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  • CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMISSION EDUCATIONAL FORUM FOR TEENS

    The Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) on Monday, October 16, 2017 hosted the Commerce Education class of Temple Christian High School to an educational forum at the CPC's office. The students learned of the role and function of the CPC, their rights as teen consumers, and how a complaint is lodged with CPC, to resolution. Commissioners present spoke of the role of the commissioners on the CPC's board; and the CPC Chairman and officers facilitated.

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  • MINISTER DAMES COMMENDS NEW RBDF/BAIC PROGRAMME

    Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames said, on October 16, 2017 that the first Transitional Entrepreneurial Training Seminar Between The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) provided an outlet for senior members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to redirect their expertise. “Using their professional background, they will be able to focus on business development with the technical assistance of BAIC experts which all bodes well for the economic development of our nation,” Minister Dames said, during the official opening of the entrepreneurial programme, held at BAIC, in the Soldier Road Industrial Park. Also taking park in the ceremony were RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel; BAIC Executive Chairman Miriam Emmanuel, MP; BAIC General Manager Troy Sampson; senior Government Officials, BAIC staff members; RBDF Executives, Officers, Warrant Officers and Non-commissioned Officers; and seminar participants. Minister Dames noted that he was pleased to be associated with “this innovative partnership” between the RBDF and BAIC and, therefore, commended all concerned for their visionary leadership and collaboration in making the programme a reality. “I am certain that the Member of Parliament for MICAL would agree that this programme fits well into BAIC’s mantra of 'Growing. Partnering. Empowering'; and with the Defence Force’s motto of 'Guard Our Heritage',” Minister Dames said. “I understand that this joint venture was an idea that was initially presented to the General Manager at BAIC, Mr. Troy Sampson, by Commodore Tellis Bethel,” Minister Dames pointed out. “Commodore Bethel has advised me that Mr. Sampson and his team welcomed and developed the idea without hesitation. I applaud both you and the teams that supported you in this joint venture.” Minister Dames stated that the topics and activities that would be covered during the seminar were “impressive.” “They include local stock market investing, venture capital, government and private funding, tours of industrial parks and farms, and much more,” he said.

    Minister Dames added that the more than 30 men and women taking part in the pilot programme had all served over 25 years in the Defence Force and will more than likely be exploring those areas of business in which they would have developed some degree of skill. “I am made to understand that most, if not all, of you would have worked in at least two or more departments during your tenure in the Defence Force, thereby adding to your overall ability to brainstorm and implement unique solutions through creative enterprise,” he said. “In the business arena, your sense of discipline, commitment, hard work and responsibility are vital keys to your success.” Minister Dames said that it should be mentioned that the entrepreneurial programme falls under the RBDF's Operation Transformation, which is one of five strategic goals that have been set for the organization. “Operation Transformation, I am advised, aims to invest in the leadership, management and supervisory skills of members of the Defence Force, as well as the development of their character, and their professional and vocational skills,” he noted. “This initiative therefore makes it possible for Defence Force members to fulfill their vision of setting the standard of excellence in leadership, integrity and achievement in guarding their heritage.” The entrepreneurial seminar was, therefore, a part of a greater undertaking, Minister Dames stated. “I urge you to ask questions, gain as much insight as you can into the business world, develop your business plans, and take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity for personal advancement,” he said.

    Minister Dames said that he was also made to understand that, as a pilot programme, the seminar allowed for constructive feedback, which would be directed towards “constant improvement and expansion” for future participants in what is intended to be an ongoing programme. “It should be noted that the initial launch of this programme was slated to begin nearly a year ago but had to be rescheduled due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew then and Hurricane Irma earlier this year,” Minister Dames pointed out. “Defence Force participants were subsequently called off to safeguard the Bahamian public and to provide disaster relief assistance.” “Nevertheless, time and opportunity have reemerged to permit the programme to resume,” he added. “The experiences along the journey are practical reminders that the road to success is filled with many obstacles; however, if we keep pressing forward, upward, onward and together, eventually we will succeed.” To the seminar participants, Minister Dames reiterated that they were being presented with an “incredible opportunity.” “It is my hope that you maximize the use of the opportunities being made available to you for the successful development of your future dreams,” he said. “I thank you and congratulate you on another major milestone for the Defence Force and I wish you all the best of success.”

