#Kingston, April 16, 2022 – Jamaica is to strengthen its technical cooperation with the Republic of Rwanda in several fields, including culture, information and communications technology (ICT), health, tourism and sport.
This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in his address at a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament on Thursday (April 14), which was held as part of activities for the three-day State visit of the President of the Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame.
Mr. Holness said the country is also looking forward to advancing both States’ economic relations through increased trade and investment prospects, particularly as it relates to logistics, special economic zones, agriculture and manufacturing.
“I also welcome the other occasions and events during this visit that will allow for us to share views and opinions on a variety of global and local issues,” he said.
Mr. Holness noted that Jamaica and Rwanda have forged a collaborative partnership since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1998, and that the Rwandan President’s visit is a great opportunity to deepen both countries’ collaboration at the bilateral level and maximise the level of engagement.
“Indeed, the Jamaica/Rwanda relationship is one of kinship, and so we hope to continue to deepen our friendship, in keeping with my Administration’s goal to strengthen engagement with the African continent,” he said.
The Prime Minister stressed that Rwanda is a powerhouse of socio-economic development and advancement, and, like Jamaica, has a level of influence and impact that far surpasses its geographical size.
“Rwanda has overcome unimaginable challenges and it now embraces its rightful place in regional and global leadership. Rwanda’s rise and its status as one of Africa’s fastest growing economies has been achieved under President Kagame’s able leadership, steady guidance, built upon his fight for the country’s liberation,” he said.
Mr. Holness noted that Rwanda is now a model of the true spirit of “umuganda” – the coming together in a common purpose to achieve an outcome – adding that Rwanda is also a practical voice for environmental management and innovation and stands as a shining example in its empowerment of women and girls.
In his address, President Kagame congratulated the country on the launch of its celebrations last evening marking the 60th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence, which he said, was “a fitting tribute to the enormous progress Jamaica has made”.
“Independence is a date in history, but it is also a mindset. The power of an anniversary comes from the opportunity to remind a new generation of the struggles that came before. Even more important is upholding the spirit of self-reliance needed to sustain and deepen what has been accomplished in the time since,” he said.
The Rwandan President also expressed the desire to strengthen ties with Jamaica, noting that several Jamaican professionals residing in Rwanda have been making meaningful contributions to the African continent.
“As Rwanda, we are also keen to cooperate with Jamaica much more closely and share experiences in trade and investment, as well as national unity and citizen development. Let’s exchange with each other directly and, thereby, honour the history that joins us, and make it a potent force for practical cooperation in the modern world,” he said.
Leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert; and President of the Senate, Senator the Hon. Tom Tavares-Finson, also welcomed President Kagame in their remarks.
President Kagame’s visit is intended to deepen bilateral relations between Jamaica and Rwanda. He has the distinction of being the first Rwandan Head of State to visit Jamaica.
Contact: Alecia Smith
Bwa Kalé movement striking back against gangs, nearly 3,000 murdered
#Haiti, September 29, 2023 – In eight months, nearly 3,000 Haitian people have been slaughtered in their home country due to the upsurge and uprising of gangs in the republic which is struggling to hold its democracy in check.
‘Bwa Kalé’, it’s a vigilante movement that has sprung up in Haiti, and the UN says it is driving up murders.
A recent report following an expert visit detailed it.
“Certain groups have formed allegedly to protect their neighbourhoods from gangs. In some instances, these groups have summarily executed people suspected of being gang members. The Bwa Kalé movement demonstrates the population’s lack of trust in the State, especially in the police and the courts. The expert has learned that some members of the police and the judiciary have been complicit with gangs.”
Despite the obvious fear among residents, the UN is warning them not to take justice into their own hands. However, that is easier said than done as Haitians have demonstrated their feelings of abandonment by fleeing the island in mass numbers on illegal voyages and standing up to the gangs themselves.
In the same report, one said: “The State is absent, there are no police or other officials operating there.”
According to AP, a new report to the U.N. Security Council indicated that 2,728 intentional killings were recorded between October 2022 and June 2023, including 247 women, 58 boys, and 20 girls. Bwa Kalé is blamed partially for the increase, as life in the country is described as unbearable.
Jamaica declares DENGUE OUTBREAK; control measures amped up
#Jamaica, September 29, 2023 – As Jamaica battles a dengue outbreak, the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is taking steps to fortify the country’s resilience to the mosquito borne disease.
