Official newsletter

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Official newsletter
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Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
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July 2011


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A newsletter produced by the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission London for nationals and friends of Antigua and Barbuda July/August 2011 Issue 144 The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Official Newsletter Inside this issue: economic stimulus package 4 Farewell to Curliss Bart, Counsellor 5 Artisanal Fisheries Complex for Barbuda 5 Prime Minister wants affirmative action for UWI 6 LIAT and Unions come up with a deal 12 New Pre Secondary School on Course 13 Poultry Production to Increase 17 Endeavouring all 1st November 2011 Marks 30 Years of Independence for Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda High Commission, 2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP Statement by the Honourable Harold Lovell, Minister of Finance and The Economy Central Bank assumed control of the ABI Bank, exercising the powers conferred on it by Part IIA, Article 5B of the ECCB Agreement Act 1983. This action has been taken after extensive discussions between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Monetary Council, and the ECCB, all of whom have been closely monitoring the situation at ABI Bank over time. ABI Banks ability to meet its statutory obligations and to carry out normal banking functions has been challenged because of insufficient liquid assets. Accordingly, and in consultation with the Board of Directors of ABI Bank, the Banking Community within the Currency Union and the Monetary Council, it was decided that the ECCB should assume control of the Bank. In agreeing to this course of action the Government was particularly mindful of the current economic conditions in Antigua and Barbuda, the lingering effects of the global recession, the CLICO/BAICO issue, and the best interests of depositors with ABI Bank. We also took into consideration the successful rescue of Bank of Antigua and the need to maintain financial stability in Antigua and Barbuda, and, by extension, within the Currency Union. The affairs of ABI Bank will now be carried out by ECCB staff, with the support of a dedicated group of banking specialists and the current staff of ABI Bank. Together, they will resolve the issues that led to this action, and ensure the continued operations of the bank. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda will continue to work with the ECCB to ensure that all steps are taken to protect the interests of depositors and creditors of the ABI Bank. We ask for the support and patience of depositors and creditors of ABI Bank and the understanding of the public in general during this time. We are confident that our collective actions will restore the bank to normality, and maintain stability within the banking system. Let me reassure you that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is fully committed to resolving the issues at ABI Bank and preserving 22 July 2011 * * * Eastern Caribbean Central Bank assumes control of ABI Bank (ABIB) Finance and Economy Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Honourable Harold Lovell, Prime Minister the Hon. W. Baldwin Spencer and the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Sir Dwight Venner


2 Migration and The Brain Drain Migration, both in terms of immigration and emigration has become a common reality in the globalised world we live in. However many countries experiencing high levels of emigration often feel the need to assess the negative effects of a growing number of the indigenous population leaving and seeking to term used to describe the emigration of the highly skilled and educated segments of the population is one of these effects, and this will be the focus of this discussion as part of the migration series which commenced in issue # 142 of our newsletter. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), the share of residing in another country can be illustrated as follows: In the United Kingdom, the effects of the brain drain has been quite staggering, with research showing that Britain is attempting to address the worst brain drain in its history, having over 1 million of its nationals living and working abroad, with the fields of healthcare and engineering worst hit. Although this is a phenomenon most believe to be experienced by developed nations where there has become a saturation in certain employment fields such as the United Kingdom and Australia, it is also faced by Antigua and Barbuda, with so many of our young nationals choosing to study abroad, and remaining in their country of choice upon completion of their studies. In fact, historical trends show that low income countries are the hardest hit by this effect of emigration. Less than 2 % Less than 5 % Less than 10 % Less than 20 % Over 20 % Not included


3 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, A discussion in 2010 carried out on CNN expounded on this fact, with Michael Elliot (Editor of Time International) analysing the World Bank report on the matter in terms of its links to the Caribbean. In his analysis, he states: speaking Caribbean tells the story. Local demand for nurses, the bank found, exceeds supply by about 30%; emigration is a key explanation for the gap. The bank estimated that roughly three times as many Caribbean trained nurses are working overseas (especially in the U.S., Canada, and Britain) as at home. And the report found that the brightest nurses were the ones leaving to work abroad.. Migration from the developing world is often a function of smart people fleeing badly managed, corrupt economies that haven't invested in health and education. But the poor countries that are trying to do the right things and there are many -need the best and brightest working in their agricultural colleges and It is only through national initiatives and encouragement can we begin to reverse the effects of this trend, and redress the imbalance created by years of emigration, a point which was raised by the IMF implication of the brain drain is that investment in education in a developing country may not lead to faster economic growth if a large number of its highly educated people leave the country. Also, efforts to reduce specific skill shortages through improved educational opportunities may be largely futile But what categories of skills are being lost to developing countries? Are they: trained civil servants, nurses, engineers, technicians, teachers, technocrats, architects or entrepreneurs? How many in each category? According to information released at the end of 2010 by the OECD on migration 35% have intermediate skills and 21.5% have high skills. In other words 56% of all persons migrating have some level of skills needed by the developing countries to enhance their development. Do we then as some persons have stated in the Caribbean make this movement a beneficial policy initiative of our Governments: i.e., do we train to export? What benefits could such a policy bring in return to a country? The argument put forward by some of the proponents of this strategy is that such a policy can achieve one or both of two things. Firstly, it can serve as a method of increasing badly needed foreign exchange through the remittances to the country and secondly it allows those citizens to acquire new and advanced skills which can eventually be of benefit to the homeland. The overriding concern is the level of returning nationals with these enhanced skills. How can a developing country encourage or promote this? Is the rate of repatriation or re entry a fair return on the initial educational investment of a Government? Is it just a high risk gamble? I am afraid that even after more than 30 years of debate the jury is still out on this subject. We must however move on and develop clear strategies to deal with the problem. Antiguans, Barbudans, and friends of our twin island state, I therefore encourage you to lend your skills to our country to address this issue. Encourage your family and friends to return to Antigua and Barbuda, to help build our nation into the country we all know it is capable of being. Remember you are never too old to make a worthy contribution. His Excellency Dr Carl B W Roberts High Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda


