The Government of St Kitts and Nevis celebrates a year in office with key accomplishments

Basseterre, Aug. 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, addressed the nation recently on St Kitts and Nevis’ Labour Party’s (SKNLP) one-year anniversary and outlined some of the Party’s successes in that period.

After Honourable Dr. Drew consulted with experts during the pandemic, he made the bold decision to lift Covid-19 restrictions. This decision supported the survival of the tourism sector.

Honourable Dr. Drew, shared on social media his gratitude for the support the government received from local citizens and noted the country’s latest developments, he outlined SKNLP administration’s critical achievements from August 2022 to August 2023, which include:

Growth in the education sector

The government has significantly reduced student loan interest rates from nine per cent to five per cent at the Development Bank. And student loans received interest-free debt relief for the first time in a little over four years.

The government implemented a ‘Graduate Finance’ Project with ECD$15,000 credit for students with loans at the Development Bank and other banks. With an additional ECD$25,000 grant for students applying and studying relevant undergraduate or graduate programmes.

Sports and recreation 

St Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Sports, under the leadership of Samal Duggins, has launched numerous initiatives as part of the government’s achievements, such as:

  • Transforming Lambert’s playing field to be used to attract more citizens to partake in sports activities on the field.
  • Restoration project in the Warner Park Cricket Stadium to host international games and support the growing tourism sector in the country.

Economic growth 

Indigenous financial institutions in the country now provide zero down payment for mortgages, which makes it possible for homeowners to qualify to purchase their dream home on the twin island nation.

The government-subsidised Fuel Variation Charge (FVC), and the cost of fuel and electricity subsided to ECD$9 million per month.

The first Citizenship by Investment (CBI) dividends were paid out to CBI investors in December 2022 and in June 2023, indicating that the St Kitts and Nevis CBI Programme has shown strength in economic development.

During the first year of the new SKNLP administration in office, the government received the highest tax collection through inland revenue, despite no tax increases and new taxes. Small businesses in the country impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic received ECD$20,000 Small Business Loans from the Development Bank.

The government was able to reinstate its Gratuity payouts for retired Government Auxiliary Employees (CAE) with a minimum of 10 years of service.

Growth in the tourism sector 

The government increased the number of different airlines to the destination with Caribbean Airlines, InterCaribbean Airlines and JetBlue Airlines to the country’s airlift. The “Venture Deeper” tourism brand campaign was launched to diversify tourism initiatives.

Honourable Dr. Drew and his administration welcomed the world’s largest cruise liner, Wonder of the Seas, to its port. Additional, extended discounted value-added tax days to three times a year – in Easter, Summer and Christmas festive seasons. And duty-free import of food up to 400lbs, including a duty-free allowance of US$200 for travellers and non-commercial importers.

Changes in the country’s legislation

The Government of St Kitts and Nevis improved its good governance by implementing changes to laws being passed to support and protect the country’s diverse communities, which include:

  • A Domestic Violence Act to protect women, men and children who are exposed to and affected by domestic violence.
  • Alterations were made to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank legislation, and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Agreement Act was created for the country to access ECD$1.5 billion of capital to develop projects in electricity and energy, water and various other sectors.

Housing project launched 

The government commitment is to build 2,400 affordable hurricane-resilient smart homes in four years that will be built in four phases. Each phase will construct 600 homes, with features for each new homeowner to enjoy, including a water tank and a rooftop water heater in each home.

Growth in the healthcare sector 

Honourable Dr. Drew added that there are healthcare initiatives to provide essential healthcare to disadvantaged children through paying for emergency overseas medical care. This initiative saved over thirty sick children in the twin federation.

The above accomplishments were achieved by critical steps to preserve the economy and tourism sector. St Kitts and Nevis’ economy ricocheted in the last year with significant growth in the agriculture, financial services, and tourism sectors. As well as advancing the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, with new regulations to maintain competitiveness in the Caribbean and in the rest of the world.

The government placed emphasis on job creation and permanent employment opportunities for the country’s people, these subsequently boost the economy and significantly improve the livelihood of citizens.

The Government of St Kitts and Nevis’ vision is to evolve the country into a Sustainable Island State by focusing its governance on integrity, transparency, and accountability. Their commitment is to build a stronger country and empower its citizens.

Secretary of St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme
Government of St. Kitts and Nevis
00-1-869-467-1474
communications@skn-ciu.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8899755

Guidepoint Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation

Constantly finding new ways to give clients the context they need to navigate the abundance of information available today.

