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



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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Bahamas News

CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe



#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.

Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.

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Bahamas News

Beloved Bahamian Obie Wilchcombe dies; shocking, heartbreaking loss for The Bahamas



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 


#TheBahamas, September 26, 2023 – The Bahamas’ Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe made headlines in a completely unexpected way on Monday September 25; the veteran broadcaster and long-time politician, who passed away suddenly in his home island, Grand Bahama.

Reports to our newsroom were that Wilchcombe was found unresponsive and rushed to the Rand Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Reports say the Minister passed due to heart failure at 64 years old.

The Office of the Prime Minister informed the prime minister would immediately travel to Freeport, Grand Bahama to be with loved ones of his Cabinet colleague.

The office offered this:  Expressing condolences to the family, friends, loved ones and colleagues of Minister Wilchcombe, a true patriot, visionary leader and his cherished friend, the nation’s leader, in his official statement, said he was doing so with the heaviest of hearts.

“Obie’s untimely passing is very shocking and very sad. Even though he has achieved much in his many years of public service, he still had so much more to offer,” Prime Minister Davis said.

The Minister, affectionately called Obie Wilchcombe, was a fierce Member of Parliament  who has been serving in politics for about 28 years, starting in 1994, according to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).

Not only did he serve as Senator and Cabinet Minister, but he was also the former Minister of Tourism and a National Chairman of the PLP.

“Our party is reeling this morning,” said Minister Fred Mitchell, current PLP National Chairman in a statement, “The party joins in those expressions.  We have a deep sense of loss from one we have known over the decades of public life.

On behalf of the PLP, our leader and the entire team, supporters and friends, we can extend condolences to his family.”

Former prime minister and PLP party leader, Rt Hon Perry Christie said, “Obie served with distinction as Minister of Tourism.  He was a dedicated servant of the people and a chief steward of our nation’s number one industry for some ten years.  Any student of the tourism industry for the period of Obie’s ministerial tenure will be left in no doubt as to the magnitude and importance of his numerous accomplishments in relation to the growth and development of Bahamian tourism.”

In fact, as Tourism Minister, his notable accomplishments, according to party leader and prime minister, Davis included the introduction of sports tourism and the creation of a policy which helped to cement The Bahamas as an ideal film destination; two of the top three films of 2006 were shot in The Bahamas.

Additionally, the late Minister was a sportsman.

Wilchcombe served as former President of the Grand Bahama Basketball Association and the Commonwealth American Football League (CAFL).

His career in journalism is legendary.  Having worked with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas as a reporter, anchorman and eventually taking on leadership roles including Deputy General Manager.  At the time of his death, Minister Wilchcombe was holder of the Information and Broadcast portfolios of the Davis Administration.

“This is a very sad occasion for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas as you’d be aware one of our Frontline soldiers who would have labored very long in the public service Vineyard had passed, we learned early this morning the Honorable Obie Wilchcombe  passed away the free national movement wishes is to extend condolences to his immediate and extended family and to members of the Progressive Liberal Party and to members of the journalism fraternity, having lost someone who has played an integral role in the development of this country,” said Michael Pintard, fellow Grand Bahamian and Leader of the Official Opposition, Free National Movement.

From the region, there is also reflection and condolences. From the Caribbean Tourism Organization:  The CTO deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

“The Premier and Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands sends its condolences to the family, friends, government, and people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on the sudden passing of the late Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, MP.

May his soul rest in peace,” said Hon Washington Misick, TCI Premier.

The death of Minister Obediah Wilchcombe is the first; a cabinet minister dying while still in office has no place in recent memory for many.  It will mean a by-election for The Bahamas and a mournful experience when parliament reopens on October 4; Hon Wilchcombe with his vast experience and eloquence was also the Government Leader of Business in the House of Assembly, which is currently prorogued.

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Government in talks to address housing situation in Garden Villas, Grand Bahama



By LEDEDRA MARCHEBahamas Information ServicesGRAND BAHAMA, The Bahamas – As the government moves ahead with its strategy to bring relief to the people of Grand Bahama, the Hon. Keith Bell, who recently took on the portfolio as the new minister of Housing and Urban Renewal, travelled to Grand Bahama, September 21, to meet with Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey and relevant stakeholders.Top on the agenda was the decrepit state of the housing complex situated in the Garden Villas area, a stone’s throw away from the downtown shopping district.Minister Bell was also accompanied by Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal, the Hon. Lisa Rahming and a delegation from New Providence.Before conducting a walkabout in the Garden Villas area, Ministers Moxey and Bell headed the contingent in meetings with executives of the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Grand Bahama Development Company Thursday morning.“We’ve also had tours at various facilities that will help us carry through some of these projects that we want to do. But I’m just excited that we will begin to see action because there is so much that our people have been going through and so we are working hand in hand, the Ministry for Grand Bahama, Housing and Urban Renewal, to ensure that we not only bring relief but that we will revitalize these communities,” Minister Moxey said.The delegation performed a general walkthrough in the Garden Villas area to get a first-hand view of the living conditions and spoke to a number of residents.Cognizant of the work ahead and the relief it would bring to the area residents, Minister Moxey was elated to collaborate with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal and private stakeholders to get the projects started.“I’m so excited that they are here on Grand Bahama to really assess the situation on the ground. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. We are now in the Garden Villas area that requires numerous issues to be addressed. One of them is housing. You can see many of these dilapidated structures that exist,” she said, while pointing out that Minister Bell has made Garden Villas a priority as one of the initial projects to be undertaken on Grand Bahama.The delegation also visited the area Urban Renewal Office and the Heritage Subdivision.
PHOTO CAPTIONHOUSING PROJECTS – Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey and Minister of Housing and Urban Renewal, the Hon. Keith Bell led a delegation on a walkabout of Garden Villas on Thursday to get a first-hand view of the living conditions as part of government’s plan to further address the housing situation on Grand Bahama.(BIS Photos/Lisa Davis)

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