4 Antigua government rolls out economic stimulus package Government is offering local manufacturers and other business stakeholders a package of incentives that it hopes will stimulate the sector and, by extension, the economy into some sort of recovery. The announcement was made by Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell. He explained that goving up some revenue, but the overall intention is to stimulate economic activity by creating jobs and increasing the turnover in busithat the increased tax yield from the additional activity will be enough to offset the upfront tax Effective from the first day of next month, he announced, government will waive import duties and revenue recovery charges on all raw materials, packaging materials and machinery used by local manufacturers. These particular incentives, Lovell said, will be reviewed after six months. He continued, cash flow benefits within the context of a bonded warehouse regime. This would allow them to defer payment of the ABST while the materials are warehoused. To access this facility, the manufacturers must ensure that their affairs are in order with Inland Revenue The minister went on to clarify what he meant. that affairs must be in order with the Inland Revenue Department, owed must be paid up immediately in full. What we are saying is that persons must go into the Inland Revenue Department and ensure that if there are any outstanding arrears, then they are placed within a proper payment plan so that both the manufacturer or the customer and the Inland Revenue Department can ensure that a regime is devised that meets the needs of our revenue collection agency as Lovell also announced a Credit Guarantee Scheme for small and micro enterprises, or SMEs, as a joint initiative by Government, the Antigua Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA), and the Antigua Barbuda Development Bank (ABDB). That facility will also be available from August 1, 2011. authorised businesses to access credit facilities from authorised financial institutions. The amount of guarantee for an SME is 80 per cent of the approved loan, to a maximum of $20,000. The guarantee period will cover the life of the loan from the first drawdown Although the scheme is intended to support small businesses in general, the minister said some priority areas have been identified. They are agro processing and related services; health and wellness, including indigenous spas and alternative therapies; indigenous craft; art and cultural activities; tourism related services (tours and new attractions); software development, and manufacturing. When it comes to the tourism sector, Lovell disclosed that government has decided to extend some incentives that formed part of its 2008 Memorandum of Agreement with the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association. In order to assist in the improvement and refurbishment of properties and subject to vetting by the Ministry of Tourism capital items will be exempt from the payment operating equipment for the duration of this agreement. Such purchases may include chinaware, glass and silverware, room linens, and small operating equipment. These items will be exempt from Customs duties. Requests for concessions must be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism for approval * * * Antigua and Barbuda Gets High Ranking in New FDI Report The Financial Times has ranked Antigua and Barbuda among the top ten Caribbean and Central American Countries of the Future. Antigua and Barbuda was one of only two OECS member countries to make the top ten, coming in sixth, with the British Virgin Islands in seventh place. Other CARICOM member states receiving high rankings were Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados in third and fourth place respectively, and Jamaica in the tenth position. Costa Rica was ranked number one in the Caribbean and Central America. The rankings are created by the British ment Intelligence Division as a benchmark of the investment attractiveness of countries and cities in more than 55 sectors for 350 locations around the world. In the individual rankings, Antigua and Barbuda placed second in best infrastructure, fifth in best quality of life, sixth in best FDI strategy and eighth in best human resources. Commenting on this development to Finance News, Investment Promotions Director at the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority, Fitzmaurice Christian, said the high ranking in infrastructure underscores the process outsourcing, which relies on a reliable telecoms infrastructure and a well trained work force. He said the ABIA would concentrate on improving these rankings and on making the top ten in the other three assessed areas economic potential, business friendliness and cost effectiveness. 29th August 2011


5 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, Acting Prime Minister, Harold Lovell said Antigua and Barbuda is committed to the growth of the fishing sector. CODRINGTON, Barbuda, Friday August 12, 2011 The fishing industry in Barbuda has received a boost following the construction of an Artisanal Fisheries Complex. Through the project, fish and lobster products from Barbuda will be able to satisfy the international quality control requirements to export to European Union countries. A dedication ceremony for the $30 million dollars complex, which is the fifth artisanal Fisheries Facility to be built in the twin island state under Aid Scheme, was held this week. The Government of Japan says it looks forward to the success of this project, and anticipates great benefits for the Government and the people of Antigua and Barbuda. Acting Prime Minister, Harold Lovell said Antigua and Barbuda is committed to the growth of the fishing sector and will ensure that the proper support system is put in place to ensure the success of the facility. He pointed out that the fisheries sector contributes over $25 million opment thrust. Member of Parliament for Barbuda, Trevor Walker, said the construction of the complex marks an important turning point in the development of fisheries and the fish export sector on the island. Furthermore, he said, because fresh fish will be distributed from Barbuda the over reliance that fishermen have on lobster harvesting should shift toward harvesting a broader variety of fish. As a result, the harvesting pressure on lobster will be reduced, contributing to the diversification of the fishing industry and sustainable use of marine fishery resources. Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment Hilson Baptiste said the facility will allow the fishermen on Barbuda to employ more advance fishing technology. The Barbuda facility will also be able to supply fresh fish to Antigua, alleviating the current shortage of fisheries products available for consumption, he added. The Artisanal Fisheries Complex houses a landing jetty, mooring wharf, slipway, fish handling shed, administrative offices, ice making and storage facility, cold storage, meeting room and sleeping quarters, among other features. * * * Farewell to Miss Curliss Bart, Counsellor Miss Curliss Bart retired on 31st July 2011. After more than 30 years of unstinting service in the Public Sector of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, in many varied roles including in the Ministry of Finance and her last being, Counsellor (Trade and Investment) at our High Commission in London, Miss Bart decided to return home to Antigua. His Excellency the High Commissioner Dr Carl Roberts, Mrs Pauline Roberts and staff at the High Commission hosted a reception to honour Curliss for the long years of service as a Public Servant. The reception was held on Wednesday 27th July 2011 at the High Commission. Amongst those who attended were members of the diplomatic corps who started their posting in London with Curliss included Colleague Diplomats from Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, Belize, staff from our Tourist Office, Family and Friends. His Excellency Dr Carl Roberts, High Commissioner and staff wish Curliss God Speed dertakes the next journey of her life. Plaque unveiling at Artisanal Fisheries Complex Barbuda..


6 Antigua PM wants affirmative action at UWI BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Monday July 4, 2011 Antigua and Barbuda has called for affirmative action to allow more students from CARIcampus territories to access tertiary level education at the University of the West Indies (UWI). Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has the low number of students from the OECS at UWI campuses compared to the campus territories which are Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. He made his concerns known at the 32nd Regular Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government, in response to a presentation delivered by Professor Nigel Harris, Vice Chancellor of the UWI. Professor Harris had indicated that only 12 percent of non campus terriUWI student population. course we have sought to provide more access to students from the said, although noting that the process to introduce change has started through the work of the Open Campus called the UWI 12 project and recommendations of a special task force on ways to expand the number of places for OECS students at the UWI. Although saying that the UWI 12 project has merit, Prime Minister Spencer expressed strong dissatisfaction with the number of students being given places to study at the UWI, will drive its future development prospects at a time of enormous tion movement, then we must address the inadequate places being made available to students of the non given the opportunity to live, study and rub shoulders with other stuhe said. Professor Harris agreed that there is In addition to the three main campuses Cave Hill in Barbados, Mona in Jamaica and St. Augustine in Trinidad the UWI Open Campus offers multi mode teaching and learning services through virtual and physical site locations across the Caribbean region. There are currently 42 site locations of the Open Campus in the region, serving 16 countries in the English speaking Caribbean. * * * Free Movement Of Citizens and Free Movement Of Labour Begins In the OECS Economic Union Monday August 1st, 2011 heralded the commencement of full free movement of OECS citizens throughout the six independent countries of the Organisation. Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines agreed that, from that date, they would permit OECS citizens to enter their territories and remain for an indefinite period in order to work, establish businesses, provide services or reside. Free movement of OECS citizens is one of the fundamental aspects of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the OECS Economic Union, which entered into force on January 21, 2011. On that date the OECS Authority of Heads of Government agreed that August 01, 2011 would be the implementation date for the regime for the complete free movement of citizens of participating Member States. In order to facilitate the free movement of citizens, the following administrative arrangements and procedures are in effect in Member States: OECS citizens travelling within the Economic Union should enter the special immigration lines designated for CARICOM Nationals. OECS citizens travelling within the Union must produce the following documents to the immigration Officials at the point of entry: 1. A valid photo identification card that bears the nationality of the holder, for example, a passport, card or a national ID card. 2. A completed E/D form. The immigration official shall grant entry for an indefinite period, save and except in those circumstances where the citizen poses a security risk or there exists some other legal basis for prohibiting entry to the citizen. Persons who require additional information or who are interested in giving feedback are encouraged to contact the Regional Integration Unit of their Member State. They may also contact the OECS Secretariat in St. Lucia at telephone (758) 455 6327 or send us an e mail: or with a copy to Information is also available on the OECS website