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  • TOASTMASTERS PAY COURTESY CALL ON THE PRIME MINISTER

    Toastmasters from various local clubs, and officers, recently paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis at the Office of the Prime Minister (front row, centre). Pictured with the Prime Minister are: Ivan C. Thompson DTM - Division I Director, Andre Kelly DTM - Division F Director, Keith L. Major DTM - Advisor, TM Chervez Brown - Area 90 Director, TM TiaMaria Albury - Area 91 Director, TM Kendra Munroe - Area 92 Director, TM Lynette Bowley - Area 60 Director, TM Ruthlin Hanna - Area 61 Director, TM Garth Jackson - Area 62 Director, TM Nikenya Rolle - Club Growth Director, TM Dion Knowles - President, First Bahamas Branch, TM DiAndra Gibson - President, Commonwealth Bank Blue Diamonds Club, TM Kohfe Miller - President, Evangelistic Temple Club, TM Sheena Culmer - President, Bahamas Public Service Union Club, TM Deandra Dorsette - President, Bahamas Union of Teachers Club, TM Matt Knowles - President, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Club, TM Jana Stubbs - President, First New Providence Branch, TM Nadia Humes - Vice President Membership, Healing Communicators Club, TM Tarnisha Fowler - Vice President Membership, Bahamas Faith Ministries Club, TM Patricia Hamilton, TM Owenique Palmer, TM Gale Roberts, TM Tanya Sturrup, and TM Anissa Sweeting.

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  • MINISTER WELLS TOUTS FOOD SECURITY AT WORLD FOOD DAY 2017 SHOWCASE

    Dozens of local school students attended ‘World Food Day 2017’ on Monday to draw awareness and support all segments of the Agriculture and Marine Resources economic sector. The showcase, under the theme, "Change the Future of Migration. Invest in Food Security and Rural Development," advocated expanding the industry, and also encouraged Bahamians to buy homegrown foods. Said Minister of Agriculture & Marine Resources, the Hon. Renward Wells: "Today, The Bahamas joins in the global celebration of World Food Day. By our theme, we have been challenged to think about how the large movements of people present complex challenges that lead to hunger, malnutrition and poverty." Minister Wells looked around the crowd of students, gathered at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium in the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, and gave brief remarks about the importance of food security. He asked the students to ponder on a few questions.

    "As we think on these things, try to answer these questions: Why do people leave home? Why do they leave the place of their birth, many times leaving loved ones and going to pursue the unknown? For us, in The Bahamas, we see so many peoples of other nations and cultures coming here. Why do they come?" said Minister Wells. "When we look to writings even from ancient times, they give evidence that people have always been busy moving into strange lands. This is nothing new. This desire to move is born of the need to be happy and the natural wish to find a better way of life."

    Minister Wells drew a picture of how the human condition can shape immigration and emigration decisions and events through no fault of any one person. He added that the irony is "the world produces enough food for 10 billion people — yet, the challenge of hunger persists. "Massive numbers of people around the world have been forced to leave their homes due to persecution, violence, natural disasters, and the scourge of poverty. The irony, though, is that moving is not always an option for poor people. They are, for the most part, unable to choose migration because they cannot afford it," said Minister Wells. "No matter where we find ourselves living, globally, as a people, we must do better. Although a world without hunger may sound impossible, there are 72 out of the 129 countries monitored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that were able, by 2015, to achieve the target of reducing the proportion of people who suffered from hunger by 50 percent." Minister Wells offered a few solutions to curb our vulnerability to hunger and starvation. "The recent hurricanes have demonstrated how vulnerable we all are in terms of food insecurity. Entire populations of islands were moved to New Providence and had to depend on others to provide food. While The Bahamas has a negligible challenge with hunger, it is not because we are capable of feeding ourselves; and that is very dangerous," said Minister Wells. "I am of the view that food security and food safety are matters of ‘national security’ and ‘national safety’. That is why my Ministry’s vision incorporates placing The Bahamas in a position to produce a regular supply of homegrown and home-raised food to feed ourselves at stable prices. Recognizing that food security is critical to our sovereignty, I urge citizens, to work together to embrace entrepreneurial ventures in farming, fisheries, fish and shellfish farming."

