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Prime Minister Holness opens Maypen to Williamsfield Leg of Southern Coastal Highway

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#Kingston, September 19, 2023 – The May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) was officially opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (September 14).

The thoroughfare, which represents part A of the SCHIP, now significantly reduced travel time between the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and will offer a multitude of economic and social benefits to users.

Speaking during the segment’s opening ceremony, Prime Minister Holness hailed the development as “a step in improving the general quality of life for all Jamaicans”.

“[It is] a step in improving the productivity of all Jamaicans. You can easily measure the productivity gained of this road by the productivity lost in traffic, discomfort and the aggression it creates in driving on some of the other bad roads,” he said.

Mr. Holness noted that some of the anticipated benefits of the new roadway include connecting workers to jobs, improving the response time of the security forces, and improving and lowering the cost for delivering agricultural outputs to market.

“In so many ways, building your infrastructure improves well-being,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister also announced that the highway’s usage will be at no cost to motorists until the end of the calendar year, on December 31, 2023. After this period, toll rates will be applied.

Mr. Holness further pointed out that the scope of work for the highway included a new four-lane bridge across the Rio Minho to increase the area’s resilience to weather events.

The project also features a two-year defects liability phase, the Prime Minister said, while noting that, “during this phase, the contractor will have to fix any project-related defects”.

The project was funded by a loan from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, with the contractors being China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

It was implemented by the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

For his part, NROCC Managing Director, Stephen Edwards, described the highway’s opening as “a momentous occasion in infrastructure development in Jamaica”.

Dubbing the project as a “giant leap forward for the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and for all Jamaicans”, Mr. Edwards informed that the contract’s implementation commenced in 2019.

He detailed that the development features a 23-kilometre four-lane highway with adiamond interchange and Florida-T at May Pen, a separated interchange at Toll Gate, an interchange at Melrose, four bridges, 17 concrete box crossings, upgrading of approximately five kilometres of roadway along the Melrose Bypass to a four-lane dual carriageway, a police post at Toll Gate, safety fences, concrete median barriers, and the installation and expansion of fibre optics.

“We believe… we have delivered a modern highway that the people of Jamaica can be proud of,” Mr. Edwards added.

Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Daryl Vaz, in his remarks, said the highway’s opening is “a pivotal junction in our nation’s transportation history”.

“This remarkable highway will undoubtedly reshape this side of the island and its network and elevate collective journeys towards progress. This occasion is also a testament to the dedication in providing safer roads and enhanced connectivity for all Jamaicans,” Mr. Vaz stated.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, also spoke highly of the road development.

He expressed that the new leg of the country’s highway network represents “more than just concrete, steel and asphalt”.

“It signifies development, connectivity, and the promise of a brighter future for all those who traverse the south coast of this country,” Mr. Warmington said.

He added that a well-planned, efficient transportation network is the backbone of any thriving nation, as it connects people, fosters economic growth and enhances the quality of life for citizens.

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PRIME MINISTER OF THE BAHAMAS CALLS FOR COLLABORATION AT CANTO 24  

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The Honorable Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas.

MIAMI, Florida (July 8th, 2024) – Prime Minister Philip Davis of The Bahamas delivered a compelling keynote address at CANTO’s 39th annual Conference and Tradeshow Exhibition, sponsored by C&W Communications. He called for Caribbean leaders to unite in leveraging digital innovation for regional progress.

PM Davis was welcomed to the podium by Inge Smidts, CEO of C&W Communications, who provided brief remarks opening the day’s activities. Smidts shared C&W’s efforts in leading digital innovation and connectivity solutions and also in bridging the digital divide and fostering digital inclusion across the region.

The Prime Minister began by asking for a moment of solidarity following Hurricane Beryl’s destruction in Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent, the Windward Islands, and Jamaica. A number of delegates from the affected countries were unable to attend as they continue to work through restoration efforts. Davis recalled his country’s experience noting, “The Bahamas remembers Dorian’s fury all too well. Our hearts and prayers go out to our Caribbean brothers, and sisters and may those affected find strength and may the coming months be calmer than forecasts predict.”