7 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, Antigua gets European money The European Commission has approved a grant of US$4.1 million to Antigua and Barbuda. ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, Monday July 18, 2011 The European Commission has approved a grant of US$4.1 million to further initiatives aimed at strengthening revenue administration and public financial management in Antigua and Barbuda. The grant will largely be used to continue the technical assistance and capacity building which are integral to both areas of reform. The country will have to meet specific timelines and reporting requirements for the continuation of the initiatives, when the funding becomes available at the end of August. During the week under review, senior officials of the Ministry of Finance participated in a video conference Barbados Office. Also involved in the exchange were the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre, the Office of Technical Management at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and * * * NON MACHINE READABLE PASSPORTS OUT OF DATE BY THE END OF POSSIBLE New Style Caribbean Community Antigua and Barbuda Passport Antigua and Barbuda Reacts to British Government Proposal to introduce an expanded Secondary Licensing Regime for Gambling Operators The Government of Antigua and Barbuda acknowledges the announcement made today by the United Kingdom Department of Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) Minister, Hon. John Penrose, that the British government proposes to introduce an expanded secondary licensing regime to encompass gambling operators irrespective of them based in the UK or overseas. At Present gambling operators who are licensed and regulated in European Economic Area (EEA) member states or white listed jurisdictions (Antigua and Barbuda, Alderney, Isle of Man and Tasmania) are allowed to offer their services to British consumers. However, the proposal will require overseas operators to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission in order to transact with British consumers and advertise in Great Britain. The DCMS anticipates that the pending changes will not come into force until primary legislation has been amended in late 2012. Accordingly, until such time, the new policy will not impact Antiguan licensees, and the current upheld. Minister of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration, Hon. Harold Lovell recognizes in principle the need for the British Government to protect British consumers in a more consistent manner, to close the regulatory inconsistencies and to address shared concerns with respect to problem gambling. Minister Lovell is confident that the UK Government and British Gambling Commission will continue to work with Antigua and Barbuda and other white listed jurisdictions to maintain their confidence in our respective regulatory regimes, as Antigua cooperates with other jurisdictions consistent with recommendations of the Financial Actions Task Force (FATF). * * * Antigua and Barbuda National Association London (ABNA) Service of Thanksgiving Sunday 30th October 2011 at 3.00pm St Matthias Church, Wordsworth Road, London N16 8DD JOIN US JOIN US


8 Caribbean UK Film Festival at Victoria & Albert Museum Sunday 10 th July 2011 Address by His Excellency Dr Carl B W Roberts island state around the centre of an archipelago stretching from the tip of edge of Florida in the north to the edge of South America in the south. Though we speak of a twin island state, current day Antigua and Barbuda has three main inhabited islands (Antigua, Barbuda and Long Island [which is locally also known as Jumby Bay]) and several smaller islands Green Island, Guinea Island, Bird Island, Maiden Island, York Island and Redonda) History Antigua was first settled by the Amerindians then by the Arawaks, who introduced agriculture especially the famous Antigua Black pineapple, corn, sweet potatoes, guava, tobacco and cotton. The Caribs later defeated the Arawaks and dominated the island until the time of the arrival of the Europeans. Christopher Columbus first sighted this island in 1493 and named church in Seville, Spain. The island Arawaks and today is often called The English settlers arrived in Antigua and Barbuda in 1632, while Sir Christopher Codrington settled in Barbuda. He later established the gua in 1674. The English settlers established sugar plantations, many of which carried their names (Vernon, Gunthropes, Duers, Parry, Cochran and Winthorpe. Later persons from Africa were brought to provide slave labour to work these estates. In 1728 there was a small uprising and in 1736, a major slave rebellion was claimed to be uncovered. The three ring leaders Court, Tomboy and wheel and some eighty others were brutally executed. Slavery was abolished in Antigua on the 1 st August 1834 but the freed slaves continued to provide cheap labour for the owners of the sugar estates well into the 20 th century. Many villages were established when the freed slaves moved away from mous among these were Freetown and Liberta (or liberty village). The Assembly voted to 1846 to import Portuguese workers from Madeira and the Cape Verde Islands. Around 2000 arrived as replacement labour over the next nine years. Just after the opening of the next century, several traders from Lebanon arrived in the island and settled there. In early 1918, the planters attempted to exploit the workers by changing the method by which cane was paid for at the factory. This resulted in the riot of 9 th March 1918, during the disturbances of which many persons were killed or injured. This forced the planters to reverse their decision on cane payment. In the 1940s the arrival of the Trade Union generated a surge of desire for more involvement in the governance of the island. Eventually the membership in the Assembly was opened to national representatives of the population. In 1962 the attempts at forming a West Indies Federation failed. The larger territories in the region negotiated independence from the colonial masters and became sovereign nations and members of the Commonwealth of Nations. The smaller islands, including Antigua and Barbuda, were left as colonies of Great Britain. The island was granted Self Governance in 1967 (also referred to as Independence in Association with Great Britain) under which scheme Britain was responsible for External Affairs and Defence while the locally elected Government held responsibility for internal matters. On the 1 st November 1981, the National flag of the new Nation of Antigua and Barbuda was raised for the first time as the country became a fully sovereign and independence state with the Queen, HRH Elizabeth II as Head of State. The first Prime Minister was the late Sir Vere Cornwall Bird Sr. and the first Governor sentative on the island was the late Sir Wilfred Jacob. The current Governor General is Dame Louise Lake Tack and the current Prime Minister, in office since 2004, is Dr. Hon W. Baldwin Spencer. Executive power is exercised by the elected Government while the Legislative power is vested in a bi cameral parliament consisting of a House of Representative with 17 members ( with Mrs Giselle Isaac Arrindell as Speaker) and a Senate with 17 members ( 10 appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, 4 on the advice of the Leader of Opposition, 1 on the advice of the Barbuda Council, one resident of Barbuda on the advice of the Prime Minister and one at the discretion of the Governor General. Mrs Hazelyn Francis is the current President of the Senate. Antigua and Barbuda has a population of about 90,000 which is mostly made up of persons of African Caribbean descent. The ethnic distribution consists of 91% black, 4.4% mixed race, 1.7% white and 2.9% other (primarily East Indian and Asian).re Christians with this group consisting of Anglicans (Church of England), Methodists, Moravians,