    Minister Wells appealed to the curiosity of the students listening to him to heed his words of advice about the future of Bahamian food security where they are most needed to fill that employment void. "Boys and girls, fishing and farming is hard work; but, my grandmother always said that hard work will not kill you. The sector is not limited to menial work either. We need smart people in the sector. New and emerging professions have caused people to make good money and become professionals in their own right," said Minister Wells. He read off a list of possible careers in the sector that are most needed: Agricultural Engineering, Food Science, Agricultural Inspection and Management, Agronomists, Large Scale Fishing, Fish and Shellfish Farming, Seafood Processing and Seafood Marketing, just to name a few. "There are so many other areas that you can study toward; but, while you are in school, you must study hard so that you get good grades, especially in sciences -- Math, Biology, General Science, Chemistry, etc.," said Minister Wells. "Government is doing more to assist people who choose professions to grow food, harvest or grow fish and shellfish and raise livestock and chickens. We want to see more livestock and poultry production and food processing, particularly in our Family Islands, and we will do what we can to assist."

    Minister Wells concluded by encouraging the students to become entrepreneurs and create ways in the agriculture and marine resources industry to make their own income and pave their own destiny. He said the government would support those who have proven they are trying. "Learn how to make business plans. That is important for a start. You are not too young to think about these things. Discuss them with your parents so that they know your interest and do all that they can to help you to build our Bahamas. This is all that we have," said Minister Wells. "With you in mind, I want to rebuild and repair the agriculture infrastructure, invest in replanting and restocking small farmers’ crops and livestock production. I encourage each of you to carve out a spot for planting – in your backyard, on your porch, in pots around the home, on the kitchen counter. Anywhere! No matter how small! Just get started! Together, we can do it!"

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  • MINISTER OF LABOUR MEETS WITH EXECUTIVES OF THE BAHAMAS FINANCIAL SERVICES BOARD AND THE ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL BANKS AND TRUSTS’

    The advancement of Bahamians to high paying jobs in the financial services sector and the enhanced regulation of the financial services industry were some of the matters which the Minister of Labour, Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes called for as he spoke with executives of The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) and the Association of International Banks and Trusts (AIBT) on Thursday, 5 October

    2017. The Bahamas Financial Services Board executives were led by Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Tanya McCartney and Mr. Bruno Roberts, Co-Chairman of the Association of International Banks and Trusts along with Ms. Antoinette Russell, Director of Credit Suisse Trust and BFS Board member.

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  • HERBERT BROWN RETIRES AS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF P.H.A FOLLOWING YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE

    During the retirement luncheon for the Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA), Herbert Brown -- Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands said it was “an honour to pay tribute to the career of a veteran of the public health system and visionary leader, who made health care development a priority of his tenure as Managing Director.” “Herbert Brown is an inspiring figure in our modern healthcare environment. It is not often that a man begins at an entry-level post in a public hospital institution and rises to the very top of that organization to exercise leadership at the highest levels,” the Minister said during the luncheon held at the Balmoral Club, Friday, October 13, 2017. Dr. Sands said one of Mr. Brown’s greatest contributions to public healthcare is an unflagging insistence upon excellence. “At every level of our public health facilities, quality and excellence should be the watchwords of our efforts. To put it most simply, Hebert Brown is convinced there should be no differentiation in standards and quality of care between public health facilities and the private.”

    Former Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham attended the retirement luncheon joining many others from across the health care system as well as family members including Mr. Brown’s wife, Dr. Laurette Isaac Brown, and one of his sons. Mr. Brown said as he thinks back on his journey in health, he could not help but reflect on his family, mentors and friends, who had at various times in his professional life helped him to maintain and grow into a career that allowed him to impact the lives of many people in the country. “I would like to formally, publicly thank the more than 4,000 employees at the PHA for their outstanding example of ingenuity, talent, leadership and compassion.” Mr. Brown began his career in the public service in May 1970 at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre. After a long and distinguished career, he became the Managing Director of the PHA in 2002.

