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Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.
Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service
News for Week of January 15, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
Modern traffic ticketing system ready for February 1
The Government’s end-to-end digitized ticketing system will go live on February 1, according to Jamaica’s Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang.
He said that the system will “not only increase the efficiency of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch officers by ensuring that motorists who break the law receive with immediacy, the prescribed consequence, but importantly (it) will nullify speculations of corruption and avoidance”.
Tickets, said the minister, will be issued using a handheld device, which will also make the information immediately available to the relevant stakeholders. In addition to the print-out, the motorist will receive an electronic version of the ticket via email.
The ticket can be paid online via the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) portal and the process concluded “quickly, conveniently and non-contentiously”, Dr. Chang said.
In addition, Dr. Chang noted that the Traffic Ticket Web lookup portal, which has already been launched, will allow motorists to check the status of their tickets, print their records and use this to attend the courts.
Canada offers cash to improve social justice delivery
Jamaica has received a CAD$12-million boost from longstanding international partner, Canada, through the newly launched Social Justice (So-JUST) Project.
The seven-year initiative, which runs from 2021 to 2028, aims to facilitate a more rights-based and gender-sensitive justice system that yields equitable outcomes for all Jamaicans.
It comes in the wake of the recently concluded Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme, which ran from 2011 to 2021.
So-JUST is intended to integrate the four pillars of social justice – equity, access, participation, and rights.
It will focus specifically on enhancing the rights of and access to justice for women, girls, people with disabilities, and residents of rural and vulnerable communities.
The project is designed to directly benefit the poorest and most disadvantaged users of justice services, in particular survivors of gender-based violence.
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck thanked the Canadian Government for supporting the project, emphasizing that, “Jamaica must respond by becoming a peaceful, safe and secure society”.
Canada’s High Commissioner Emina Tudakovic said Canada is “honoured to be associated with the justice reform process in the Caribbean” and assured that the country “remains committed to supporting stakeholders as they seek a more equitable, efficient and responsive justice system for all”.
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Push to grow Blue Mountain Coffee exports, says JAMPRO
Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is working with key stakeholders to position the country’s Blue Mountain Coffee as a luxury brand that will drive demand and increase exports.
For the past five years, JAMPRO has partnered with the Jamaica Coffee Exporters’ Association and the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority, to heighten awareness of this iconic, luxury brew among indigenous coffee drinkers as well as attract a new generation captivated by a ‘luxury lifestyle’.
JAMPRO Vice President for Marketing, Gabriel Heron, explained that “one of the things that we are trying to do, and what is very important, is positioning Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee as a luxury brand; and what that means is being able to sell at grade margins and increasing demand for the product globally”.
“With an increase in demand and with a greater recognition of the flavour profile and the luxury component of the brand itself, it can only drive demand, hence improving exports,” he added.
Mr. Heron indicated that over the last 10 years, Jamaica has exported an average of approximately 550,000 kilograms of coffee per annum, adding that this out-turn is projected to increase this year.
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Course ends, all trainees get job offers from tech group
The second cohort of software coding trainees at the Amber HEART Academy have received job offers from Amber Group Limited, after successfully completing the one-year skills development programme.
On Wednesday, January 11, the 40 new coders were presented with job letters from the global technology company, along with their National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) certificate, at a graduation ceremony held at the HEART/NSTA Trust Stony Hill Campus in St. Andrew.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz commended the graduates, noting that they will play a key role in Jamaica’s transformation into a knowledge-based society.
“Imagine a Jamaica where we no longer join lines to do business – a Jamaica where all our transactions are done online at the click of a button from the convenience of anywhere in the world. That, graduands, is where all the hard work you have done now will come in,” he said.
“As a government,” said Minister Vaz, “we are ensuring that we, too, will be ready for the fifth industrial revolution that developers like you will create. [We are] strengthening the cybersecurity framework to ensure that as we move online, laws are there to protect us against those with nefarious intent.”
The Government is revising the Cybersecurity Act and is working to establish a cybersecurity authority that will provide complementary coordination services to ensure continued growth in Jamaica’s cyber resilience.
Big comeback for Jamaica’s tourism sector, says minister
Jamaica’s tourism sector continues to rebound strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic-induced economic fallout, generating earnings close to US$4 billion in 2022.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said that the 2022/23 winter season has, so far, “started with a bang”, with January’s figures, to date, showing a 463 per cent increase over last year and 29 percentage points growth over 2019.
Regarding the tourism pension scheme, he said that nearly 8,000 workers are now contributing to the plan, generating savings of $350 million. He indicated that the scheme is on track to reach 10,000 members during the current winter season.
“The potential for this pension programme is to have over 350,000 members, and that savings will bring billions of dollars, which will now become a pool of affordable funds for capital development and on-lending for various other investment projects,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“And we know in economics that one of the bases on which solid growth is predicated is when the domestic savings of a country [are] converted into investment,” he added.
What is the fuel of the future?
By Jörg Haas
BERLIN – Green hydrogen is all the rage these days. During November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany will invest more than €4 billion ($4.3 billion) in developing a market for it.
In the United States, President Joe Biden’s administration has made “clean” hydrogen a centerpiece of its Inflation Reduction Act, which provides subsidies for renewable energies. China, too, is so invested in electrolysis that some observers already fear that it will take over the market the same way it did with photovoltaic panels. And even corporations like the Australian mining giant Fortescue are betting on it becoming a multibillion-dollar industry.