9 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, Baptists and Catholics. Non Christian religions practiced on the islands include the Rastafarian Movement, Islam, Judaism and the The national Coat of Arms was designed by Gordon Christopher and depicts our famous pineapple (Antigua Black), the Red Hibiscus flowers, the golden Sun Setting into blue and white wavy banks representing the sun, sea and white sand beaches. The Sugar Mills and cane depict the production of sugar. The deer depicts the wild life of many years ago in Antigua and Barbuda. The National Flag is one of the most outstanding in the region and was designed by Sir Reginald Samuel. It shows the golden setting sun symbolizing the dawn of a new era, red the dynamism of our people; the blue hope; the black the soil and the Nations African Heritage; the gold, blue and white represents the the sun, the sea and the white or shape indicates the victory of our people. OECS Economic Union In 2010, the heads of government of the member states of the OECS decided that in light of the uncertainties associated with the Caribbean single market economy (CSME) project of CARICOM, the OECS must begin to strengthen the ties that bind the peoples of the sub region together. They agreed to establish the OECS Economic Union in the shortest possible time thereby providing a single financial and economic space which, through the process of aggregation, should lead to the following advantages: 1. Economies of scale in production, distribution, marketing and public administration; 2. The spread of risk across a greater land space and a bigger population; and 3. Increased capacity to negotiate with single and groups of countries outside the region, regional and international institutions, and foreign private investors. The OECES Economic Union in the eyes of the Governor of the OECES Central Bank, which regulates money flows in the member territories of the ECCU (Eastern Caribbean Currency Union), must attempt to enhance its productive capacity, reduce vulnerability to exogenous shocks and improve its human resource. As a result, the OECS economic union is very important in providing a platform and instrument for socio economic development of the sub region. It therefore demands the development of policies and more effective implementation. Antigua and Barbuda Economy The GDP of Antigua and Barbuda is estimated at around US $1.2billion with a GDP per capita of approximately $16000 to $17000. In spite of being a vulnerable small island developing state subjected to the many natural disasters plaguing the region, Antigua and Barbuda has been classified as a middle income country, which whilst on one hand is a positive assessment, on the other, this categorization restricts levels of interest rates on borrowing. Although the country has maintained a relative high standard of living, this is however being severely tested in the current economic situation, and has forced the country to seek a $117.8million standby loan in June 2010 while it embarked on a stabilisation program to restore growth in the economy. economic efforts by the IMF, Antigua and Barbuda has achieved all quantitative performance targets to date, which has allowed the nation to continue its recovery from high levels of governmental debt, weak economic growth, and the overall effect of the global economic crisis. The main economic activity is tourism, which generates about 65% of the foreign exchange earnings, with construction being the second largest contributor to the economy amounting to just over 12% of GDP. The economy experienced negative growth in 2009 and 2010 due to the economic downturn in the world economy and the financial crisis. However it is projected to show small growth in 2011 and began robust improvements from 2012. Foreign Relations In terms of foreign relations, Antigua and Barbuda is a member of several International Institutions including the United Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Community (Caricom), the Organisation of American States (OAS), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to name a few. Role of the Ambassador On many occasions I have been asked questions by several members


10 of the public as to what my responsibilities are as a Diplomat. Sometimes jokingly, some often comment on the fact that all we seem to do is attend parties, enjoy free drinks and dress up. Now I would be the first to concede that at times the beautiful and colourful national attire that we sometimes don might leave the that it is our duty to represent the best our country has to offer at all times, especially in the way we dress in our national dress and communicate with those who have a desire to know more about our country. Seriously, my role here in the UK embodies five principle duties: 1. To represent the sovereign country who appointed me to the destination for which I hold titles of appointment to develop and encourage good bilateral relations between the two countries. 2. To increase the level of trade and investment into Antigua and Barbuda by presenting the country as a viable destination to generate reasonable returns on investment and trade. 3. To encourage the greatest level of tourist visitors to Antigua and Barbuda from the citizens in the host country and the highest repeat visit ratio possible. 4. To facilitate the best welfare of citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda travelling to, or transiting through the host country. 5. To maintain good relations and regular communication with siding in the host country and provide assistance where needed o safeguard their well being. Antigua and Barbuda currently operates 7 overseas missions: the Cuban Embassy, the Miami, Toronto and New York Consulates, a UN Permanent Mission, the London High Commission and an Embassy in Washington. Antigua and Barbuda has five non resident ambassadors residing in Antigua who are accredited to China, Japan & IWC, Central Latin America & ALBA, Trade and Regional Cooperation (CARICOM and OECS) and EU Development Assistance (through Barbados and the EDF). Two of the overseas heads of mission, the High Commissioner and the ambassador to Cuba have supplemental duties. The High Commissioner in London also holds ambassadorial responsibilities for France, Germany, Italy and Spain, in addition to permanent representative status at the Commonwealth of Nations, UNESCO and deputy permanent representative to the WTO. The ambassador to Cuba is also the non resident ambassador to the African Union. Culture and Sports Sports in Antigua and Barbuda have developed as a mixture of British and Spanish influences, with cricket being the national sport, along with football (soccer). Antigua and Barbuda has produced several world acclaimed cricketers, especially Anderson Montgomery Roberts, Ambrose, Ridley Jacobs, and Sir Vivian Richards. It has a world renowned cricketing venue. It was at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) that the fastest century was scored by Sir Vivian Richards, and where Brian Lara surpassed Sir Garstanding test record to create a new record of 400runs. ing activities include horse racing and drag racing, and with so many beautiful beaches, it is no wonder that the sea provides another area for sporting activities such as boat sailing, surfing and parasailing to name a few. The world famous Antigua Sailing Week takes place around April each year, and attracts many sailing enthusiasts from all over the world. In terms of culture, music has historically played an important role in Antiguan and Barbudan society. The steelband had parallel development in Trinidad and Antigua and Barbuda with many important progressions of the art form were made in Antigua and Barbuda. The first steelband that was commercially recorded was steelband, and several specialist pan instruments originated from the island as well. The oldest steelband in the OECS and probably including Trinidad and Tobago is the Hellsgate Steel Orchestra of Antigua and Barbuda. We also have a number of pan soloists, one of which is the well renowned Lacu Samuel. Calypso is also a very popular music artform, and Antigua and Barbuda has produced numerous calypsonians who have been able to convey a social message that is as applicable to the day it was written as it is today. One of those calypsonians is Sir McClean Emmanuel musically I hope that this sample of musical today has sparked your interest and will entice you into visiting Antigua and Barbuda, and visit us to enjoy the warmth of our people and the beauty of the islands. Do promise to come soon. I have with me here today, my wife Pauline Roberts, my daughter Chalene Roberts and the director of Tourism for Antigua and Barbuda, Mr Hilary Modeste. Thank you for Address by H E Dr Carl Roberts, Caribbean UK Film Festival continued from Page 9