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  • DIPLOMATIC WEEK 2017 BEGINS WITH CHURCH SERVICE

    Under theme 'Innovative Approaches to A Changing World', the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially began its 4th Annual Diplomatic Week, Sunday 15th October, with an official church service at Christ Church Cathedral. The Governor General, Dame Marguerite Pindling, attended the official opening service. The Diplomatic Week opening service, and the week’s events are being attended by the entire accredited Diplomatic Corps of The Bahamas, both resident and non-resident. The formal opening ceremony for Diplomatic Week will take place Monday morning 16th October at the Melia Hotel and continue throughout the week with various addresses by senior Government Ministers and other officials at the Melia Resort until Wednesday, when the Diplomatic Corps and other international guests will tour Freeport, Grand Bahama.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs first began Diplomatic Week in 2014 as an exercise to liaise directly with all international diplomats accredited to The Bahamas and to share important goals with the country's international friends and allies. Diplomatic Week also serves as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations, promote cultural, social and economic exchanges between The Bahamas, International and Regional Organizations facilitated through working sessions and activities.

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  • INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL OPENS

    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Darren Henfield Saturday 14th October officially opened the International Food Festival on the grounds of the national Botanical Gardens in Chippingham. The Food Festival featured national booths from 23 different nations with diplomatic relations with The Bahamas including five from the People’s Republic of China, as well as special performances by various national groups.

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  • MINISTRY OF LABOUR TO CONDUCT COMMUNITY-BASED JOBS SIGN-UP

    The Ministry of Labour is about to embark upon an initiative into the low employment areas of New Providence and Grand Bahama to sign up qualified Bahamians on the Employment Exchange for work.

    This was announced by Senator the Hon. Dion A. Foulkes, Minister of Labour, during his contribution in the Senate, on The Resolution to Thank the Governor General for The Speech from The Throne. Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas read The Speech from The Throne during the Opening of Parliament, following the May 10, 2017 General Election. The Speech outlines the Government’s plans and agenda for governing the country. Mr. Foulkes, in his Senate communication outlines plans for his portfolio, as foreshadowed in the Speech From The Throne. “We are going on the blocks, on the basketball courts, outside popular business establishments like food stores and washhouses. We are taking our employment exchange to the people,” he said. “Too often we have applications for work permits in a number of areas and we do not have qualified Bahamians on our list at the Exchange to refer to the employer.”

    Mr. Foulkes noted that there are shortages of housekeepers, gardeners, farmers, air conditioning technicians, welders, engineers, nurses, specialized teachers, spa therapists, butlers, food and beverage managers, financial services traders and wealth managers. “May I take this opportunity to appeal to qualified people who are looking for employment: please register with the Employment Exchange,” he said. Mr. Foulkes said that his Ministry is focusing on a national approach to training. In this regard, several institutions have been consulted namely the University of the Bahamas, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, hotels, the financial services sector and the industrial sector in Grand Bahama. “We want to devise a coordinated public/private sector training initiative where we can focus our efforts on training Bahamians for the demands of the existing market place,” he said.

    In the financial services and the maritime industries, he noted that the Ministry is in the process of devising plans to institutionalize education and training from primary and high school levels. “We have looked into some of the initiatives in Singapore, Cayman Islands and other jurisdictions as to how to approach this question of training in the financial services sector,” Mr. Foulkes said. He noted that the country the government is mostly impressed with in this regards is Estonia, where that government and the private sector began the training of Estonians for the financial services sector from the primary school level. “If we are to maximize the benefits to Bahamians, I am of the view that we have to begin the process of making a cultural change with respect to financial services and the maritime industry, and it must start with our educational and training institutions,” Mr. Foulkes said. In the area of Labour, he said that his Ministry is in the final stages of concluding industrial agreements with Customs, Immigration, and the Air Traffic Controllers unions.

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  • MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES DIPLOMATIC WEEK 2017

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces Diplomatic Week 2017 - 'Innovative Approaches to A Changing World'. This is the 4th Annual such event and will be marked with attendance by the entire Diplomatic Corps of The Bahamas, both resident and non-resident. Diplomatic week begins with a Church Service at Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday 15th October. The formal opening ceremony will take place at 10.00am at the Melia Hotel. Diplomatic week continues throughout the week with various addresses by senior Government Ministers and other officials at the Melia Resort until Wednesday, when the Diplomatic Corps and other international guests will tour Freeport, Grand Bahama.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs first began Diplomatic Week in 2014 as an exercise to liaise directly with all international diplomats accredited to The Bahamas and to share important goals with the country's international friends and allies. Diplomatic Week also serves as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations, promote cultural, social and economic exchanges between The Bahamas, International and Regional Organizations facilitated through working sessions and activities.

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