Categorized | Business

Andros Business Outlook ’14 On The Way

Prime Minister Perry Christie will deliver the keynote address at the Third Annual Andros Business Outlook, which is scheduled to take place Tuesday May 15 at Love at First Sight Hotel and Restaurant in Stafford Creek, Andros.

The theme of this year’s forum will be, “Charting a Course for Growth in Andros for 2014” and keeps in line with this year’s Business Outlook focus on economic growth and development.

“We have been fortunate to secure the participation of Prime Minister Christie to present the keynote address,” President of The Counsellors Limited Group Joan Albury. “He has been kind enough to present on the central theme of economic growth and development at the three Business Outlooks, which have taken place so far this year. We have been further favoured that the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government V. Alfred Gray has agreed to give welcome remarks and introduce Mr. Christie.

“In these symposia, insight into the government’s thinking, plans and provisions regarding the development of the host community is essential. We are confident that this ministerial combination will provide enough access to stimulate valuable dialogue.”

Mrs. Albury continued, “Appropriately, two people closely connected with Andros development will open the forum.

Alphonso Smith, BAIC’s Domestic Investment Manager will launch Andros Business Outlook ‘14 promptly at 8:30 a.m., followed by a prayer by Rev. Dr. Livingston Malcolm of Wesley Mt. Zion Methodist Church. Dr Malcolm, who earned his doctorate from South Africa Theological Seminary in 2013, serves as the Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church, Nassau Circuit, (MCCA).

“I’m confident in saying that the presentations that fill the day will be dynamic and highly relevant to the Andros context, which means that they will be supremely relevant to the national development context,” Mrs. Albury said.

“We have been successful in securing a generally distinguished slate of speakers. We are especially pleased in having Dr. Omer Thomas, who has distinguished himself internationally in a number of high profile posts in the field of food production, including agro-industrial development.”

A preview of the agenda of Andros BO ’14 shows a distinguished slate of speakers and a heavy concentration on agriculture, marine resources, forestry and finance.

Taking the lead in the morning session are Arnold A. Dorsett, assistant general manager of the Agricultural Division, BAIC, who will speak on the topic, BAIC’s Role In the Development of Andros and Godfrey Eneas, president of Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute Ltd (BAMSI), who is slated to speak on the topic, Strength and Courage.

Mr. Eneas is an agribusiness consultant for the Ministry of Agriculture, radio personality and author of several books on agriculture in The Bahamas, who believes that this country must do more to reduce its food import bill and increase food security.

The agriculture panel comprises a team, which is highly regarded in its specialisations. Dr. Omer S. Lloyd Thomas has garnered more than 32 years of experience in planning, organisation and management of agricultural research and development. Dr. Thomas has also served as the CARICOM representative on the working and policy committees of the CODEX Alimentarius Commission of the United Nations FAO to develop and harmonise international food safety standards and practice.

Dr. Selima Campbell Hauber, a Bahamian and horticulturalist specialising in plant propagation through tissue culture, has won recognition for her skills in this field. She recently launched an organic farm called Field to Fork Community.

Bishop Caleb Evans of the Church of God of Prophecy, North Andros, is a former member of the National Advisory Council for Agriculture. He is slated to bring the practical story of agriculture to the podium, having dedicated more than 15 years to high-quality farming.

A job creator, he specialises in growing “watermelons off the chain.” cabbages, tomatoes and onions.

Christopher Russell, director of forestry in the Ministry of the Environment, will bring to light the economic value of the extensive forests of Andros in remarks titled “Small Business Opportunities in The Forestry Sector for Andros.”

Mr. Russell has been intimately involved in the establishment of pilot forestry programmes in Abaco and Andros. Lionel Johnson, dean, Faculty Pure and Applied Science, The College of The Bahamas, who is noted for his commitment to the sustainability of The Bahamas’ natural patrimony, will also speak.

He will bring the educational perspective on the development of the big island’s considerable natural resources.

The afternoon session will be moderated by Veronica Owens, president North Andros Chamber of Commerce, which has lent its support to the establishment of the Business Outlook. A Member of Parliament (2002 to 2007), Ms. Owens has been significantly involved in cultural development in Andros. As the Director of the Andros Cultural Heritage Trail, Veronica Owens, requested technical assistance from the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA) to raise awareness of the historical significance of Andros, especially as regards black Seminole settlement.

Ms. Owens will give an update from the Chamber of Commerce and introduce the Vision Speaker, Peter Douglas, manager, Ministry of Tourism, Andros, whose topic is simply “My Andros.”

Peter Douglas, executive director of Andros Conservancy and Trust (ANCAT), is recognised for his extensive involvement in the economic development of Andros and protection of its natural heritage.

ANCAT was formed during his tenure as first Chief Councillor for Central Andros. Calling himself an “eco champion,” he is a community organiser with many years’ experience.

The marine panel comprises a group of professionals of recognised dedication to the promotion and protection of the marine bounty of Bahamian archipelago: Dr. Vallierre Deleveaux, Prescott Smith and Eleanor Phillips.

Dr. Deleveaux, a marine biologist, who holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami’s famed Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, currently serves as director of Marine Science at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute.

Mrs. Phillips, programme director, North Caribbean Programme at The Nature Conservancy, has extensive knowledge of and involvement with the marine protected area programme of The Bahamas and her efforts have contributed much to the drive to establish MPAs in areas, where the ecosystems are particularly vulnerable.

Mr. Smith is president of the Bahamas Sportfishing & Conservation Association, which is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural resources of the Bahamas. Mr. Smith’s name has become as legendary among fly fishermen internationally. Owner of Stafford Creek Lodge, North Andros, he is recognised for his knowledge of the permit, one of the most elusive fishes that roam Bahamian waters.

The final hour of Andros BO ’14 is dedicated to the finance panel, led by Michael Cunningham, who chairs Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund, which is government’s major thrust in stimulating the growth of small and medium business.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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