11 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, LIME gives teachers Laptops Over 1600 teachers of primary and secondary school are poised to receive laptops and home Internet service at a discounted rate as part of a joint initiative between government and telecommunications company LIME. According to a government release, the programme dubbed Technology for Education 20/20 has three components: high speed laptops for all teachers in public and private, primary and secondary schools; 2) broadband Internet connectivity at the homes of the teachers who have registered for the programme at a special rate for a three year period; and 3) Broadband Internet hotspots in 22 secondary schools. Indications from LIME are that close to 1000 teachers have already signed up for the programme. nity for us to really get involved in a deeper way in our education sysjust want to empower our teachers with an Internet connection. We wanted to make a contribution to push this country along, to empower our teachers, who will then The first phase of Technology for Education 20/20 is set to begin September 13, when the first batch of teachers are to receive laptops, the government communiqu noted. schools are included in the first phase of the programme and will receive laptops on that day, during a special ceremony to be held at the Multipurpose Cultural and Exhibition Centre commencing at 9 am: Charlesworth T Samuel Primary, J T Ambrose Primary, Seaview Farm Primary, Foundation Mixed School, Bendals Primary, Liberta Junior Secondary, Willikies said. The second group of teachers from the following schools are due to receive their laptops on Thursday October 6 at the Precision Centre, Paynters: Pigotts Primary School, New Winthorpes Primary, SunnyAcademy, Jennings Secondary, St Road Primary School, Urlings Primary, Five Islands Primary, Cedar Grove Primary, Bolans Primary, Bethesda Primary, Buckleys Primary, Freetown Primary, Irene B Williams Secondary and Potters Primary School. of connectivity for 1600 teachers is being subsumed completely by the government, and for the ensuing three years, teachers will pay EC that this programme will be the catalyst that will facilitate the creation of a local teaching and learning * * * Dr the Hon Edward Mansoor, Minister of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science and Technology, Mr Davidson Charles, LIME and Official from Ministry of Education Distribution of Certificates for Senior Citizens Utility Subsidy Booklets August 15, 2011 PDV Caribe Antigua and Barbuda Ltd. (PDV CAB) in collaboration with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda announced that residents who opted to participate in the Senior Citizens Utility Program will soon be able to collect their new certificates. The new booklets cover the period September 2011 to February 2012 and includes 6 vouchers valued at EC$100.00 each to be used for bill payments at APUA. Booklets can be collected at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre beginning on Monday 22nd August 2011 and running until Friday 26th August 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily. Documents to present: 1. Valid Government issued Photo I.D. 2. Social Security Pension Card (Survivor, Age, Old Age, Invalidity) 3. Previous booklet (or registration receipts for persons who registered in May 2011) 4. Recent APUA Utility Bills Barbudan beneficiaries should take note that arrangements have been made for their booklets to be delivered to their home addresses. Further information on the Senior Citizens Utility Subsidy Programme can be obtained by calling the PDV CAB office at 562 6185 or 562 6189. Antigua and Barbuda High Commission, 2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP For more information or to make an appointment please Telephone 020 7258 0070


12 OECS Officials gather in Antigua and Barbuda to finalize a Common Tourism Policy Senior Tourism Officials are scheduled to meet in Antigua and Barbuda on August 16th and 17th 2011 at a workshop designed to finalize the first ever Common Tourism Policy for the OECS region. Programme Officer at the OECS Secretariat Dr. Lorraine Nicholas says tourism officials are reviewing a draft final Common Tourism Policy document ahead of the meeting the formulation of the Policy. The consultants have done considerable work in putting together this policy which is it draft form. When we meet in Antigua next week the primary objective will essentially be to finalize the Policy. The senior tourism officials from across the region will be reviewing the draft Policy with a view to ensuring that it in sync with their vision and aspirations for tourism development in The coming workshop follows an initial consultation held in March 2011, where tourism professionals sectors identified and prioritized key areas on which the Policy should focus. Some of the broad focus areas highlighted by the first workshop include: transportation; tourism awareness; product development; customs and immigration procedures; environmental and cultural sustainability and sustainable financing. The March meeting also identified actions to address each of the policy focus area. Immediately following the first workshop in St. Lucia, the Consultants visited all nine OECS Member States discuss with key stakeholders key issues affecting the development of tourism and their buy in to the emerging Common Tourism Policy. The Consultants also presented initial findings and observations to the OECS Council of Tourism Ministers at their 10th meeting held in St. Kitts on 19th April 2011. At that meeting, OECS Tourism Ministers endorsed the priority areas identified for inclusion in the Policy, emphasizing the need for immigration and border control in the OECS to be addressed as priority issues in the Policy. The pending Common Tourism Policy is within the context of the OECS Economic Union as a single financial and economic space. At least twenty tourism professionpublic sectors are confirmed to attend the second workshop booked for the Jolly Beach Resort & Spa in Antigua. The primary aim of the workshop will be to review the draft document and secure agreement among OECS Member States on priorities and actions for the final Common Tourism Policy. The workshop is facilitated via technical assistance support provided by the Commonwealth Secretariat. Yellow Railroad, a consulting firm based in the UK was contracted to execute the project, which is expected to be completed at the end of August, 2011. posted August 12, 2011 * * * Head Table of Tourism Conference LIAT And Unions Come Up With A Deal A year and a half of turbulent negotiations between LIAT and unions ticketing offices (CTOs) came to an end with both sides sealing a deal to close the operations in Antigua and across the region on July 31. For regional travellers, the deal means that come August 1, LIAT flights will have to be booked at airport offices, through travel agents. For the approximately 40 CTO workers, the agreement provides an enhanced severance package and the possibility of employment in other parts of LIAT operations, according to Chairman of the Regional Consultative Council of Trade Unions within the LIAT System, Senator Chester Humphrey. effect of the compulsory termination shortly after representatives of the acting Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer Jones and Director of Human Resources Ilean Ramsey sealed the deal. He explained that based on the number of years employees have worked at LIAT, and vacancies created as a result of other workers taking up the Voluntary Separation (VSEP) and Early Retirement package which the company offered in May, some of the CTO staff will not be out of work. Under the agreement, workers will receive severance pay, along with an additional than the unions had previously demanded. Additionally, the retrenched employees will still be covered by the until the end of January 2012.


