Jamaica to fund improvements in quality and efficiency of its public…

first_imgJamaica is taking steps to improve the quality and efficiency of transactional public services. Jamaica is taking steps to improve the quality and efficiency of transactional public services with a US$160 million loan program, which was approved by the Inter-American Development Bank on November 15. The program consists of a US$110 million policy-based loan and a US$50 million investment loan.Improve service in government ministriesIn support of the Jamaican Government’s Public Sector Transformation (PST) Program, this loan package is expected to result in an improvement in service delivery in prioritized ministries, departments and agencies as evidenced by a reduction in waiting times and transaction costs as well as a  better adaptation of the public sector workforce to citizen needs. It is also expected that the efficiency measures supported by the program will create space for growth enhancing capital spending in the country. The policy measures and the activities under the PST Program, especially in the implementation of online services, support innovation and are critical to the development of Jamaica’s digital government-related activities.Most problematic factorIn terms of its competitive performance, Jamaica is ranked at 70 out of 137 economies in the world in the World Economic Forum’s 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Index; inefficient government bureaucracy ranked as the most problematic factor for doing business in Jamaica. The Jamaican Government’s relatively high wage bill accounts for one-third of public expenditures, creating budgetary rigidities, and limiting the fiscal space available for important policy priorities, including social spending, capital spending, or a reduction in tax rates.Important next stepMrs. Therese Turner-Jones, the General Manager for the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Caribbean Country Department, noted that: “This loan program is an important next step for Jamaica as the Government focuses on accelerating economic growth while strengthening fiscal policy. A more efficient public sector will reduce red tape, facilitate investment, economic growth, and job creation. The IDB is very happy to support the government in the transformation of the public sector, which will ultimately serve to improve lives by creating vibrant sustainable economies where people are safe, productive, and happy.”This loan package builds on the IDB’s experience in numerous projects and related analytical work to improve public service delivery, public sector efficiency, human resources management in the public sector, and the improvement of the fiscal sustainability of pensions systems.The policy-based loan is for a 20-year term, including a 5.5-year grace period, at a LIBOR-based interest rate; the investment loan is for a 24-year term, including a 6.5-year grace period at a LIBOR-based interest rate.last_img read more

Haiti’s President condemns Oxfam sex scandal

first_imgHaiti President Jovenel Moise has condemned the British charity, Oxfam, over the allegations that some of its staff members were engaged in paid sex while on a mission to help people affected by the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.Violation of human dignity“There is nothing more undignified and dishonest than a sexual predator who uses his position as part of the humanitarian response to a natural disaster to exploit needy people in moments of great vulnerability,” Moise said in a Twitter message late Monday. “What happened with Oxfam in Haiti is an extremely serious violation of human dignity,” he added.Oxfam deputy chief executive officer, Penny Lawrence, has since resigned noting that “concerns were raised about the behavior of staff in Chad, as well as Haiti, that we failed to adequately act upon.”Totally unacceptableLast Friday, Oxfam described as “totally unacceptable” the behavior of the workers noting that such allegations risked undermining public trust in charities.“The public expects charities to be safe and trusted environments that safeguard those who come into contact with them,” it said, noting that the “behavior of some members of Oxfam staff uncovered in Haiti in 2011 was totally unacceptable, contrary to our values and the high standards we expect of our staff.”Oxfam said that “as soon as we became aware of the allegations we immediately launched an internal investigation.”.The earthquake in Haiti killed more than 200,000 people and left millions homeless in the country.Maximum transparency expectedThe European Commission has said it expects full clarity and maximum transparency from Oxfam, warning it is ready to “cease funding any partner not living up to high ethical standards.” The charity’s program in Haiti received Euro1.7 million in 2011 from the EU and Britain’s International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said Oxfam had apologized for its “appalling” behavior and that the government had not been told at the time the allegations involved sexual misconduct or beneficiaries.last_img read more

