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Minister Moxey tells the First Cohort of National Youth Guard graduates their skills are invaluable

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By ANDREW COAKLEY

Bahamas Information Services

 

 

#TheBahamas, April 5, 2023 – Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey told graduates of the First Cohort of the Bahamas National Youth Guard programme that she was elated that so many of them answered the call to serve the nation and make a difference within their respective communities.

“The knowledge and technical skills that you have acquired from this program will be invaluable, as you embark on your journey of service to the nation,” added Minister Moxey.

“We are revolutionizing how we involve our young people, and really target the things we know we need to get done. After having gone through Dorian and to see the pride on your faces and knowing what you’re going to accomplish in the future, I just want to thank you for your service.”

Minister Moxey was one of the speakers at the graduation ceremony for the 64 recruits of the National Youth Guard program, which was held on Friday, March 31, 2023 at the Grand Lucayan resort.  Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Hon. Philip Davis, KC, was the keynote speaker.

The Bahamas National Youth Guard Program was put into motion by Prime Minister Davis, who said the devastation by Hurricane Dorian in Grand Bahama and Abaco prompted him to devise a program that would get more young Bahamians involved in assisting residents during such natural disasters.

As such, the program’s focus is on equipping young people with the tools needed to assist the nation, with the help of private and public agencies, during national emergencies, such as natural disasters. Its core values include citizenship, active participation and patriotism.

The program was opened to Bahamians between the ages of 18-25 years, and recruits hailed from 10 islands in The Bahamas, including New Providence, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Long Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Cat Island, Andros and Inagua.

Training in the program included technical trades, disaster preparedness, fitness, first aid, rescue, and boat piloting.  All training took place in Grand Bahama at the Police College.

“In our Blueprint for Change this Davis/Cooper Administration promised the establishment of such a program (National Youth Guard Program) and I am so proud that the Ministry for Grand Bahama was able to support the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture with launching this initiative on Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey.

“As I look at the faces of the cadets who are graduating today, I’m amazed by the level of determination every one of you has demonstrated to complete the first phase of this comprehensive program. In these times of unprecedented disasters and emergencies, The Bahamas needs skilled, trained, quick-witted young people like you to play an active part in protecting our country, our islands and our people.”

The Grand Bahama Minister noted that the National Youth Guard program is a commendable initiative.

She pointed out that Grand Bahama has experienced more than its fair share of natural disasters, as the result of landfall of hurricanes that have severely devastated the island.  These occurrences, she said, required residents to work together to quickly mobilize resources to assist the communities that were significantly impacted by these storms.

“Cadets, all of our islands need the expertise that you have acquired from this program to strengthen our ability to respond and execute strategies when needed,” added Minister Moxey.  You are all nation builders, who will leave an indelible mark on The Bahamas through your commitment to service.”

Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Mario Bowleg said the graduation ceremony was the culmination of the first phase of the remarkable journey which the recruits begun several months ago, many with bright hopes and lots of expectations.

He noted that not too long ago, graduation day was just a dream. However, with a strong commitment and dedication to put in the work necessary, he told the graduates they finally got to that place where they found themselves at a significant point in their journey.

“Launching a program of this magnitude is historic and monumental and we look forward to the impact that it will have in the short, medium and long-term future of our island nation,” said Minister Bowleg.

“Lifted from our Blueprint for Change, the National Youth Guard Program is designed to train young people with the skills needed to assist this nation during a disaster or emergency. We are indebted to each partner, stakeholder and sister agency who joined forces with us for the presentation of this program. Your support is invaluable, and we count it a privilege and a high honor to work alongside you all in service for our country and specifically for our nation’s young people.

“Hurricane Dorian, as we all know, was an eye-opening experience. And this administration is determined to move with vision and fortitude, needed to move our country forward, upward, onward, together.”

 

Photo Caption: 

Header: Minister Ginger Moxey, speaking during graduation ceremonies to the recruits of the First Cohort of the Bahamas National Youth Guard Program on Friday, March 31, 2023.

Insert: One of the recruits from the Inaugural Cohort of the Bahamas National Youth Guard Program presented Minister for Grand Bahama, Ginger Moxey (right) with a plaque of appreciation for the Ministry’s support to the success of the program, during graduation ceremonies on Friday, March 31, 2023 at Grand Lucayan resort.   Standing with Minister Moxey was Sandena Neely, Head of the Youth Division of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Grand Bahama, Mr. Melvin Seymour.

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PM Davis: Artificial Intelligence Micro-Course Graduation is ‘something very special’

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NASSAU, The Bahamas – During his Official Remarks at the University of The Bahamas-Partanna-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Intensive Micro-Course Graduation Ceremony, on May 22, 2024, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said that he believed that those involved had accomplished “something very special.”

“I see this as the start of what will hopefully be an ongoing initiative, as we embrace the power of strategic partnerships and innovative ideas that can empower our people for success,” he said, during the ceremony held at Choices Restaurant on UB Main Campus.

Among those present included UB Acting President Janyne Hodder; UB Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Woodside-Oriakhi; Dean of the UB College of Business Dr. Marlo Murphy-Braynen; UB Chair of the School of Business Daniel Thompson; Dr. Dematee Mohan of the Office of the Prime Minister; and Director-General of Bahamas Information Services Elcott Coleby.

A number of podium guests also assisted in presenting five micro-course graduates with scholarships to KAUST.

Prime Minister Davis stated that the world was currently going through an era of “rapid, and, I dare say, epic change.”

“They are calling it the triple transition, which includes climate change, demographic change, as well as digital change,” he noted.  “The Bahamas is experiencing each of these changes in profound ways.”

He added: “Climate change represents the biggest threat we have ever, ever faced, as well as the biggest opportunity to re-align our society with our values to make the world cleaner, healthier, more prosperous, and more just.  And then there is digital transformation, which requires tremendous investments in infrastructure, and, of course, education in digital skills so that our workforce can remain competitive in this new era.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that the impact of that global transition was so broad that embracing those changes as opportunities required the integration of climate resilience and digital innovation into every aspect of The Bahamas’ national development models.

“That is why I am so proud of what we have accomplished today,” he said.  “We have opened the eyes of these young Bahamian scholars to the vast world of digital transformation through AI and machine learning.”

“We have placed this great potential at their fingertips so that they can go on to be, not just consumers of digital technology, but also digital producers, disruptors, and innovators,” Prime Minister Davis added.

He pointed out that they lived in a time when AI had become commonplace. Universities, Prime Minister Davis added, were grappling with the ethical implications of natural language algorithms, like Chat GPT, which produced essays with just a few prompts.

“Programmers and writers are using open-source AI apps to become more efficient and productive,” he said.  “We are seeing the widespread application of AI in every sector that is redefining how we work.”

“The AI revolution has already made waves here in The Bahamas,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “Local businesses are using AI to collect data and empower their marketing initiatives.”

He continued:  “My administration has pioneered the use of AI at the Ministry of Tourism, where AI chatbots are facilitating more efficient customer service and AI algorithms are helping us to identify and target likely visitors.  Even the Water and Sewerage Corporation has begun using AI to detect leaks.

“But this is just the beginning.”

Prime Minister Davis said that AI was still in its infancy. In the near future, he added, AI will take over repetitive, everyday tasks in fields as vast as engineering, programming, law, accounting, marketing, and healthcare administration.

“We also anticipate using AI in our current efforts to fight climate change and make our nation more climate resilient,” Prime Minister Davis noted.  “With these changes, some current jobs may become obsolete, but new jobs within data science and AI will emerge.”

“We will need a robust supply of well-trained, well-educated professionals to ensure that The Bahamas continues to keep pace with global economic developments,” he added.  “And we want those professionals to be Bahamians.

“Today, we have taken steps toward building that future-focused workforce with 20 bright young scholars here at UB.”

Prime Minister Davis thanked KAUST, with special mention to Director Albarakati and Professor Khan for “partnering with us on this groundbreaking initiative.”

“I hope this is the beginning of a fruitful partnership that will enrich our students and allow for the exchange of knowledge between faculty to strengthen our institutions,” he said.

Prime Minister Davis also thanked Partanna, and its CEO, His Excellency, Ambassador Rick Fox, for helping to make the partnership happen through its funding and support.

“Thank you, as well, for your continued commitment to the environment through your groundbreaking carbon-negative concrete that will transform the global construction industry,” Prime Minister Davis said.

“Ambassador Fox, you are truly a proud son of our soil, and you continue to inspire us all,” he added.

Prime Minister thanked the faculty and staff at the University of The Bahamas for “their support in making this happen.”

“They often say if you can make it at UB, you can make it anywhere,” he pointed out.  “This saying has proven true, not just because of the academic integrity and rigour of UB’s programmes, but because of UB’s willingness to embrace change and opportunity.”

He added:  “Thank you to UB’s dynamic leadership team, President Hodder, UB’s Chair Mrs. Maynard Gibson, the Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Marlo Murphy Braynen, Dr. (Woodside-) Oriakhi and your team for making this possible.  Most importantly, thank you to the students who enrolled and committed to completing this course as an investment in your future and your future prospects.”

For those students who go on to continue their studies in AI, either at King Abdullah University or through other avenues, Prime Minister encouraged them to continue exploring their interests and talents.

“Continue adding in-demand skills to your repertoire and continue being trailblazers in your respective fields,” he said.  “Congratulations to all of you.”

“We will need bright, young leaders to take on the challenges that lay ahead of us,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “Based on what I am seeing today, I am confident that the future is in good, good hands.

“God bless you all and may He continue to bless our nation.”

PHOTO CAPTION

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis takes part in the University of The Bahamas-Partanna-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Intensive Micro-Course Graduation Ceremony, on May 22, 2024, held at Choices Restaurant on UB Main Campus.  Among those present included UB Acting President Janyne Hodder; UB Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Woodside-Oriakhi; Dean of the UB College of Business Dr. Marlo Murphy-Braynen; UB Chair of the School of Business Daniel Thompson; Dr. Dematee Mohan of the Office of the Prime Minister; and Director-General of Bahamas Information Services Elcott Coleby.  A number of podium guests also assisted in presenting five micro-course graduates with scholarships to KAUST.  (BIS Photos/Eric Rose)

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124 HAITIAN NATIONALS REPATRIATED TO CAP-HAITIEN, HAITI

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#TheBahamas, May 21, 2024 – On Wednesday, May 15, the Department effectively executed the repatriation of a group of illegal migrants from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, New Providence to Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

At approximately 9:11 a.m., a Bahamasair chartered flight departed New Providence en route to Haiti with one hundred twenty-four (124) Haitian nationals onboard; a hundred and eight (108) adult males, thirteen (13) adult females and three (3) minors. The Department’s Deportation and Enforcement Units led the escort.

All security and health protocols were observed as the safety and welfare of our officers, law enforcement counterparts and migrants remain the highest priority.

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Introducing The Bahamas Cannabis Authority; Marijuana Bill tabled by Darville

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – A medical marijuana industry is set for establishment in The Bahamas, following the tabling of the Cannabis Bill, 2024, in the House of Assembly, by Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Dr Michael Darville, May 15.

The Minister said objective of legislation is to set up a framework to establish The Bahamas Cannabis Authority, and to regulate the of importation, exportation, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, producing, sale, possession, distribution, and use of cannabis.

He told the Assembly that the law represents a thoughtful and balanced approach and was driven by a duty to act as he referenced the number of Bahamians who are battling cancer and in need of alternative treatments for pain management and other related issues.

“The legislative package, the Cannabis Bill, 2024 is designed to introduce a controlled system of cannabis use in medical treatments. The bill establishes the Bahamas Cannabis Authority.  A regulatory body overseeing all aspects of cannabis management and cultivation and distribution.  The authority’s mandate is to ensure that cannabis production and use are safe, controlled and effectively integrated into our health care system,” Minister Darville said.

Adding that the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that he also tabled, reclassifies cannabis by removing it from the dangerous drug list, now recognises its potential for medical use, he said the change aligns “our nations laws” with evolving global perspectives on cannabis.

The new law makes provisions for the licensing of cannabis handlers across various aspects of The Bahamas, and Dr. Darville said the licensing is structured to prioritise Bahamian ownership, with provisions ensuring that significant control remains in the hands of Bahamian nationals, fostering local entrepreneurship and economic benefits “for Bahamians across the country.

“We are here to make a difference, to enact change, remove years of stigma and transform lives by offering alternative treatments by way of medical cannabis.  The legislation before us offers a careful, considerate approach ensuring that we prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our citizens. Let us move with compassion,” he said.

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