13 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, National Policy on Children with Special Needs in the making Parents of children with special needs are welcoming news that educators in Antigua and Barbuda are calling on Government to develop a special needs policy that will ensure that every child has equal access to education (The Education Act 2008.) More than 80 educators who represented various institutions across the island were part of a two day Special Education Workshop recently conducted. Participants completed questionnaires which were devised to collect data geared at equipping teachers from regular classes, with the necessary skills to attend to students deemed as different or with special needs within a regular classroom setting. The Honourable Minister of Education has also gone on record stating that special needs education remains a top priority for Government. Persons who applied last year for Board of Education scholarships in the special needs field were successful. Special needs is again top priority for 2011. The Minister also expressed the wish to have an education officer dedicated to overseeing the well being of students with special educational needs similar to officers for the various school subjects. 6 July. 2011 New Pre Secondary School on Course Preparations are advanced for the opening of a new school that will cater for students who can no longer continue within the public and private primary school systems, due to difficulties they experience negotiating final examinations. With the Ministry of Education led by Minister Dr. Jacqui Quinn Leandro working assiduously to attain universal secondary education by 2013, the National Technical Training Centre (NTTC) will open its doors on 1 September, 2011 to more than two hundred students who were unsuccessful at the Common Entrance and Junior Secondary examinations, giving them another opportunity at receiving an education. Senior Education Officer in charge of Secondary Schools Mr Clare Browne says plans are moving ahead, pointing out that a curriculum is in place, one that will include core subjects and also entrepreneurship, fashion designing, metal work and theatre arts among other subjects. The SEO noted however that before the real work begins, students will first be evaluated. to evaluate to see what difficulties they are coming with, because in order for us to help, we have to first assess to know exactly what caused them (students) to be in that position and then for us to offer remeEducation officials along with the Dyslexia Association are likely to be enlisted during the process to propin order for them to be properly placed. The NTTC will be managed as a pre secondary school with strict regulations, and according to Clare Browne, the Public Service Commission will soon appoint a principal, while the ministry of education will be responsible for staffing the institution. education system. Since junior secondary schools have been closed, some of those teachers will be re deployed to NTTC to help those A batch of students who were sent to ABICE two years ago after falling short in the junior secondary examination will also join the programme. Students attending the new institution will spend a period of two years, though the SEO acknowledged there may be others who will be enrolled longer depending on their intellectual capabilities. At the end of that period, some students may qualify to enter a mainstream secondary school, while others will write the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) examination and also continue their educational journey at the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education (ABICE). Asked about the life span of the NTTC and whether it will continue beyond the time the incoming batch of students will spend there, Mr Browne said hereon, it will be dependent on what takes place in the primary schools. remediation is done, then in due course there probably will be no need for such an institution, since we are talking about special education and treating people at an earlier stage. If we can identify the problems early, then we will be able to correct those problems in the primary schools especially since we are aiming for universal secondary education hoping it will not have the numbers we are seeing now but significantly less. But there will always be persons that might not be able to handle some things, so we want to see where we to go with this. For now, we are focusing on the people we have, the people we know will not qualify for secondary schools, the people who are aged fourteen years Education officials say they are upholding the motto of the ministry that no child will be left behind, and they will do whatever it takes to ensure that students become productive citizens. August 26, 2011 * * *


14 Curtains Close on Carnival 2011 Incessant rainfall brought on by Tropical Storm Emily, which passed south of Antigua and Barbuda on Monday 1st August forced the postponement of the carnival judging of troupes and groups and last lap until Saturday August 6 th 2011. The parade of troupes and groups and last lap celebrations moved Saturday 6th August and late into the evening despite poor weather conditions. Revelers mas troupe and upcoming Soca artist Hard Knaxx were among the big winners on the final day of the 2011 Carnival Festivities. Revelers mas troupe was named winner and 2011 band of the year, which showcased national celebrations from the Caribbean and around the world, including Mardi Gras, Trinidad Carnival, Festival of Lights, and Seafood Festival. This was Revelers 11th straight band of the year title. Meanwhile reigning Party Monarch Hard Knaxx won the road march competition for his hit song Kentucky which was played 47 times. The judging of troupes and groups was pushed back because of heavy downpour though some mas players still braved the weat her. The curtains finally came down on the 2011 carnival celebrations on Saturday 6th August 2011. August 7, 2011 Hurricane Irene hits the Caribbean The first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season has developed in the Caribbean. Irene, the ninth storm of the season, developed over the Leeward Islands of Guadeloupe and Dominica and strengthened as it barrelled west towards Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. As the storm crossed Puerto Rico, the winds topped 120kph, and Tropical Storm Irene was reclassified as Hurricane Irene; the Caribbean Islands began to prepare for the worst. Before making landfall in Puerto Rico, the authorities identified the storm as potentially life threatening. "We have to take this seriously," the Puerto Rico governor, Luis Fortuno, warned. The ban on that Sunday morning shopping was lifted so residents could stock pile canned food and bottled water, and would not need to venture out in the storm. Emergency shelters were opened and people in flood zones were urged to use them. People in secure houses were ordered to stay inside and stay off the roads until the storm had passed. The hurricane flooded streets and caused rivers to overflow their banks, as it raged over the island. Winds brought down trees and left more than a million Puerto Ricans without power, but there were no immediate reports of any deaths. Schools and government offices will remained closed whilst the clear up operation was underway. After hitting Puerto Rico, the hurricane headed towards Hispaniola, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. A hurricane warning has already been issued for the north coast of the Dominican Republic and although the storm was only a category one hurricane at the moment, there were concerns that it would strengthen in Hurricane Irene was a slow moving storm, moving northwest at only 19 kph. The longer the storm is over an area, the more rain and damage it will cause. The hurricane swamped Hispaniola, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands with 25cm of rain, and some spots could see up to 50cm which caused life threatening flash flooding and mudslides. As the storm strengthened and the forecast worsened, the Dominican Republic and Haiti rushed to make preparations for its impact. The ground was already saturated after weeks of heavy rain, including tropical storm Emily, which caused flooding. Residents were urged to evacuate areas which are vulnerable to flooding. The Dominican Republic Government was on high alert. It will be especially devastating for Haiti, which was hit by a devastating earthquake in January 2010. Even now, 19 months after the quake, it is estimated that 600,000 people are still living in tented communities. These families are particularly vulnerable to severe weather and flooding. The US embassy announced that the naval hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, which had just arrived in the Haitian capital of Port au Prince was forced to cease operations and seek a safe haven until the storm passed. After clearing the island of Hispaniola, Hurricane Irene was expected to strengthen further as it barrels northwest. The storm threatened Florida and residents across the southeastern parts of the States were urged to keep a close eye on the storm's progress. August 22, 2011 * * *


15 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, Help for Meals on Wheels ABI Insurance Company Ltd. has extended its commitment to the community through a recent donation made to the Rotary Club of Antigua Meals on Wheels programme. Meals on Wheels is a monthly delivery programme dedicate to providing and delivering over 100 food packages to deprived senior citizens within the community. This profundraising activities, donations from Corporate Antigua, and individuals in the community. During the cheque presentation, President of the Rotary Club of Antigua Mrs. Denise Armstrong said, "On behalf of the Rotary Club of Antigua, I wish to thank ABI Insurance for its donation of $2,000.00 towards our Meals on Wheels programme. As a Good Corporate Citizen, your contribution towards supplying food packages to the indigent in our community is much appreciated." 21 August 2011 * * * * Donation of books to the library The Public Library now has a larger collection of Caribbean African and African American authors due to the generosity of four members and friends of the Blaize/Liverpool families. The presentation of the 50 volreunion which took place in July A prominent feature in the planning of this family reunion, a release said, was requesting each family member to make a contribution of a Black authored book to be donated to the national library. The communiqu also noted that members of both families possess spect for our ancestors, on whose shoulders we all stand. us by our ancestors are those of to society. This donation exercise served to have the youth of both families experience and uphold these values so as to be able to pass * * * Barbuda services are to be enhanced says NODS The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) and the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross are working together to expand the membership base for disaster management in Barbuda. Director of NODS Philmore Mullin completed a two day training Wednesday in shelter management and damage assessment for approximately 15 volunteers on the sister isle. This will help to enhance the time frame in which damage impact information is submitted to the National Emergency Operations Centre and improve the shelter management process on the island. While in Barbuda, Mullin also visited a mini warehouse and disaster office under construction with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). On completion, this will house an office for the disaster co ordinator and staff and an area to store relief items for emergencies and disasters. It is expected that this storehouse and base of operations will enhance services to Barbuda during the emergency phase, especially after a hurricane. * * * Tsunami/earthquake monitoring system for Antigua The Global Positioning System GPS) weather station will provide high quality data that will give better insight into hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. It will provide information about the Eastern Caribbean subduction zone the area most likely to generate earthquakes and tsunamis and its associated faults, one of which is located northeast of Antigua. The proposed site for the station is Budkins in the Bethesda area. A two man team of Research Fellow at the UWI Seismic Research Unit at the St Augustine Campus in Trinidad, Lloyd Lynch, and GPS Operations Manager with UNAVCO Plate Boundary Observatory, Karl Feaux, met over a two day period with the authorities, including representatives from the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS). Once formal permission has been granted to utilise the site, the team will return to make a number of preparations and is hoping to begin shipping equipment by September. Additional work will also be undertaken on another seismic station that is already located in Barbuda. The weather station project is being INTERREG and UNAVCO, a Colorado based non profit consortium of universities funded by the US National Science Foundation to install and maintain the systems. * * *


