By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, March 29, 2022 – Turks and Caicos will be in the water when junior competitive swimming returns to the Caribbean. Even with the major COVID-19 interruptions, TeamTCI is aimed at making a splash at CARIFTA Swim 2022!
“This is our first opportunity to go back to CARIFTA since 2019…We do have lots of swimmers that are likely to make finals. All f our swimmers are worth looking out for. Most of our swimmers are likely to set personal bests. I think that it’s going to be a very exciting competition to watch.”
He names Rohan Shearer, the TCIs first CARIFTA swim medalist who did the job in 2019, earning a silver medal in the 50 metre backstroke. Also on that ‘ones to watch list’ is Tajari Williams who won a bronze medal in the 50 meter freestyle in 2021 at the CCCAN or Central America and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation; still said Redman, there are lots of stars in the bunch.
CARIFTA – whether on the track or in the pool – draws athletes from across the Caribbean region in what is often a springboard for world caliber careers in sports. Redmond spoke about the extreme level of difficulty expected at the games.
“The standard of competition in CARIFTA is extremely high, just making the final of an individual event is an achievement. Competitors from CARIFTA go on to represent their countries at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics and so it is a first class standard of competition.” Redmond said.
In terms of future prospects so I may be having our very own TCI swimmers in the Olympics one day, Redmond said.
“It is a long-term process. We have lots of young swimmers that are only going to get faster.”
He stresses the need for proper practicing facilities to augment their training.
“I hope that one day we can see a swimming pool built in the Turks and Caicos Islands which means that we can practice more often on our own island and not have to travel abroad.”
The government has promised an Olympic pool to the swimmers to be completed before the end of their term in office. To this Redmond says, “I hope that happens. It’s a big commitment but I really hope that happens not just for our competitive swimmers but for adults swimmers, for master swimmers, for keep-fitters, for everyone.”
It’s been a rocky road since 2002 when the TCI sent its first delegation to CARIFTA but the team has been regularly attending since 2016 and In the Five years since the TCI began attending the competitions regularly.
“We’re sending ten swimmers this time, which is more swimmers than we’ve ever sent before. I hope we stick with the tradition of being better than the year before. It’s a very tough tradition to uphold but I hope we can do it.”
Those ten swimmers are: Sophie Taylor, Angeline Lindenhahn, Danielle Burgess, Thais Burgess, Rohan Shearer, Jayden Davis, Mateo Gardiner, Tajhari Williams, Sean Walters and Ethan Gardiner.
In terms of aid the President said, “We do need sponsorship, without our sponsors we wouldn’t be able to make this happen over the years we’ve managed through the assistance of local businesses that helped us out and this year we need the same kind of support.”
If you are fired up by the passion expressed by the Federations President, or just plain excited to partake in the journey of our swimmers, there is a way you can help.
You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2022 CARIFTA Games Swim Championship and Open Water Swimming is being staged in Barbados from April 6th to the 20th.
Regressive recession looming, forces UN to issue Cease and Desist message to ‘big’ countries
By Dana Malcolm
October 6, 2022 – Central Banks in advanced nations must stop pushing up interest rates now or risk sending the globe into recession where developing nations suffer most according to the UN.
In the last several months, The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and Bank of Canada have all spiked interest rates in an effort to control borrowing power, buying power and possibly push down inflation
“The world is headed towards a global recession and prolonged stagnation unless we quickly change the current policy course of monetary and fiscal tightening in advanced economies.” It said, mincing no words, the agency described the potential global recession as ‘policy induced’ by developed countries. And this recession could be worse than the 2008 crisis. This is especially true for developing countries like those in the Caribbean.
“While all regions will be affected, alarm bells are ringing most for developing countries, many of which are edging closer to debt default.” The agency said.
And if it happens the recession could set developing nations back years in the struggle to increase their standards of living.
“As climate stress intensifies, so do losses and damage inside vulnerable economies that lack the fiscal space to deal with disasters let alone invest in their own long-term development— The global slowdown will further expose developing countries to a cascade of debt, health, and climate crises.”
If the globe proceeds as is the world will lose 20 percent of its income by and push developing economies growth rate below 3 percent which the UN says is ‘insufficient for sustainable development’
Inaugural FinTech Conference on now in Barbados
By Sherrica Thompson
#Barbados, October 6, 2022 – Barbados is now hosting the first-ever global fintech conference in the Caribbean.
