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Ebony Park HEART Academy gets help from NIC

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The National Irrigation Commission Limited (NIC) has entered into a partnership with the Ebony Park HEART Academy to provide water and other irrigational services to the institution.

Chairman of NIC, Senator Aubyn Hill, recently toured the Toll Gate, Clarendon facility to see the agricultural work being done there.

Following the tour, Hill said that the NIC recognises the importance of preparing youth for the future in a practical and meaningful way and believes that by participating in their development it is contributing to Jamaica’s growth and development.

Hill highlighted the contributions the NIC is making to education and agriculture in Clarendon.

“There are several pillars to this contribution: agriculture, tourism and crime reduction. When we put idle minds and hands to work, we are in fact taking youth off the street and offering them several possibilities for gainful employment,” said Hill.

He underscored the work being done at the academy to target unattached youths and encouraged them to take advantage of the free training programmes along with boarding being offered at the school.

“The National Irrigation Commission’s role is to enable these innovative ideas to bear fruit by providing reliable and affordable water and other irrigational services in a professional manner. The results of these investments will see more rounded and well-adjusted youth entering the job market.”

The Ebony Park HEART Academy offers courses in agriculture and hospitality including general agriculture, agro-food processing and food and beverage. The NIC, meanwhile, currently irrigates more than 2,800 hectares of land in Clarendon.

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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.

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