New York, NY, Aug. 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This year, Guidepoint celebrates its 20th anniversary as a leading expert network and research enablement platform, offering solutions that allow clients to obtain essential knowledge to better inform their business decisions.

Since Guidepoint’s founding, the company has pursued its vision of making knowledge available to all by expanding to include 17 strategically located global offices, a network of 1.5 Million subject matter experts across all sectors, and a client list of more than 4,500 top organizations around the world.

In recent years, Guidepoint has expanded its product set to include Guidepoint Insights, offering access to more than 750 live events per month and a library of more than 23,000+ transcripts, and Guidepoint Qsight, an alternative data business focused on bespoke curation of market data in the MedTech, Therapeutics, and Aesthetics spaces.

“I’m proud of what Guidepoint has accomplished in the past 20 years, with the support of our dedicated employees, clients, and Advisors.” said Albert Sebag, CEO of Guidepoint. “While it’s important to celebrate our achievements, we’re already looking forward, positioning ourselves to expand our offerings and deliver on a promise of unparalleled expertise and ongoing innovation — offering knowledge solutions that can create a lasting impact for the firms we serve.”

As Guidepoint’s products have evolved, so has its focus. With an eye toward the future, the company is making significant investments in original content and technology, intent on serving the broader knowledge needs of its expanded roster of clients.

To learn more about Guidepoint, and the products and services they offer, visit their website at www.guidepoint.com.

About Guidepoint

Guidepoint is a research enablement platform designed to accelerate understanding and empower decision‑making through real-time access to data and hard-to-source knowledge. Backed by the world’s largest network of expertise, the company provides critical context and dimension on any topic, letting top companies and investors rapidly turn answers into action.

Mike Gold
Guidepoint
2123752984
marketing@guidepoint.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8899725

Academic City commits to revolutionising education and preparing students to excel

Academic City University College, Ghana’s premium Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) and Entrepreneurial institution, has announced its 5th Anniversary with the commitment to revolutionising education and preparing students to excel on the global stage. Over the past five years, the University has become a top tertiary education institution for learning in Ghana and across Africa. A statement issued in Accra said the University had created an environment that encourages innovation and creativity, helping students become future leaders. It said the University’s unique approach combined academic excellence with hands-on experience, preparing graduates to succeed in practical situations. The statement said the celebration of Academic City’s 5th Anniversary was underpinned by a series of remarkable achievements that underscored its impact on education and industry. It said the prestigious Times Higher Education ranking had recognised Academic City’s excellence, placing it as the 15th top University in sub-Saharan Africa and the second in Ghana. ‘This achievement confirms the university’s commitment to academic rigour and innovation,’ it said. The statement said Academic City’s innovative approach to education had borne fruit as its first graduates made waves globally. It said several alumni were currently contributing their expertise to leading financial institutions, such as Goldman Sachs in the UK. Others have ventured into entrepreneurship, with one group establishing a company named Goliath Robotics dedicated to the manufacturing of electric bikes and wheelchairs. It said this impressive display of alumni accomplishments was a testament to the University’s dedication to nurturing well-rounded, globally competitive professionals. It said the University’s commitment to producing world-class graduates was evidenced by its alumni pursuing further education at top-tier universities such as Virginia Tech, Oregon State University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Carnegie Mellon, Rwanda among others. The University’s network of collaborations and partnerships with renowned institutions worldwide provides its students with a gateway to expand their horizons and access world-class educational opportunities. The statement said Academic City had taken the lead in transforming tertiary education in Ghana and beyond. ‘By embracing a STEAM-focused curriculum and cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit among its students, the institution is equipping the next generation with the tools they need to address complex challenges and drive innovation across various sectors,’ it added. It said as part of its 5th Anniversary celebrations, Academic City was hosting a series of events that would highlight its accomplishments and future vision for education. The celebration will include a public lecture on the topic ‘Empowering the Youth for the Future’, a beach clean-up exercise, a technological exhibition, and the recognition of outstanding personalities who have impacted society. Professor Fred McBagonluri, President, and Provost of Academic City, said, ‘Our 5th anniversary celebration is evidence of the commitment and determination of our entire academic community, from our faculty to our students to our alumni and employees.’ He said they were committed to continuing their mission of educating future-ready leaders who could innovatively solve complex problems within an ethical, entrepreneurial, and collaborative environment. ‘In a time of rapid technological advancements and evolving economic landscapes, Academic City is a beacon of innovation, excellence, and empowerment,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Cameroon now has a diplomatic representative in Serbia

Cameroonian Ambassador to Italy, Mr Foumane Sébastien has been appointed Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cameroon to the Republic of Serbia but his residence will remain in Rome, Italy where he has been serving since October 26, 2020.