The Department announced it will be providing funds for the emergency response to contain the dengue outbreak, according to Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government, as reported by JIS.
McKenzie was in talks with Journalists at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston this past Wednesday, September 27th when he revealed that the resources will come from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
In fact, work, he expressed, is already being done as he informed that discussions have started with Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness to see to the roll out of clean-up programmes to ensure communities do not morph into breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
It was reported that: “International health authorities have reported elevated dengue fever activity across multiple areas in Jamaica, with more than 560 suspected cases (78 confirmed) reported Jan. 1-Sept. 22. This is compared to the 59 cases reported over a similar period in 2022. Majority of the confirmed cases were reported in Kingston, Saint Andrew, Saint Catherine, and Saint Thomas. The Jamaican Ministry of Health & Wellness has deployed vector control workers across the island to high-risk communities. This report represents the most complete data available as of Sept. 29.”
These clean up initiatives, the minister points out, will be in operation in the days to come and they will commence in areas identified by the Ministry of Health; the plan is to later extend the efforts other communities.
In continuation, Audley Gordon, Executive Director of the NSWMA, spoke of vulnerable areas which he termed the “problematic sites”, informing that they are scheduled for action, including the removal of bulky waste by his teams, adding that the “NSWMA is fully ready to play its part in what we are asked to do, starting this weekend”.
Not only will the programmes clean the respective areas, they will call community members to practice proper garbage disposal, as people often fail to acknowledge the importance of these hygienic habits.
Guyana President says Global Aim for Net Zero is Out of Reach
#USA, September 29, 2023 – Dr. Irfaan Ali, Guyanese president informed that the global aim for Net Zero by 2050 is unrealistic due to the cost of transition and the pace of the financing commitment thus far.
He was speaking at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, providing numerical data, which he shared with the other attending world leaders, as he backed up his reasoning.
Before going into intricate details, summing up the costs which led to his view of the unrealistic goal of net zero by 2050, President Ali brought forth what he described as “the critical question of a just, affordable and equitable transition.”
He starts, maintaining that Bloomberg, financial information, software and media firm Bloomberg, estimates that reaching the global net zero emissions status by 2050, roughly 26 years from now, would require annual investments that triple those of 2021, to $6.7 trillion annually.
Ali narrowed down his analysis and specifically referred to global temperature, now a major issue and worsening, saying that to limit its rise to less than two degrees Celsius, the [IEA] estimates that investments in the energy sector, on its own, would need to be increased by approximately 1 trillion dollars yearly.
In continuation, the Guyanese President referred to the issue of availability of electricity in developing countries, as close to 900 million people worldwide have no access to it, he says, adding that this is “against the backdrop of a widening financing gap in achieving the SDGs, one of which is for affordable and clean energy; another clear factor highlighting the unrealistic nature of reaching all the desired goals by 2050.
Ali further highlighted the money that would go “with adaptation alone, estimated at $160 to $340 billion by 2030 and $315 to $565 billion by 2050, he says, according to UNAP further bolster his point.
Moreover, with more than 90 countries, he says, committed to Net Zero emissions, achieving this goal would require even more changes than what are currently happening, adding that the IEA gauges that for it to be so by 2050, more than 85 percent of buildings “must be net zero carbon ready,” and over 90 percent heavy industrial production, must be low emissions and almost 70 percent electricity would need to be generated from solar [photovoltaic].
“Based on these targets, renewable share in the generation of electricity will have to increase from 29 percent in 2020, to 88 percent in 2050. Meanwhile, to remove carbon from the atmosphere, the world would need to simultaneously halt deforestation and increase tree cover, again two times faster by 2030.”
Considering this, he said by 2050, 7.6 gigatons of carbon will have to be captured and stored compared to 0.4 gigatons in 2020.
He then concluded with a powerful plethora of statistical info, doubling down on the unrealistic target the world has set.
“According to Mckenzie and Company, it would cost $375 trillion dollars, in cumulative spending on physical assets to transition to net zero by 2050.”
Firming up the point by the President of Guyana, that it is completely unrealistic that these even more monumental targets would be reached, when countries failed to achieve even lesser goals laid out since the Paris Accord, signed nearly a decade ago in 2015 by 196 nations.
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