THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS BY ELCOTT COLEBY
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PM Christie stresses youth and human capital development at the UN
Delivering the statement on behalf of CARICOM, Bahamas Prime Minister and CARICOM Chair the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie told delegates that as the region tackles youth unemployment, efforts must be made to integrate human capital and youth development into the region’s strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change and resulting natural disasters. The Prime Minister delivered this proposition during his address at the 2015 Integration Segment of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York City this past Monday.
“Efforts will be made to advance human capital development, through the enhancement of key skills, education reform and youth development. We will build capacity and create green jobs in our efforts to manage adaptation to climate change and mitigate its effects, and enhance our resilience to natural disasters. And we will forge a culture of innovation, increase job creation, entrepreneurship and new business development in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).”
Turning his attention to his CARICOM portfolio of sports and culture, Christie proposed innovation or new thinking as a critical component in maximizing the growth potential and entrepreneurial opportunities for the region’s people. He suggested sports assets as an example.
“We expanded our range of potential growth poles to include, for example, our sporting assets, in a bid to encourage new thinking in seeking to generate employment and create avenues for entrepreneurship. The areas identified have significant potential for enhancing and re-energizing our tourism product in particular.
“These are also areas that will be enhanced by the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)” continued Mr. Christie, “a field in which our young people are particularly adept. The idea therefore is to promote these sectors as viable for sustainable economic activity as well as an outlet for creativity and innovation among our youth.”
Dorsett finalizes alternative energy RFP
Updating the media at a press conference at his Shirley and Charlotte Street office on Monday, Environment Minister Hon. Ken Dorsett revealed that the government is in the final stages of preparing a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the provision of alternative energy sources by Independent Power Providers (IPP) in selected Family Islands. This pilot project is a joint venture with the Carbon War Room (CWR) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that will provide policy oversight and support.
Minister Dorsett said the Government has committed not only to ensuring that the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Sciences Institute (BAMSI) becomes a green facility powered by solar energy, it has also committed to providing 11 Family Islands with solar or wind powered utilities from Independent Power Providers (IPP). These islands include Eleuthera, Andros, Cat Island, Acklins, Bimini, Inagua, Crooked Island, Exuma and Long Island.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed and the less developed islands will receive the major focus. “You would see that a concentrated focus on some of our southern islands has been factored in to ensure that we do not find ourselves focusing on our populated and more developed islands,” Minister Dorsett said.
The outcome of the CWR’s Ten Island Challenge is as follows:
- Developing more than 20 MW of solar PV generation across the Family Islands;
- Bringing energy efficiency and solar solutions to Anatol Rodgers High School;
- Performing a nationwide LED retrofit for street lights;
- Implementing a thorough process designed to transition the Bahamas away from fossil fuels;
- Documenting best practices.