He was appointed by the president of the Republic Paul Biya in a decree on Tuesday August 22, 2023. The diplomat is also Cameroon’s representative at United Nations Institutions in Rome.

This appointment is expected to facilitate services to Cameroonians in Serbia who had been relying on neighboring Cameroonian embassies and consulates generals in Austria, Italy and Turkey.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Homosexuality : Barbie movie banned in Cameroon

The American film “Barbie ” has been banned in Cameroon for its perversity and promotion of homosexuality, prohibited by the laws of the country.

According to Box Office Pro, an American motion picture industry magazine dedicated movie ttheatre business, the decision to ban the movie was orally taken by the Department of Cinematography and Audiovisual Productions of the Ministry of Arts and Culture (Minac) on Tuesday August 22, 2023 as it ordered that all cinema halls in the country to remove the movie from their programs.

“this decision comes after the procedure to obtain an exploitation visa for the broadcast of the film, witnessed no opposition. The movie was watched and its broadcast approved some days before its official outing” Declares Box Pro Office on its website.

The decision comes just a week after the movie was broadcast at Canal Olympia, in Douala and Yaoundé, on Wednesday August 16, 2023.

In banning this movie, Cameroon joins countries like Liban, Kuwait and Algeria in fighting homosexuality. In June 2023, Cameroon banned the arrival of French Ambassador for LGBT rights Jean-Marc Berthon who wanted to promote LGBT activities in Cameroon. Recently, the National Communication Council through its President, Joseph Chebongkeng Kalabubsu warned promoters of TV channels and image distributors against the broadcast of films promoting homosexuality.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Barrister Abeng’s bank account still frozen, Seven years later

The Bank account of Barrister Roland Abeng was sealed in 2017, months after the legal luminary requested that the OHADA Uniform Act be translated into English. (OHADA is a system of corporate law and implementing institutions adopted by seventeen West and Central African nations in 1993 in Port Louis, Mauritius before it was revised in 2008 in Quebec, Canada.)

Since its adoption, the law has always been in the French language despite Cameroon being a bilingual country.

On October 1, 2016, one of Cameroon’s finest lawyers, Barrister Roland Abeng organized a meeting at the Akwa Palace Hotel in Douala to throw more light on the importance of such a translation, to Common Law Lawyers. But the meeting was banned and the organizer’s account was blocked.

Despite a decision to release his funds, the execution has not been done since January 2017.

On August 16, 2023, Barrister Abeng said “I was informed by a reliable source (supported documents)

by the Cameroon Judicial Police Department that my bank had received formal instructions to immediately release the seized funds… dating from January 2017. That’s more than six years ago. I went to the bank, ( August 11, 2023) the lady I found behind the counter, despite her friendly smile, informed me after checking that my account was still “blocked” and that I should contact my account manager if I wanted to find out more.”

Barrister Abeng also revealed that he was suspected of sponsoring terrorism activities in Cameroon shortly after the outbreak of the armed conflict in the Anglophone regions.

“The government of the Republic of Cameroon in 2022 contacted me to work on the bond issue. With such a profile, what could I have done to have my bank accounts frozen, blocked and seized? The answer is quite simple: I was suspected, I learnt, of terrorism and complicity in terrorism. According to the instructions sent to my bank at the beginning of 2017 by the Director of the Judicial Police on the strict instructions of the Yaoundé Military Court,” he revealed.

Surprisingly, the international lawyer was never summoned to the Police or Court and never arrested, so why freeze his funds to date?

Despite this treatment, the same laws Barrister struggled for to be translated are not really applicable to the letter, “In Cameroon, we are still not out of the situation that arose in 2016, simply because someone in the government thought that asking for laws to be translated into English was too much to ask! No doubt, then, that 8 years on, the same person probably still believes that it is legitimate for laws applicable in Cameroon to exist only in French. It is obvious that such “French-speaking supremacists abound and their ranks are growing by the day. Yet this destroys the legal fabric of our Nation!”

Source: Cameroon News Agency