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PM Davis: Botswana State Visit is ‘the growth of a deeply rooted friendship’

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NASSAU, The Bahamas –– During his remarks at the Closing Press Conference for the Botswana State Visit, on September 14, 2023, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said that it was “not merely an official visit but the growth of a deeply-rooted friendship between our nations.”

“This administration is actively strengthening its foreign policy, and the visit of the President of Botswana stands as clear evidence of this commitment,” Prime Minister Davis said during the Press Conference, held at the Margaritaville Beach Resort. “These engagements highlight our dedication to deepening existing ties and exploring new partnerships, underscoring our nation’s proactive stance in the global community.”

Among those accompanying President of the Republic of Botswana His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi in his delegation to The Bahamas were Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament: the Hon. Dr. Lemogang Kwape, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Hon. Philda Kereng, Minister of Environment and Tourism; the Hon. Fidelis Molao, Minister of Agriculture; the Hon. Kgotla Autlwetse, Minister of Government and Rural Development; the Hon. Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe, Minister of Education and Skills Development; the Hon. Tumisang M. Healy, MP Gaborone Central; and the Hon. Dr. Never Tshabang, MP Nkange.

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that, throughout history, nations had found strength and prosperity, not just through self-reliance, but through the forging of strong friendships; and in the “complex global environment” at that time, the importance of those partnerships could not be overstated.

“Our meeting today, the dialogues of the past few days, and our future engagements are anchored in this spirit of camaraderie,” he said.

Prime Minister Davis added: “Notably, both nations stood in solidarity during the re-election of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, underscoring our shared commitment to multilateral cooperation. Additionally, our mutual support in the candidatures for the Joint Inspection Unit and the International Maritime Organisation further reflects our united front on the international stage.”

Prime Minister Davis said that their discussions had been “both wide-ranging and profound.”

“We have deliberated on mutual interests, particularly focusing on the sectors of tourism and agriculture,” he pointed out. “These areas, integral to both our economies, provide a canvas on which both The Bahamas and Botswana can jointly paint a picture of sustainable growth and development.”

“Further solidifying our commitment, I am pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The Bahamas and Botswana,” Prime Minister Davis added.

“This MOU, comprehensive in its scope, touches upon areas including but not limited to economic development, cultural relations, tourism, environment, agriculture, health, education, and financial services.

“Through this agreement, we aim to foster deeper collaboration, leverage our unique strengths, and jointly address challenges to ensure mutual progress.”

Prime Minister Davis noted that the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the two nations, from tourism to governance, were mirrored in the ambitions of Botswana’s Vision 2036 and The Bahamas’ Vision 2040.

“We anticipate that this visit will further consolidate our partnership and pave the way for enhanced cooperation in areas that align with the vision and aspirations of both our nations,” he said.

He added: “True friendships, as we understand them, are not static. They demand care, mutual respect, and a consistent effort to grow stronger. With this visit, we have revisited our shared goals and set the stage for future engagements.”

Prime Minister Davis said that, as they approached the conclusion of the State Visit, he would like to convey his “deepest appreciation” to President Masisi and his delegation.

“Their presence and commitment to this friendship have been truly commendable,” he said. “While this visit might be short in duration, the bonds we have fortified will last for years.”

He added, “In the days ahead, may we look back at this time as a pivotal moment when two friends, separated by geography but united by shared values and vision, took decisive steps toward a brighter partnership.”

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Career Symposium 2024 Connects University Students with Successful Professionals

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Nassau, THE BAHAMAS — Some of the most successful and accomplished professionals and business leaders in the country recently shared their experiences and nuggets of wisdom with students at University of The Bahamas (UB) about thriving in a wide range of careers.

The University Centre for Counselling and Career Services and the Career and Job Placement Advisory Unit collaborated to host the 2024 Career Symposium which brought students face to face with leaders in the careers to which they aspire.

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Maria Oriakhi, said the symposium was key to developing potential as university students strive to leave their mark on the world.

Ms. Rickell Curry

“In the spirit of collaboration and growth, let us engage in meaningful dialogue, cultivate relationships, and harness the power of collective wisdom to shape our futures,” said Dr. Oriakhi. “Together, let us embark on this journey of exploration and discovery, united in our commitment to realizing our fullest potential and making meaningful contributions to our communities and beyond.”

Promoting careers in psychology, Ms. Curry noted that psychologists are equipped with the ability to help others, troubleshoot areas of weakness within themselves, and become better people and professionals in the process.

“The floor is yours to be able to explore. There’s no job where you don’t have to deal with people, so learning, even if you get a bachelor’s in psychology, is a great grounding,” she said.