Over 300 delegates from across the globe and varying sectors within the industry will be attending the event. It began on Wednesday October 5, concluding October 7 and is being staged at the Hilton Barbados.
The Fintech Islands conference will feature renowned fintech leaders delivering key addresses and over 20 hours of curated content. The mandate of the event is to create a world-class event that will be a catalyst for the growth of the fintech ecosystem in the Caribbean.
One major highlight of the conference will be the welcome address by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, who will also host an exclusive VIP meet and greet.
Some of the major themes of the event that are relevant to the context of the Caribbean venue are Financial Inclusion, Climate Fintech, Cryptocurrencies and Decentralised Finance and Embedded and Open Finance.
The event will have a range of speakers from founders, CEOs and fintech leaders from North America, Latin America (LATAM), Europe and Africa.
142 Farmers Formally Settled on Plots of Land in Bernard Lodge
#Kingston, Jamaica, October 6, 2022 – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says, to date, 142 farmers have been orderly and formally settled on plots of land as part of the Bernard Lodge Development Plan, in St. Catherine.
Providing an update on the Plan in the House of Representatives on October 5, Mr. Holness informed that the SCJ Holdings has paid more than $650 million in compensation to the farmers.
“Members would be aware that to meet the requirements of the development master plan and regularise the informal and ad hoc occupation of the lands, a structured and orderly settlement plan was undertaken that included relocation, formalisation of leases and payment arrangements associated with those leases and assessment of cost associated with this exercise,” he said.
“The cost of land clearance and preparation, farm road construction and rehabilitation, the opening and expansion of storm water drains, the provision of electricity and the construction of an irrigation system have also been borne by the SCJ, and work is ongoing,” he said.
Mr. Holness informed that irrigation water is now provided to farmers by the Rio Cobre canal system, adding that the cost for the time being is absorbed by the SCJ until the construction of a modern pressurised irrigation system is completed.
“We have started the engineering designs already,” the Prime Minister said, noting that one of the two proposed reservoirs is already constructed to ensure an uninterrupted supply of irrigation water.
“These reservoirs will have a combined capacity of 10 million gallons. Already, many of the farmers are in full production, with vendors and other persons visiting the farms on a regular basis to purchase produce for retail and domestic use,” Mr. Holness said.
He pointed out that there is a well-structured agro-park that has the potential to become a model for agricultural development in the Caribbean.
“I visited it, Madam Speaker, and I am very pleased to see how former sugar lands have been transitioned into other forms of agriculture,” Mr. Holness said.
He noted that the lands, which have been underutilised for many years, were becoming a location for illegal dumping, illegal sandmining and even for criminals.
Cabinet appointed an Enterprise Team, chaired by Chartered Accountant, Linval Freeman. to supervise the divestment of government-owned lands within the Greater Bernard Lodge Development in St. Catherine.
They commenced work in late January 2021 with the aim of divesting the development lands in phases.
To date, two phases have been successfully completed, with a third now in progress.
The Development Bank of Jamaica monitors and gives technical support to the Enterprise Team to ensure that the divestment is in keeping with government policy and governance standards.
The Greater Bernard Lodge Development Plan will create an integrated community of 5,400 acres of land, of which 3,027 acres are dedicated to agriculture and the remaining designated to housing, light industrial and commercial activities, social services, open and recreational space and an urban centre.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness said, so far, the Cabinet has approved the sale of some 1,225 acres of land for mixed residential, commercial and light industrial purposes to seven different developers.
“Cabinet has also approved the transfer of 102 acres of land to the National Housing Trust and the Housing Agency at Jamaica at zero cost, as part of efforts to lower the cost of housing to persons of limited means. To date, gross earnings from land sales are expected to exceed $3.8 billion,” he noted.
The Prime Minister said SCJ Holdings Limited has substantial legacy obligations of more than $2 billion incurred in connection with the divestment of the government-owned sugar estates and significant operating costs associated with the maintenance and securing of unused properties.
He informed that the net proceeds of the Bernard Lodge land sales will be applied in clearing these obligations, and the divestment of the properties will lower SCJ’s operating cost and place the organisation in a stronger financial position.
“Aside from its primary duty in managing the sugar lands, it also has an obligation to develop agriculture and other uses for land they own. Therefore, the SCJ has undertaken significant expenditure to improve agricultural infrastructure in the master plan area in payment of compensation to farmers and the cost associated with land preparation and the re-establishment of farmers,” he said.
Contact: Chris Patterson
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