The Prime Minister highlighted the region’s technological evolution, citing The Bahamas’ implementation of e-government platforms for citizen services, and the introduction of its Sand Dollar e-currency. He stressed the importance of digital skills education to ensure widespread technological literacy and prevent marginalization.

PM Davis also emphasized a number of challenges facing the region. He noted that education and training in digital skills was critical in ensuring people across the Caribbean are not left behind. “It is clear that technology is a powerful tool for progress and economic growth, however the true potential of this tool can only be realized if our citizens are equipped with the knowledge and skills to use if effectively. The biggest missed opportunity we face is having advanced technology at our disposal but lacking the widespread literacy to leverage it fully,” Davis continued.

Addressing the transformative power of technology, PM Davis said: “Technology is not merely a tool for economic growth, it is a powerful catalyst for social change. Our focus should be on how these innovations can enhance the quality of life for out citizens, bridging the gaps and opening opportunities that were previously unimaginable.”

C&W Communications through its charitable foundation, the CWCF has launched its JUMP social assistance program in response to this. Currently the JUMP program, launched in Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, and St. Lucia provides opportunities to scores of families who would not ordinarily be able to internet access.

Through a public private partnership with the Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation and governments in the region, the most vulnerable customers are able to benefit from subsidized internet access, a free laptop and eight weeks of digital skills training for the entire household. The JUMP program is set to be officially launched in August in The Bahamas.

The address concluded with the Prime Minister congratulating CANTO on its 39th birthday, officially announcing The Bahamas as the host for CANTO’s 40th Conference in 2025, marking a significant milestone for the organization and the region’s commitment to digital advancement.

Over 600 persons are attending the Annual Tradeshow and Exhibition which runs from July 7-10 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Miami, Florida. C&W Communications once again serving as headline sponsor for the event.

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C&W Communications committed to rebuilding after storms  

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Inge Smidts, Chief Executive Officer, C&W Communications.

MIAMI, Florida (July 8th, 2024) – As the region continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, leading telecoms provider C&W Communications has reaffirmed its commitment to work alongside impacted communities.

Hurricane Beryl recently caused devastating damage in several Caribbean islands, and storms of a similar magnitude to the unusually fierce early season hurricane are expected to become more common.

“We have always believed that our role extends beyond providing telecommunications services. We are a lifeline, a vital link that keeps people connected to their loved ones, to emergency services, and to the information they need in times of crisis,” said Inge Smidts, Chief Executive Officer, C&W Communications.

“I had the profound experience of visiting several of the islands that were hardest hit. The destruction is immense, with homes, businesses, and vital infrastructure severely damaged or destroyed. However, what stood out most was the incredible resilience and spirit of the people, so our commitment to the Caribbean must go beyond connectivity.”

Smidts was speaking at CANTO’s ongoing 39th Annual Trade Exhibition and Conference in Miami.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Towards a Sustainable Digital Economy’ and C&W Communications, the operators of Flow, Flow Business, C&W Business, and BTC, has returned as the headline sponsor for the region’s premier telecoms conference.

“This is an opportunity for us to act as a catalyst for change, and I urge all regional telecom stakeholders to join us in supporting our impacted communities. This is our moment, and together, we can leverage our resources, expertise, and networks to provide much-needed relief and support,” added Smidts.

“Let us collaborate to develop innovative solutions that can withstand the challenges of natural disasters and ensure the sustainability of our digital economy – one that is resilient, inclusive, and prepared for the future.”

The annual event brings together regional heads of state and government, along with regulators, telecom operators, and other key stakeholders to network, build alliances, review policy, and share best practices as it relates to the regional telecoms sector.