16 one present here this evening. Greetings from my wife and family and from the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda at home. Today I have been asked to address you at I find this a pleasant duty as it allows each of us to leave here more informed about many things. Every two months we attempt via the Newsletter to disseminate information of important events happening at home and abroad, and to share the successes of citizens wherever they are. We can only achieve this objective if we are able to gather the relevant information or if you in turn provide us with the relevant details so that the information can be shared. In this address I shall provide details of a few things which have been drawn to my attention and hope that during the discussion which follow you in turn will allow both myself and Mrs Banahene who is here with me this evening, to be made aware of issues or concerns which are impacting you. Let me start with the first subject. On Thursday 9 th June, a group of Caribbean High Commissioners met the vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor Nigel Harris to discuss a promotion being undertaken here in the UK. The UWI, as you are aware, is one of the institutions formed in the 1960s, and has gained worldwide recognition for its educational programmes at all levels in a variety of fields. It would surprise you to know that through its research work, the UWI is also at the leading edge of advancing knowledge specifically relating to Small and Vulnerable States. The entire Caricom Region feels a sense of pride at the achievements of this world renowned institution. Many of its graduates have contributed to the development objectives of many states, countries and companies around the globe. The UWI wants you, as descendants of the Caribbean diaspora, to look favourably at its training programmes when you are considering your own development plans. Recently you would have heard much about the OECS Economic Union in the news. An economic union of the OECS member states will enhance the trading area and create one unified economic zone to facilitate the development of the several states forming the union. In addition to the common external tariff for goods entering the zone, the space will allow the following: 1. Free Movement of Labour: National of the OECS member states will be able to move across the OECS to work and live freely 2. Free Movement of goods and trade in services: Goods produced in the economic space will be moved without additional tariff and other restrictions. Citizens of the member states will be able to provide services within and across the economic union 3. Free Movement of Capital: There will be no restriction of movement of capital to do business within the entire union. The traditional Alien Land Holding Licences will eventually cease to apply and all restriction to owning land in the union should be removed. 4. Free movement of OECS citizens by 1 st August 2011. Already there are a number of shared benefits from the OECS membership by citizens of each state. One of these relate to social security benefit. The OECS Convention on Social Security stipulates that contributions made in any of the signatories of the OECS convention are totalized, thus a worker will receive a pension as long as his cumulative number of contributions satisfies the eligibility requirements in the State in which he is applying for the pension. This holds even if he does not meet the eligibility requirements in the form of a minimum number of contributions in a single country due to having moved between members. The crisis in the banking system resulting from the demise of Allen Stanford Group of Companies and the arrest of Mr Allan Stanford could have had more devastating consequences were it not for the quick action of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the governments of the OECS. The Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB) was incorporated on the 19 th July 2009 and was successfully launched on the 18 th October 2010 to avert a banking crisis and to protect the investment of many citizens and residents alike. ECAB assumed certain assets and liability of the former Bank of Antigua and has as shareholders: The Antigua Commercial Bank, Eastern Caribbean Financial Holdings Company Ltd., National Bank of Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis National Bank, Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. ECAB has demonstrated the strength of the banking system and Regulatory structure in the OECS and is a source of great pride for the sub region. As you would also have heard, LIAT is attempting to restructure its operation to better serve the public. There has been several issues resulting from this including strikes by LIAT workers across the region and also by the airaction stem from the decision by the LIAT Board and shareholders to reduce staff numbers through redundancy offers and natural retrenchment. This is a time of great uncertainty for the region. LIAT has faced many challenges from other recently launched airlines such as Caribbean Star which wanted to see the demise of our faithful carrier in the sub region. I know that there is a certain level of dissatisfaction with the airline but no one, not one of us should be wishing for its de* * * Below is the address made by His Excellency Dr Carl B Roberts, High Commissioner at the Antigua and Barbuda Association Education meeting on Sunday 12 June 2011


17 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, Poultry association looking to increase local production From left, President of Agriculture Corporate Society Valerie Edwards, local representative for Caribbean Broilers Group Phillip Abbott, Acting Permanent Secretary Faustina Joseph, Permanent Secretary Sharon Peters, Corporate Affairs Manager Caribbean Broilers Group Dr Keith Amiel, Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Oona Edwards, FAO Livestock Officer Dr Cedric Lazarus, Export Manager Dominique Rose, Executive Director Caribbean Poultry Association Dr Desmond Ali and Food Animal Veterinarian at Nutramix Feeds Dr Gabrielle Young. The group is among persons taking part in a workshop for livestock farmers. Executive Director of the Caribbean Poultry Association Dr Desmond Ali said he is very concerned with the percentage of imports of poultry into Antigua. He said efforts are to be made to have the country producing more of the poultry it consumed because this will ensure that the product is fresher. Dr Ali said at least 75 per cent of the poultry consumed in the 12 Caribbean countries that his organisation represents is created at home, but attempts will be made to strengthen those areas and get Antigua and Barbuda self reliant on of food security and food safety, so we are trying to encourage the countries that do not now produce enough poultry for their own need to get into the production of poulDr Ali said. He added that this would also create more local jobs and stimulate the economy. Dr Ali is amongst a group of regional stakeholders in agro processing who are currently on island to facilitate a workshop for livestock farmers that focus on increasing livestock production and reducing imports. the production and processing of poultry within the region to satisfy one of the largest generators of small business entrepreneur of any agriculture enterprise we generManager of corporate affairs of the Jamaican based Caribbean Broilers Group Dr Keith Amiel said critical areas for the improvement and expansion of the livestock sector must be looked at. This includes artificial insemination for pigs and small ruminants industry, broiler production, pig production, trans border constraints, and sanitation in order to maximise trade between the Caribbean Community (Caricom). This workshop is in keeping with the Caribbean Broilers Group commitment to service Nutramix customers and associates, while assisting farmers with improving profitability through the use of state of the art technology. Among the regional delegation are Corporate Affairs Manager Caribbean Broilers Group Dr Keith Amiel; Food and Agriculture Organization Livestock Officer Dr Cedric Lazarus; Dr Ali; Food Animal Veterinarian Nutramix Feeds Dr Gabrielle Young; and Export Manager Dominique Rose. The representatives spent yesterday meeting with senior officials within the Ministry of Agriculture and visiting farms around the island. The team will travel to Dominica and the rest of Caricom where the workshop will be repeated. 19th July 2011 To All Antiguans and Barbudans and Friends of Antigua and Barbuda Please join us At Evensong, Westminster Abbey Monday 31st October 2011 at 5.00pm The second lesson will be read by His Excellency Dr Carl B W Roberts


