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Staffing issues in Maritime; Simmons says jobs are plenty 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – One of the most pressing issues in the lucrative maritime industry is the need for workers making the creation of new maritime programs for TCI youth, particularly timely, says Carl Simmons, owner of Cargo Express and long-time shipping agent.

“Staffing is a very vital point that needs to be discussed. I know personally from experience even here in the Turks and Caicos and globally especially since the pandemic, there have been challenges with staffing.”

He was speaking at a TVET Maritime Industry Stakeholder meeting meant to introduce the partnership between the Turks and Caicos Community College and the LJM Maritime Academy in the Bahamas.

Maintaining that shipping wasn’t just loading a boat and setting off into the sunset, the Cargo Express owner listed career opportunities across the scope of the supply chain. He mentioned on-land opportunities including accountants and truckers; opportunities at sea including ship captains, seamen, cooks, and mechanics; and those at dockside including crane operators, stevedores and more.

Simmons said that it was a challenge daily to get people to work, because of the myth that there were no professional opportunities and no employment in the sector. He explained how dire the shortage was and how boundless the opportunities were.

“If you talk to any maritime organization, they will tell you they offer training for free once you express interest at our companies Tropical Shipping and Cargo Express. We are determined to employ anyone that wants to work for us once they meet our qualifications and we have a vacancy. We will train them at our cost and that goes on throughout the entire maritime industry.”

He stressed that TCI needed to take advantage of this now, and there was money to be made.

“We need to encourage our young men and women, our technocrats, and our Government to have a maritime curriculum in our schools. It’s a very professional environment and it’s money in there.” He quipped, “There’s money to be made because if you are qualified and you can present your credentials you can demand your salaries.”

He was supported in his argument by Brendamae Cleare, the President of LJMMA, who spoke virtually at the event.

“Even during Covid-19, if it was a person who always had a job, it was a seafarer,” she said.

The partnership is aimed at getting the TCICC to be the college of choice, providing TCI residents with the training to make a living in the maritime industry they were born into.


UN Sec-Gen has special Message on Nelson Mandela Day



Nelson Mandela showed us the extraordinary difference one person can make in building a better world.

And as the theme of this year’s Nelson Mandela International Day reminds us – combatting poverty and inequality is in our hands.

Our world is unequal and divided.

Hunger and poverty are rife.

The richest one per cent are responsible for the same quantity of planet-wrecking greenhouse gases as two-thirds of humanity.

These are not natural facts. They are the result of humanity’s choices. And we can decide to do things differently.

We can choose to eradicate poverty.

We can choose to end inequality.

We can choose to transform the international economic and financial system in the name of equity.

We can choose to fight racism, respect human rights, combat climate change, and create a world that works for all humanity.

Every one of us can contribute – through actions large and small.

I join the Nelson Mandela Foundation in urging everyone to perform 67 minutes of public service on Nelson Mandela International Day – one minute for each year he fought for justice.

Together, let’s honour Madiba’s legacy and turn our hands towards building a better world for all.

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AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024) set to strengthen Africa-CARICOM linkages  



Speakers at ACTIF will include global superstars Viola Davis, Serena Williams, Didier Drogba and African and CARICOM Heads of States


Nassau, Bridgetown, Georgetown, May 28, 2024 – Excitement mounts as The Bahamas prepares to host the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) and the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) from 12 – 14 June 2024 in The Bahamas. Themed “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa,” ACTIF2024 is set to forge significant pathways for economic prosperity between Africa and the Caribbean.

Other distinguished speakers will include Heads of State from seven CARICOM countries, former Prime Ministers, Ministers of Trade, Economic Development and Finance, Dr. Roger W Ferguson, Former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, USA, Prof. Andreas Klasen, Professor of International Business and Director of the Institute for Trade and Innovation at Offenburg, and many more.

Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank, said: “We are witnessing shifts in the global economic landscape and the trade strategies of major economies, making it imperative for African and Caribbean nations to unite for mutual prosperity. The Afreximbank Annual Meetings and AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum in The Bahamas will serve as a strategic platform to enhance our economic bonds. These events indicate a vibrant assertion of our shared destiny. We are poised to harness the dynamic economic growth within our regions, enhancing our collective resilience and prosperity.”

The event promises to be a pivotal platform for high-level discussions on economic development and regional integration.

Building on the successes of the inaugural AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum held in Barbados in 2022 and the gathering last year in Guyana, this year’s Forum in The Bahamas will further elevate and expand upon the discussions and initiatives previously set in motion. ACTIF2023, which focused on strengthening economic bonds and creating new investment opportunities, sets a precedent for meaningful collaboration between Africa and the CARICOM nations.

Afreximbank invites industry leaders, trade organisations and other stakeholders in the CARICOM region to participate and attend.

Registration is now open at

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International Community must address conflict between Israel and Iran



Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

With tensions between Israel and Iran at an all-time high, a United Nations affiliated group is urging for calm and dialogue as their violent actions can cause tragic devastation on innocent civilians.

According to Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an organisation that is dedicated to promoting peace through civilian-led initiatives, “it is a clear indication that the greatest victims of war are innocent civilians. 

How could those lost lives ever be brought back? What could compensate for the outcry of children and the anguish of the youth in devastated dwellings?,” the group noted in a media statement, adding that  the international community should  take “decisive measures” to address the conflict.

It is also advocating for the establishment of “comprehensive international laws” to safeguard peace for future generations. “HWPL remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering dialogue and reconciliation, offering hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and Iran,” the group said.

HWPL is a non-profit organisation, with a mission to promoting peace through education, and advocacy. It has a global network spanning over 170 countries. The organisation works to build bridges of understanding and cooperation, striving towards a world free from conflict and violence.

According to reports in various international media outlets, Iran and its militant partners on April 13 initiated a large-scale attack against Israel through launching several hundred ballistic missiles and drones. The international society expressed concerns over the possibility of war between the two states, since Tehran’s direct attack on Israel was unprecedented.

Experts have pointed out that the attack on Israel was Iran’s response to an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria on April 1, which killed seven military advisers including three senior commanders.

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