Dr. Darville, one of few interventional radiologists in The Bahamas, offered another nugget of advice on choosing an area of study.

Dr. Elizabeth Darville

“It is important to know enough about yourself in order to make the decisions you want to make,” said Dr. Darville. “You have to work on yourself first and know what you want to do. Radiology gives you a chance to have fun. It gives you a chance to mold your career closer to your personal life than other medical specialties might.”

Another growing field is project management which Mr. Hepburn called a life skill. He also urged a commitment to lifelong learning.

“Individuals that continue to learn become unstoppable, period,” said Mr. Hepburn. “It is so true. When you learn, you become unstoppable because nothing can stop you in your process of development.

Mr. Wellington Hepburn

“The more you know, the more valuable you are. We need individuals who are cross functional—that can operate in different capacities. So please understand that your learning should never stop.”

With small and medium-sized businesses helping to drive the economy at an incredible rate, Ms. Rolle affirmed the importance of entrepreneurship in any economy.

“When we talk about entrepreneurship, we usually look at it from a myopic standpoint,” she said. Ms. Rolle. “What do I mean by that? Small, but usually about self: ‘how do I make more money?’ And in some cases, some look at entrepreneurship as a way of survival. ‘I need to make a couple extra dollars, I have this bill to pay’. Those types of things.

Ms. Samantha Rolle

“But entrepreneurship really, in its truest form, is about innovation, whether it’s a new concept or any existing concept that you innovate new ways, or help expand the economy.”

The career symposium was held at the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre and is held every academic year.

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS

 

  • Career Symposium 1: UB Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Maria Oriakhi, delivers the opening address at the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 2: Students and guest speakers enjoy a lighthearted moment during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 3: Ms. Rickell Curry speaks to students during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 4: Dr. Elizabeth Darville delivers remarks during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 5: Mr. Wellington Hepburn educates students on the importance of project management during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 6: Ms. Samantha Rolle talks about the role and importance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in any economy.

 

Office of University Relations

University of The Bahamas

2nd Floor, Michael H. Eldon Complex

Oakes Field Campus

P.O. Box N-4912

Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: (242) 302-4355/4354/4365

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$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#TheBahamas, April 15, 2024 – After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10-year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time.

This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.

The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics.

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five Olympic-calibre events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.

Distinctly, the top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the 2024 Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 heats and five finals, across those five events.

The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’.

In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:

In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”

Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke.

“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1,600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.

Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium.

“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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Bahamas Government and Grand Bahama Port Authority in $360 MILLION squabble 

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#TheBahamas, April 15, 2024 – The Bahamas Government says the Grand Bahama Port Authority owes over $300 million, now causing a very public squabble between the two entities and  potential years long  arbitration proceedings.

The total owed according to the government is $357 million over the last five fiscal years, 2018-2022.

Seemingly down to business, the Davis Administration, according to reports,  sent a letter to the Port Authority at the start of the month, in which 30 days was given for them to pay up.

If the 30-day deadline isn’t met, Davis says the Government has the right to start arbitration proceedings.

A Grand Bahama attorney who criticized the government’s actions, also expressed that the tension could lead to up to five years of arbitration.

The letter, as reported by the Tribune, refers to clause 1(5)(c) of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement.

Regarding the tensions between the Port Authority and the Government, the financial conflict apparently rests on Davis’ accusation that the Port Authority failed to follow its obligations under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement.

“Unfortunately, the Port Authority has not been living up to its legal obligations to develop and grow the economy in Freeport. In many cases, the government has had to step in where the Port has failed. Let’s be clear about what this means: it means that the Bahamian people have been subsidizing the profits of these private shareholders! That is not right. You deserve flourishing, thriving communities. You deserve an inclusive economy that generates opportunity, dignity, and security. You deserve what is owed to you under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement,” Davis said.

In a clap back at the Government’s accusations, the Port Authority in reports are quoted declining the Government’s claim that they owe the “sum of $357 million.”

“We reject and will robustly defend against this claim, which we firmly believe will be defeated,” it stated.

Davis, who was speaking in a meeting on Saturday April 6, informed that before things got to this level, they were having meetings.

“We had many, many meetings and exchanges before we arrived at this point. But there were too many delays and too many dead ends. When only one side appears interested in advancement – and when the people of Freeport urgently need change and progress – then decisive action is the only choice,” he maintained.

The now peaked tension was sparked in June of 2023 when Davis stated that the Authority is failing to maintain Freeport’s infrastructure and encourage the growth of the city, as it claimed owed expenses, now said to be the hundreds of millions.

To this, in June 2023, the free quasi-governmental authority responded saying the sums stated by the government are “contested” and “it is yet to be satisfied,” claims reports say, are supported by credible evidence.

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