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Grange awards 50 grants to boost cultural economy in Accompong

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St Elizabeth, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has awarded grants totalling $1.25 million to 50 businesses in Accompong as part of her ministry’s programme to boost economic activity in the culture-rich Maroon community.

Grange presented the grants during her ministry’s Economic Opportunities Workshop in Accompong today.

The ministry said the workshops, which began in September 2018, have been exposing the residents to entrepreneurship training with a focus on growing small businesses by improving efficiency, improving products and enhancing marketing.

Grange said the Economic Opportunities Workshops are part of her mission to “create the environment so that people in cultural communities, such as Accompong, can experience greater levels of prosperity.”

“We will do this by helping you to earn from your own assets — your way of life. And this is what these economic opportunities workshops are about; they are about preparing you, the people of Accompong, to earn and build prosperity from your awesome and rich maroon culture and heritage,” the minister added.

Each of the 50 grant recipients is said to own and/or operate a business in Accompong that has a direct impact on the lives of residents in the community.

Grange noted that the recipients are involved in honey production, jewellery making, carpentry, craft making and shop-keeping but the majority are involved in agriculture.

“That is why we decided to partner with Hardware and Lumber in the distribution of grants.

“Our research shows that Hardware and Lumber provides the products and services that our grant recipients need. And so each of the 50 grant recipients from the economic opportunities workshops in Accompong now have $25,000 credit at Hardware and Lumber which they can use to buy raw material and equipment for their businesses at H&L Rapid True Value and H&L Agro Business,” Grange said.

The culture minister also said she was excited to see how the grant recipients will use the grants to grow their businesses.

The ministry further explained that these economic opportunities workshops and award of grants in Accompong follow closely on the successful completion of a similar programme in communities close to the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage Site.

More than 400 people in the parishes of Portland, St Thomas and St Andrew also received entrepreneurship training and other types of support from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

According to the ministry, Grange has provided grants totalling J$1 million to small businesses that participated in the Blue and John Crow Mountains Economic Opportunities Workshops to improve their businesses.

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Jamaicans help mark 230th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, French National Day

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Jamaicans help mark 230th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, French National Day

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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WAY back in 1789 France, an angry crowd stormed the Bastille, a state prison in Paris known for housing anti-government prisoners. The crowd wanted ammunition to support their cause.

But their action has come to symbolise the French Revolution, and is celebrated worldwide every July 14, including in Jamaica ,where fine French wine wet the palates of a loyal group of expats, French language and culture lovers and diplomats, commemorating one of the most significant events of world history.

The Jamaica Observer was there this year, to bring you, even if belatedly, the joyous celebrations on the immaculately manicured lawns of the French Embassy at Hillcrest Avenue in Kingston, under the gracious host, Ambassador Denys Wibaux:

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Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) aiding public sector reform

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Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) aiding public sector reform

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Principal director of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation (PSTM) Programme, Office of the Cabinet, Wayne Robertson says the recently launched Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) will help Jamaica to improve its ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business report index.

The island is ranked at 75 among 190 economies, according to the 2018 Doing Business report.

Robertson said the PSTM programme at its core focuses on improving efficiencies within the public sector, in terms of operational activities.

“We want to make processes simple, so we carried out business process re-engineering and worked with the ministries, departments and agencies to build capacities generally, training workers — looking at their operations, and making recommendations,” he explained.

“We cannot frustrate the persons who do business with the Government; we must make it easier to do business. We have to look at the data and ensure that we are listening to our clients, because we also have feedback mechanisms that guide us accordingly,” he said.

Robertson noted that information and communications technology (ICT), which is another PSTM objective, has been critical to all of the project’s operations, including eBRF.

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To Prof With Love

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To Prof With Love

Wednesday Social

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Sybil Waller Friday, last, hosted a celebratory dinner in honour of her son Professor Lloyd Waller’s promotion to Professor of Digital Transformation Policy and Governance, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus.

Family, friends and colleagues gathered inside the Pavillion at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel and awaited the man of the hour who arrived dressed in a green and white Bill Edwards shirt. The light blush-fabric, which draped the suite, added easy charm to the dcor and mimicked the cool atmosphere on the outside.

Waller’s BFF, Professor Donna Hope, officially started the evening’s proceedings with a playful game of tattletale. Shortly after, Andrew Holness, prime minister of Jamaica, along with a few members of his Cabinet, joined the evening’s festivities.

PM Holness — who was first introduced to Waller’s work when he used one of his texts as a reference whilst completing a master’s programme and later used said text as part of a presentation to Parliament — described Waller as “representative of the new breed of academics”. “Academics should not be kept in the university, it is very important that the new breed of academics take their knowledge and use it to support the development of the country,” said Holness. “I think what Lloyd has done is worthy of praise and commendation,” He also took the opportunity to thank Waller for assisting the Government with its review and subsequent reimaging in 2012 after taking a loss at the polls a year prior, a courtesy he admited was seven years late but right on time. Holness dubbed Waller “our leading academic mind on issues to do with e-governance” and said Waller’s work will be very important in guiding Jamaica in the decades to come.

Prayer from Waller’s cousin, Yolande Whitely, preceded an emotional tribute from his mother, Sybil, who spoke to his early struggles with education and highlighted his many achievements over the years.

Tributes continued, with heartfelt expressions from Professor Anthony Harriot and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. Minister of Energy, Science and Technology Fayval Williams spoke on behalf of the eGov family, where Prof Waller is board chairman.

Recording artiste Nadine Sutherland — who met Professor Waller while earning her Master’s degree in cultural studies at UWI — serenaded guests with her rendition of Etta James’ At Last prior to delivering her Billboard hit, Action.

More tributes followed from Professor Ian Boxill; Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague and Professor Densil Williams, as guests enjoyed dinner in-between sips of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

In his own remarks, Waller spotlighted his struggles during his formative years and his ‘aha’ moment when his mother — in tears said, “I stop being a mother when I stop believing in you and I will never stop being that.” He’s not looked back! “Every dollar I get, I give back 50 per cent to the universe because someone always needs some help,” he said.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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