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SHARING THE LOVE: Jamar Thelwell Scholarship

Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.

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Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service


News for Week of November 13, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Adopt-a-clinic drive a success to date

The Government’s Adopt-a-Clinic Programme has, so far, raised $175 million to benefit 40 health centres across Jamaica. Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton indicated this while addressing a ceremony for the adoption of the Dr. Kenneth Baugh Health Centre in Point Hill, St. Catherine, on Wednesday, November 9.

Dr. Tufton said the programme is growing and fostering important partnerships with Jamaicans in the island and across the diaspora, to improve health care delivery. He noted that the initiative is about improving primary health institutions, by allowing a set of resources to enter the facilities over a period of three years for repairs and maintenance.

“This [Dr. Kenneth Baugh Health Centre] adoption is the 40th facility… we want to get to 100,” noted Tufton. “People are buying into [the initiative] and we are seeing persons coming forward to participate in these adoptions. It means that you commit to giving support and you are establishing relationships with the facility and the people who benefit.”

The health centre has been adopted by Jamaica’s Consulate General in Miami, United States; the health minister hailed Consul General Oliver Mair, and his team for the “great job” done to adopt five health centres across the island.

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IGNITE ready to lend to small businesses

The application window for the fourth edition of the Innovation Grant for New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE IV) for entrepreneurs and small businesses to access up to $7 million, is now open.

The Development Bank of Jamaica’s (DBJ) programme targets innovative businesses seeking to grow and scale, with grant funding and capacity building support.

Under IGNITE, there are two channels through which applicants may apply – Ideation and Commercialization – with applicable sums of $3 million and $7 million, respectively.

The DBJ is placing strong emphasis on projects or businesses in the categories of climate change and gender; tourism and creatives; manufacturing and agriculture; and technology – software and information and communications technology.

The IGNITE programme, first introduced in 2016, is funded under a five-year loan agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with additional support through non-reimbursable grant funding from the European Union (EU), geared towards building a robust and sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jamaica.

IGNITE is part of the DBJ’s Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (BIGEE), and is expanding.



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Minister wants to see more exports from Jamaica

Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) members are being encouraged by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator Aubyn Hill, to capitalize on the country’s export opportunities.

Speaking during a tour of the Wisynco Group’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in St. Catherine on Wednesday, November 9, Senator Hill said there is a US$4.5 billion gap in Jamaica’s trade with other countries.

“In other words, we import US$5.975 billion, and we export US$1.41 billion. I know you’re exporting. But I want to see you [Wisynco] and your fellow businesses in the JMEA, take on [more] exports,” the Minister urged.

JMEA President, John Mahfood, who also toured the facility, said the Wisynco Group “has the ability to find a way of being a significant exporter.”

“We all, as manufacturers, have to find that secret that will take us to the export market. We have the wherewithal; the economy is stable [and] we can do it,” he added. “We just have to share the ideas and figure out how we’re all going to be successful.”

Wisynco Group Chairman, William Mahfood, said the company is now focusing on how to build Brand Jamaica internationally. “Jamaica, as a country, has a tremendous brand internationally, and Wisynco has recognised the opportunities with that brand and our production. So, we’re focused, very intensely, on building our exports.”

Mr. Mahfood added that with the commitment to build foreign exchange earnings through exports, the company has been making significant capital investments.

“We’re making investments in our manufacturing process. We’re putting in a new water line, a new beverage manufacturing line [and] additional energy production,” he said. “All of these investments culminated in what is the highest level of capital investment, as an organisation, Wisynco has ever done.”


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Studio apartment complex for South West St Andrew

A total of 248 studio apartments will be constructed at 10-16 Howard Avenue, St. Andrew South West, under the National Housing Trust (NHT) Guaranteed Purchase Programme. The developer is Centauri Real Estate Company Limited.

The project is expected to be completed by October 2024 and should cost $2.4 billion. The NHT has engaged with developers Centauri Real Estate Company Limited for construction of the project, dubbed: ‘The Howard Apartments’.

Under the programme, developers conceptualize and execute their development plans, while the NHT absorbs the market risk by purchasing units in the development.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness called for more developers to participate in the programme. “We want more developers to join in, more Jamaican developers to come in,” he said. “I know developers are skeptical of the progamme because it locks off the ability to gain on the appreciation after the units are built, but that is not going to help the people who want the units, so we want our developers to come in and maximize on the efficiency on construction, so that the people of the country can get the units at affordable prices.”

Customs agency in drive to ‘get every illegal guns’

The Jamaica Customs Agency, a member of the National Security Council, which is driving the Government of Jamaica’s “Get Every Illegal Gun Campaign,” has amplified its fight against criminal networks that seek to import illegal guns through the nation’s controlled borders, by undertaking a new public education campaign.

The public education campaign, titled “Tell Us” starts in November 2022, and calls on Jamaicans, locally and in the diaspora, to report suspicious or criminal activities in Customs-controlled areas.

CEO/Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts Walker said the agency continues to be “vigilant” and “aggressive” in its fight against the importation of illegal firearms and other contraband and will continue to heighten its efforts in combating illegal trade.

She noted that this fight must be collaborative, highlighting that “any efforts to address crime and threats in our country are most effective when they involve strong collaboration between law enforcement entities, communities, and citizens. The campaign, will therefore seek to acquire information from the public who are encouraged to call Crime Stop at 311, and provide the information to them.”

The customs boss added that the rewards mechanism in place, for the provision of information leading to arrests and convictions, is being done in partnership with Crime Stop which spearheads the rewards programme.

“We believe that incentives play a major role in getting people to act. Therefore, we are using this rewards mechanism as a driving force to get people to “Tell Us” who are the criminals and corrupters.”

Don’t let geopolitics kill the world economy

By Dani Rodrik

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“China is a threat not because it undermines any fundamental US security interests, but because it will want to exercise influence over the rules of the global political and economic order as it gets richer and more powerful.”

CAMBRIDGE – At the Communist Party of China’s 20th National Congress last month, the country’s one-man rule under Xi Jinping became fully entrenched. Though communist China has never been a democracy, its post-Mao leaders kept their ears to the ground, paid attention to voices from below, and thus were able to reverse failing policies before they became disastrous.

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