C&W Communications will host several discussions and events during the conference to shine the spotlight on important industry topics including digital sustainability and education, cybersecurity in the digital era, sustainable infrastructure development, investment challenges in digital sustainability, strategies for equitable access to broadband services, and empowering an inclusive digital economy.

Featured company speakers include Inge Smidts, Chief Executive Officer; Kerry Scott, Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer, Liberty Latin America (the parent company of C&W Communications); John Winter, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, LLA; Sameer Bhatti, Chief Executive Officer, Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (BTC); Nicolas Collette, Chief Commercial Officer, Business Markets; and Sebastian Kaplan, Vice President-Government Affairs, Liberty Latin America; and many others.

CANTO is a non-profit association made up of operators, organizations, companies, and individuals primarily focused on leading the information and communications technology (ICT) sector across the Caribbean region and the Americas.

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Telecoms and Climate Change in the spotlight at CANTO

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MIAMI, Florida (July 8th, 2024) – Following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Beryl in the Caribbean, the critical importance of robust telecommunications infrastructure and reliable data access was brought into sharp focus at the opening of CANTO’s 39th Annual Trade Exhibition and Conference in Miami.

Daryl Vaz

“The Caribbean is on the front lines of the global climate crisis, facing significant and immediate impacts that threaten the region’s environment, economy, and way of life. The Caribbean’s resilience and adaptive capacity are vital in the face of climate change, and it is imperative that we take proactive and coordinated action,” said Daryl Vaz, Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport.

Vaz delivered the feature address at CANTO’s opening ceremony on Sunday days after Beryl made landfall in Jamaica.

“Resilience and adaptive capacity are vital in the face of climate change. By embracing innovative solutions, fostering collaboration, and committing to sustainable practices, we can safeguard our islands for future generations. If we really want to survive and thrive, the time for talk is over and now is the time for action. We must walk the walk,” he said.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Towards a Sustainable Digital Economy’ and C&W Communications, the operators of Flow, Flow Business, C&W Business, and BTC, has returned as the headline sponsor for the region’s premier telecoms conference.

“As we gather in the wake of Hurricane Beryl, we are reminded of the immense challenges that natural disasters pose to our region, but also of the resilience and solidarity that define the Caribbean spirit,” said Marilyn Sealy, Senior Director, Head of Communications, C&W Communications.

“We are proud to be a part of an industry that provides the backbone for growth and innovation, and we remain committed to supporting the region, and at the same time the critical work that CANTO has undertaken over the years.”

The annual event brings together regional heads of state and government, along with regulators, telecom operators, and other key stakeholders to network, build alliances, review policy, and share best practices as it relates to the regional telecoms sector.

“As a leading provider of digital connectivity solutions across the region, this year’s theme resonates deeply with the core values and mission of C&W Communications,” added Sealy.

Marilyn Sealy

“We recognize the transformational role that technology plays in driving sustainable development, social inclusion, and economic growth, and it is our firm belief that by leveraging the power of connectivity, we can unlock new possibilities and create a brighter future for all.”

C&W Communications specifically will host several discussions and events during the conference to shine the spotlight important industry topics including digital sustainability and education, cybersecurity in the digital era, sustainable infrastructure development, investment challenges in digital sustainability, strategies for equitable access to broadband services, and empowering an inclusive digital economy.

Featured company speakers include Inge Smidts, Chief Executive Officer; Kerry Scott, Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer, Liberty Latin America (the parent company of C&W Communications); John Winter, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, LLA; Sameer Bhatti, Chief Executive Officer, Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (BTC); Nicolas Collette, Chief Commercial Officer, Business Markets; and Sebastian Kaplan, Vice President-Government Affairs, Liberty Latin America; and many others.

CANTO is a non-profit association made up of operators, organizations, companies, and individuals primarily focused on leading the information and communications technology (ICT) sector across the Caribbean region and the Americas.

 

  • Our very own Marilyn Sealy, Senior Director, Head of Communications, delivered the Sponsor’s Address, while Daryl Vaz, Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, delivered the Featured Address (photos attached).

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