18 New group pressing for greater priority for special needs children With the new school year looming, the newly formed group ABILITY which lobbies on behalf of special needs children continues to push for resystem. leader and mother of a special needs child. cerned parents want to see their children have as fair a shot at quality education as any child in Antigua and Barbuda has a legal right to expect. Their struggles to be accommodated within the public system and the high cost and limited availability of private alternatives have been well documented. these parents cannot afford (them); The ABILITY network is a network in quite a literal sense, since the connections were fostered through BlackBerry smart phones and blogging about common challenges in raising children with special needs. many as 60 beyond that, given the instant sharing that the medium allows. Rather quickly, the group has received both media prominence and an audience with the education minister, though it would be fair to say that it is less than happy with the results to date. Crump is clearly thrilled that there is greater awareness and interest she points to the fact that during a recent discussion with the Education Minister on OBSERVER Radio, not only did special needs occupy a sizable portion of the discourse, interest was so high that Crump was invited on for a follow up discussion. She was happy as well that they were able, shortly after, to meet with the minister to discuss their concerns and proposed fixes. August 22nd, 2011.Daily Observer * * * featured in China Sculptor Michael Hunte at work Prominent sculptor Michael Hunte has become only the second Antiguan to be selected to construct a large scale sculpture at the internationally renowned Changchun World Sculpture Park in Changchun, China. He follows Sallie Harker, who was selected by the Chinese government in 2008 to construct a piece in the park where artists from across the globe are chosen to create pieces of art. Hunte, who co owns Cedar Pottery Hunte, said the international invitation is a huge step forward in his sculpting career. been teaching myself over the past self taught skill. My degree is in ceramics so that is where my base is. on bigger scale pieces forever but in the last eight to ten years and I have been getting big commissions on it from Jumby Bay and Mill Reef Hunte will construct a sculpture metre block of granite. He will spend a total of eight weeks carving out the block along with a team of Chinese workers assigned to assist him. The project was chosen from a total of three designs Hunte submitted. Despite requesting limestone for the job, Hunte will have to work with the more hardy granite, which he said will make the physically demanding project much harder. hard stone. I asked them for limestone but I can see from their point Hunte said. being there from the beginning. I am going to be slogging away at lumps but they will be giving me a team to The artist will travel to Changchun, China, where he will stay in a hotel and given everything he needs by a supporting team of Chinese workers to have the project completed in time. The local artisan said he is anxious to get on the plane and get started. He hopes the biggest moment in his career thus far will serve up more opportunities in the future. Observer News July 8th, 2011 * * *


19 Stories Excerpted from, caribbean360news and caribbeannewsnow, 30 th INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY DINNER AND DANCE Saturday 5th November 2011 at The Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, Coram Street, London WC1N 1HT (nearest tube: Russell Square, Piccadilly Line) 7.30pm to 2.00am You are invited to join us to celebrate this special occasion To mark our Twin Island State 30th Anniversary of Independence Please book your tickets as early as possible to avoid disappointment A deposit can be paid to reserve your seat. Music by DJ Daddy Sampson and the Nite Blues Steel Band plus Guest Appearance by Pete Campbell Dress Code: Black Tie Tickets: £60 Tickets are available from: Mr A Spencer 07951400738, Mrs L Manners 0208 980 0805, Mrs M Richards 07594 566792 or 07599 166577, Mr C Griffiths and Mrs P Stroude Griffiths 0208 597 3510, Mrs I Gardner 0208 555 1780, Mr E George 07956 665152, Mr A Peters 07714 112073, Miss S Martin 07984 694364, Ms L Richards 07983 058836, Mr U Richards 07903 184463, Mr K Coates 07985161612, Mr B Joseph 07885 493394 Notice from the Antigua and Barbuda National Association London (ABNA) at The Commonwealth Fair Saturday 12th November 2011 11.30am 6.00pm Kensington Town Hall Hornton Street London W8 7NX MUSIC FOOD CRAFTS FROM THROUGHOUT THE COMMONWEALTH Entrance Fee: £5.00 Children up to 12yrs £3.00


20 New Addition To The AirFirst class and frequent fliers departing out of VC Bird International Airport now have a new place to await their flight with the opening of the Big Banana Club 1761 Executive Lounge. It was officially opened with a reception on Wednesday. The new lounge, encompassing 1,800 square feet, includes a bar, large lounge area with comfortable chairs and tables, a work area with two computer stations, and restrooms. Part of the space was formerly a first class lounge adjacent to Big Baincorporated into the renovation for the new lounge. Patrons access it after going through Check in, Immigration and the Security Checkpoint and then going upstairs into the Departure Lounge. Complimentary services in the lounge include drinks at the bar, tea and coffee service, light snacks at a self serve buffet, WiFi and computer access, and a concierge service. First class and card member passengers flying British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Caribbean Airlines can now use service without additional cost. Members of Priority Pass, a subscription service that gives access to executive lounges around the world, can also use the lounge without paying a fee. All other walk in passengers are asked to pay a fee of US $40 for adults, and US $20 for children under 12 years of age. we are also looking into creating a membership structure where they said lounge manager Natasha Gonsalves. * * * Air Berlin Begins Same Day Service to Antigua from Germany Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture the Honourable John Maginley and The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) through negotiations with German Airline, Air Berlin announces a code share agreement between Air Berlin PLC & Co. Luftverkehrs KG with British Airways (operating carrier) as a marketing carrier to Antigua and Barbuda. Flights are scheduled to begin as early as this summer 2011. The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) through its offices in England will be working to promote Antigua & Barbuda within the German market. portunity for having scheduled flights out of Germany daily within the winter months and six days a week during the summer months, will allow for greater access to the German market rather than just a The Minister is extremely excited about this new agreement and anticipates that this code share relationship will be beneficial to the respective countries involved and produce greater opportunities for growth within the tourism sector. Posted On: July 22, 2011 AA to launch new Antigua service August 26, 2011 American Airlines (AA) has announced that it will launch service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and V. C. Bird International Airport in Antigua four times a week beginning November 17. The new service will be operated every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday by a 148 seater Boeing 737 aircraft. ister John Maginley said the country was looking forward to the additional airlift. great opportunity to increase the number of visitors to Antigua and Barbuda from around the world. We are glad to partner with American Airlines to showcase our beautiful AA's Vice President in New York, Art Torno, said Antigua and Barbuda was a popular destination for passengers travelling from and through New York. service to the island, we are pleased to begin this new service from JFK Airport, offering convenient access to Antigua and Barbuda as well as additional travel options for our valAA currently serves Antigua with one daily flight between Antigua and Miami. American Eagle also operates one daily flight between Antigua and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Antigua and Barbuda High Commission, 2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP * * *