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Sailing to become the NEW National Sport of The Bahamas, Resolution gets Bi-Partisan nod



By Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#TheBahamas, April 17, 2023 – At the House of Assembly on April 12th, 2023, the Honourable Clay Sweeting, Member of Parliament for South Eleuthera and Minister with Responsibility for Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives and Local Government, ahead of the Exuma Regatta, announced a resolution for making Sailing the National Sport of The Bahamas; It is supported by the Opposition and the Government.

A section of the Resolution spoke to approving Sailing as a National Sport of The Bahamas, ‘where the people of The Bahamas are known for their unique wooden vessels known as Sloops,’ used for decades throughout The Bahamian cultural and sporting events known as Regattas and whereas the participation of The Bahamas in the sport of sailing is recognized by the winning of bronze and gold medals in the Olympic competitions in 1956 and 1964 respectively.’

It would mean that the sport of Cricket would no longer hold the title.

Making Sailing the National Sport has been desired by Bahamians as stated by Sweeting. He said, “sailing has been a long awaited announcement by Bahamians. Sailing has been and always will be a part of who we are as Bahamians.”

Considering this, Sweeting spoke to the long history of sailing in the Bahamas, highlighting that Bahamians have been referred to as “masters of the sea” for hundreds of years dating back to the Lucayans and Arawaks.

He further mentioned that sailing has evolved to play an integral part of Bahamian culture, evident in the Regatta competitions first held in Exuma in 1943 which later became more organized, comprehensive and technical in the late 1950s.

He referred to Regatta as a “formidable economic driver for the family islands.”

As expressed by Sweeting, Regattas are crucial to the Social, Economic and Cultural development of The Bahamas. They encourage sustainable domestic tourism.

Evidently, each island where Regattas are held, benefit from  significant economic boost.

Regattas has also made a name for itself in the international community hence the once creation of a yachting community formed fund called [Out Island Squadron] for Regattas.

The involvement of the late Duke of Edinburgh as not only a patron, but also a participant in a Regatta in 1959 in George Town, also contributed to the popularity of the sports today.

The Honourable Micheal Pintard, Member of Parliament for Marco City, who is the opposition’s leader and former minister with responsibility for marine resources, expressed support for the resolution in a detailed speech following Sweeting’s address.

He said making Sailing the National Sport has been a long aspiration of both the Progressive Liberal Party and the Free National Movement.

He highlighted that the resolution is an opportunity to aid on the homogenization of the ministries, making sure that the right departments fit within the context of the appropriate ministry the way Sailing does.  This is under the issue of disconnection in the public eye when it comes to the relationship between departments and their ministries.

He further spoke to the fact that discussions have been had off the record to make Sailing the National Sport of The Bahamas under previous Government’s, indicating that the desire to make the sport official has existed.

In reference to this, he spoke to Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper who stated in an article in 2020 in the Nassau Guardian, that he would second a bill to make Sailing as National Sport.

Another reference that he spoke to was V. Alfred Gray, former Minister, in a letter, congratulated the advancement and said that when he was in office they attempted to make it the National Sport but wasn’t given the opportunity before they were out of office.

Sweeting expressed hope that Sailing is approved as the National Sport of The Bahamas.

Bahamas News

Bahamas earmarks $1 Million for Pilot Breakfast Program at 8 Public Schools



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, September 24, 2023 – A pilot programme to provide breakfast to 2,500 primary school students was, this week, announced by the Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training of The Bahamas; the plan is to test the viability and benefits of the program for possible expansion to the entire public education system.

Minister Glenys Hanna Martin labelled it the National breakfast programme; it starts in October and the first of its kind initiative is described as a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister.

“In New Providence, those schools are Columbus Primary, Ridgeland Primary, Sandilands Primary and Albury Sales Primary and in the islands, the schools that are going to be testing this programme are: Rolleville Primary in Exuma; Holmes Rock Primary in Grand Bahama; Cherokee Sound Primary in Abaco and Old Bight Primary in Cat Island,” she said.

The programme, she maintained, is expected to cater to about 2,500 children for the next year; the cost to run the pilot is estimated at $1 million.

Minister Hanna-Martin informed that the purpose of the  programme would be to provide breakfast to all students, instead of a select few and to emphasize this, she pointed to the current lunch programme which she says is for targeted students and reiterates that this new programme will be the opposite and will give breakfast three days weekly: Mondays, Thursday and Fridays.

“The reason why those days were chosen is because it’s anticipated or projected that in many families, there may be deficits to access food on a weekend and so the Monday when they return and the Friday before the weekend.”

The meals, which she informed have been designed in consultation with the Ministry of Health are described as hot, nutritious balanced meals.

During a Thursday September 21 press conference held at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Hanna-Martin explained the pilot run would help in testing the effectiveness of the programme.

In fact, the minister said the schools were selected based on data as to potential student challenges. The target schools were those with populations below 600 and with attendance rates below 89.2 percent in the primary schools.

“Now, research has shown, globally, that breakfast programmes provide support for struggling families, fuel student health and learning, provide nutritional support for children, lead to better attendance rates and fewer missed days and higher student performance,” said Hanna-Martin.

This comes as the Government has a commitment to do whatever is required to, in this case, ensure that children have access to food while in school, to see that they attend school, the priority, she says, and that children get quality instruction for human development and securing the well-being and future of the nation.

Based on the outcomes after the period for the pilot, decisions will be made regarding expansion of the program.

Furthermore, the minister expressed that they believe the programme has great potential to have long-lasting fundamental impacts of learning and students attendance as well as quality outcomes for children and young people.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Development Bank to Bridge Global Funding and National Development



Nassau Bahamas, 18 September 2023- The Finance in Common Summit recently held in Colombia gathered national development banks (NDBs), including The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB), and emphasized the major role they play as a link between international and domestic finance related to project development financing and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) lending.

The event noted that $4-5 trillion is needed annually for the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be accomplished globally, private finance will be key to sustainable, inclusive development and NBDs can lead in de-risking and structuring opportunities that are attractive to private financiers. It also stressed that the global focus on SDGs related to factors such as inclusion, climate and gender must consider the unique needs of small island developing states (SIDS) such as The Bahamas.

The Bahamas Development Bank’s Manager of Strategic Development and Initiatives, Sumayyah Cargill, was invited to speak on a panel organized by the European Investment Climate Reform Facility at the summit alongside representatives from Belize, South Africa, and France. President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Hyginus Leon, delivered the keynote address. During Ms. Cargill’s presentation on the impact of technical assistance, she underscored the importance of a strong NDB to progress national economic and social goals.

BDB has positioned itself as the bridge to channel international funding to meet national needs. The bank’s steady growth has resulted in the implementation of necessary structures and increased its capacity to engage with international funders and lead in both packaging projects and bundling smaller projects to attract private financing.

Ms. Cargill said, “SIDS have unique vulnerabilities. We are tasked with building resiliency for the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change while also trying to lift the standards of living for our people. These challenges can be transformed into opportunities with the right investments. However, weak project implementation capacity and a deficit in bankable projects are holding back growth. A well-functioning development bank is a robust mechanism to execute policy driven projects and channel financing to sustainable development. BDB is rising to that challenge with the support of the international community. In the last four years, we have created new policies and programs, integrated the SDGs into operations and have committed to climate and gender equitable financing. We are confident that we have laid a foundation that will see us become a regional leader in innovative, sustainable financing.”

BDB’s improved structuring and increased capacity has been supported by partners such as the Caribbean Development Bank, Green Climate Funds’ readiness program, United Nations Women and Investment Climate Reform Facility.

Highlighting the bank’s recent unveiling of international financing opportunities for creatives, Ms. Cargill added, “long term relationships with multilaterals can have rebounding impact. From our experience, there is a direct line between technical assistance from multilateral to real opportunities for entrepreneurs.

“BDB has far to go but already has a lot to share in many areas. We recognize how important it is for us to not just act as a channel for funding but for mainstreaming SDGs, climate, and gender equitable principles into the wider economy.  As a NDB, we are learning to lead in transmitting the values set at the international level because we are that critical bridge.”

BDB is seeking accreditation as the first national direct access entity for the Green Climate Fund, is the national coordinating authority for Build Bank Better, a joint SDG fund project, is a member of the National Climate Change Committee, and was elected to chair the SDG Technical Committee for Economic Prosperity in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Ms. Cargill underscored, “Well-executed technical assistance is a major driver of BDB’s growth. Likewise, partnerships are core to who we are and we remain open to collaborating on solutions to the challenges we face, and to do mutually-beneficial business. Strengthening The Bahamas Development Bank strengthens The Bahamas.”


Photo Caption

 The Bahamas Development Bank’s (BDB) Manager of Strategic Development and Initiatives, Sumayyah Cargill, stands third from left. Ms. Cargill was invited to speak on a panel organized by the European Investment Climate Reform Facility at the 4th edition of the Finance in Common Summit.

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Bahamas News

Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, September 19, 2023 – Royal Caribbean is working on a major project, announcing plans to open a new adults-only “escape” Hideaway Beach at its CocoCay private-island destination in The Bahamas, come January 2024.

The “beachfront paradise,” set to be situated at the western side of Perfect Day at CocoCay, behind Thrill Waterpark, will have a private beach and multiple pools with DJ music, 20 private cabanas and several spots for “drinks and bites,” the company says.

Not only that, it will include a “hidden VIP experience.”

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO is of the impression that this will bring a compelling, sought after new way to enjoy a day at its private island.

He said, “Hideaway Beach is a completely new vibe and experience that vacationers are looking for on Perfect Day at CocoCay.”

It is going to be a getaway spot for adults, only 18 or older allowed to enter.

“Everything from its hidden-like location to the exclusive beach and pools to the private cabanas is designed for adults who want a day just for them,” the CEO said.

The space, according to Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President of Private Destination Development, will be able to host between 1,500 and 2,000 guests.

No specific day was provided for the opening.

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