCI in any sporting competition stands a good chance of performing well.
“We are eager to resume sports in TCI,” he added.
Mr. Forbes revealed this re-boot resums regional and international competition practice; with other sporting activities progressing in phases, from the first phase which encompasses contactless training to the final phase where the fans can attend events while adhering to the strict guidelines.
“The decision for Phase One is to resume training in our national programs, which includes only non-contact training. Phase Two, once we’re able to follow the guides and transition properly, will be assessed by the Ministry of Health and recommendations made whether we can move to phase two,” he added.
If phase two, which involves contact training goes according to plan, phase three will be rolled out. Phase three will allow national competitions, but without fans.
Phase four will allow national competitions, wihich includes international teams travelling to the TCI to compete.
Finally, phase five will allow fans to attend the events while keeping social distancing and high-level sanitary measures.
This is good news for TCI sports teams and participants as the possibility of ending nearly a year of dormancy, mimics the season and springs to life an essential pass time and profession for islanders.
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Anya Williams, chaired the 19th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 22 June 2022 in Grand Turk. All other members were present.
At this meeting Cabinet:
- Approved the terms and conditions for an application from a land surveyor for a licence.
- Approved the making of the Revised Edition of the Laws 2021 (Commencement Order) 2022 subject to the approval of the House of Assembly; laws will be now be made available free of charge to members of the public on the Attorney General’s website. Physical reproductions will continue to be sold.
- Discussed proposed amendments to the Insurance Ordinance as drafting instructions to the Attorney General’s Chambers and consultation with the industry.
- Approved for the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022 to be introduced to the House of Assembly as soon as possible.
- Approved the revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Committee Budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023 for office furniture and supplies; confirmed annual payments for the annual membership costs to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Agencies (FIA) and annual costs of the FIA’s travel costs for the Egmont annual meeting.
- Approved a three year rental lease agreement for the relocation of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Culture and Heritage, Agriculture, religious Affairs and Gaming, and the Tourist Board and Department of Culture in Providenciales.
- Approved a lease agreement for a temporary HQ for the Turks & Caicos Islands Regiment in Providenciales.
- Was updated on the proposed merger of NIB/NHIP Compliance and Collections. Further consideration was requested before Cabinet can take a decision.
- Noted the award of the following contracts in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance:
- PN 005600, TR 21/48, Furniture and equipment for Mental Health Facility – Grand Turk
- PN 005611, TR 21/30, Ballistic Vests for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force
III. PN 005614, TR 21/37, Bellefield Landing Civilian Safety Project – Safe Boat Slips
- PN 005627, TR 21/53, Furniture and Equipment for Public Works Programme Management
- PN 005630, TR 21/08, Vehicles for Government (resubmission)
- Approved for a request from American Airlines to waive the import customs duties and customs processing fees for replacement parts for an aircraft that had an emergency landing on Providenciales to be forwarded to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
- Noted a paper from the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) for legislative amendments to be made to the TCIAA Ordinance to regulate industrial action by employees of the TCIAA. Cabinet requested further consideration. Proposed amendments will be considered by the House of Assembly for approval in due course.
- Approved the grant of a long lease to an applicant for a funeral home and cemetery on 60003/231 PT (2.5 ACRES)
Turks & Caicos Islands Government retains it BBB+ credit rating
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – On the 29th of March 2022, Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P) released the results of the review of the 2021 sovereign credit rating for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). S&P has affirmed the country’s sovereign credit rating for long-term bonds, denominated in both domestic and foreign currency, of BBB+. Additionally, the agency also maintained the outlook as Stable for the TCI.
The Rating Agency advised that the stable outlook takes into account that the country’s economy will continue to recover given the strong performance of tourism and will improve in 2022. Furthermore, S&P believes the TCI will continue to adhere to prudent financial management and limit borrowing, and that fiscal reserve balances will increase during the next two years. Additionally, the rating agency also expects continuity in TCI’s institutional relationship with the U.K.
In its report, the rating agency advised that the rationale for the rating was a result of the Country’s institutional and economic profile. That is, the economic recovery led by resurgence in tourism and continued institutional stability. S&P indicated that despite the short-term pressures of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the TCI Government’s prudent actions, aided by the U.K.’s swift transfer of vaccines, allowed international travel to resume as early as the first quarter of 2021. The combination of the Government’s swift response, coupled with pent-up demand in key source markets, led to a strong recovery in tourism, which in turn, has led to a better-than anticipated economic recovery. S&P estimates GDP per capita to be $23,674 in 2021, up from $20,757 in 2020 – a 14% year over year increase. Tourism remains the core pillar of the economy, indirectly accounting for about 65% of GDP.
S&P indicated that the ratings could be revised upwards if better-than-expected GDP increases and continued favorable growth prospects were to substantially boost economic resilience. Additionally, the rating agency also stated that they could also raise the ratings if better availability of timely data, especially on external flows and stocks, were to boost transparency and indicated that TCI enjoyed a significantly stronger economic or external position.
However, if the rebound in tourism is interrupted or turns out to be weaker than expected, leading to prolonged stress on revenues, this may cause the TCI Government to run persistent fiscal deficits that could materially worsen public finances. This could lead to a down grading of the rating.
Commenting on the rating, Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade, Hon. E. Jay Saunders, stated that “I am happy and extremely proud that S&P saw fit to maintain our country’s credit rating at BBB+, particularly at a time when many countries had theirs downgraded – mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a testament to the strength of our economy, and particularly, our government’s prudent handling of it. We have taken particular note of S&P’s comment that they could raise the ratings on better availability of timely data, and we are working towards achieving that.”
Rwanda paid £120M in UK Asylum Deal; only insulted by depiction of the country
By Dana Malcolm
#Rwanda, June 25, 2022 – Despite international pushback, some high-profile Rwandans are eager to see refugees from the UK welcomed into their homes.
Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Rwanda Laurent Mbanda has been the most recent individual to add his voice to the fray. Speaking to BBC he said the plan was not immoral and ‘Rwanda was ready to welcome people needing a home’.
Mbanda himself was a refugee in neighboring Burundi after the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He is in direct opposition to the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby who said the UK’s plan was ungodly. Welby has received written support from the other English bishops, Mbanda on the other hand believes that the burden of Immigration is not one for one person but one that all countries must share.
President of Rwanda Paul Kagame has also publicly endorsed the program.
“It would be a mistake for people to just make a conclusion and say ‘oh Rwanda got money’ it’s not trading.” He defended “We are not trading human beings we are actually helping. It’s a clear-cut issue.”
Kagame said the idea was innovative, noting that there were other refugees from different areas in Africa including Burundi and the Congo living in Rwanda already.
Rwanda and the UK signed a five-year deal in which persons seeking refuge in the UK would be shipped to Rwanda who would accept full responsibility for them until their immigration hearings. If denied refugee status in Rwanda they may apply for other immigration routes or face being shipped back home.
The deal is lucrative for Rwanda, the country has already received 120 million pounds from Britain for the deal which is as of now blocked by The European Court of Human Rights, an international court supported by 46 countries including the U.K.
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