EDITORIAL: Plausible answers needed re devaluation of Jamaican dollar

first_imgJamaicans at home and abroad are confused and concerned what’s the reason for the sharp devaluation of the Jamaican dollar over in recent weeks. From approximately US$1 equaling J$128 towards the end of June, the exchange rate fell to J$137. 50 on August 24, after hovering close to J$140 to US$1 days earlier.Various economist, including the governor and staff of the Bank of Jamaica, and the political directorate in the Ministry of Finance have tried explaining the persistent devaluation, but there remains much confusion.The confusion mounts as Jamaicans continue to be informed that the nation’s economy is improving in keeping with goals set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the current IMF/Jamaican government loan agreement.According to reports, Jamaica’s unemployment is at a record low, inflation has declined, the exchange rate is sustainable; international reserves have risen significantly; interest rates are low and falling; and the nation’s current account is more or less balanced.All this is positive news; so why has the dollar made this sudden spurt to over US$1 = JS137?Ministry of Finance attempts explanationSome weeks ago, the Ministry of Finance attempted an explanation indicating the latest slide of the dollar was a temporary anomaly. The explanation suggested the low interest rates motivated business people with debt in US currency to borrow Jamaican dollars to buy available US dollars to pay down their US currency debt. Apparently several businesses people applied this foreign debt reducing strategy simultaneously, which, in accordance with the law of demand and supply, created a sudden shortage of US dollars that pushed up the exchange rate. But, to reiterate, it was suggested a more normal rate would return in a short time.Exchange rate keeps risingThat was several weeks ago, and the rate has kept rising. In former years when the exchange rate rose sharply the BOJ, which was then the manager of the foreign exchange rate, would have intervened and taken corrective measures to lower the rate. But, the policy of the Jamaican government now allows the dollar to fluctuate in a free market system, without the BOJ’s management.However, the BOJ could, nonetheless, have taken temporary measures to reduce the rate, but it hasn’t. The non-action by the Bank has given to speculation that it has deliberately kept out of the fray to enable the national inflation rate to increase. Inflation rate is too low To the man in the street the fact that Jamaica’s inflation rate at the end of June stood at 2.8 percent is good. It meant that over the 12-month period since June 2017, prices rose on an average of 2.8 percent. But to traditional economists, and in accordance with the GOJ/IMF agreement that inflation rate is unacceptable. It is preferred the rate fluctuates between 4 and 6 percent. The reason is if inflation remain too low, in relation to the low interest rate, there’ll be a spike in demand for goods, (the too many dollars chasing too few goods argument). Since most of the goods being demanded are imported this could mean an increase in imports and increase in foreign exchange expenditure to make these purchases. In short order the economy would revert to negativity. Since the government need to realize an increase in the inflation rate, it’s speculated the BOJ is refusing to intervene to take action to stem the currency devaluation. The Bank could do this by hiking interest rates and selling off some of the high foreign exchange reserves. However, in a recent statement the BOJ governor staunchly rebuked that the bank is refusing to take action in order to let inflation rates go higher. Answers needed But Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora need answers, and action to stop the devaluation. Gas prices have followed the path of the rising dollar, and as gas prices rise so will other prices, including electricity rates, public transport, and food.In the Diaspora, people who depend on Jamaican pensions paid in foreign currency, and on dividends from investments in Jamaica are suffering, as these payments have contracted resulting from the devaluation. Sharp critic in opposition When the Jamaica dollar devalued sharply during the previous PNP administration, the then JLP Opposition was very critical. Then Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness was quick to indicate “the challenges” being experienced by “ordinary Jamaicans” as a result of the persistent devaluation.As prime minister, Hiolness is obligated to explain to Jamaicans why the dollar is hovering closer to US$1=J$140 and not falling. Why aren’t the market forces working? Why doesn’t the BOJ make a temporary intervention? Jamaicans, home and abroad, are again experiencing tremendous challenges because of this devaluation. Jamaicans deserve a plausible explanation from its leader.last_img read more

Caribbean countries better prepared to keep imported measles from sparking outbreaks

first_imgIt’s been more than 25 years since the Caribbean reported its last case of indigenous measles. But the risk of imported cases has persisted because measles continues to circulate in countries around the world.To protect its member countries and territories in the region, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently held a three-day workshop in Jamaica on preparedness and response to imported measles and rubella cases. The trainees were 35 health officers specialized in immunization and/or epidemiology from 25 Caribbean countries and territories.Imported measles can spread quicklyMeasles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. Just one imported case can cause a local outbreak, which if not controlled can spread quickly and widely. This is what happened in neighboring South and North America over the past two years. Through late September of this year, 11 countries in the hemisphere reported 6,629 confirmed cases of measles, including 72 deaths. Most of the cases were in South America, especially Venezuela and Brazil. “The recent experience of measles outbreaks in Latin America highlights the importance of strengthening not just our surveillance systems and coverage with MMR [measles, mumps and rubella vaccine] but also the rapid response to outbreaks,” said Dr Karen Lewis-Bell, PAHO Regional Advisor on Immunization for the Caribbean.PAHO says Caribbean can cope Since its last indigenous case of measles in 1991, the Caribbean has reported six imported cases in four countries and one import-related case. But given the recent upsurge in cases elsewhere in the Americas and the high increase in infections and extended outbreaks in Europe, PAHO experts and local health authorities want to ensure that the Caribbean is able to cope with any imported cases and forestall any major outbreak.Toward this end, the recent PAHO workshop introduced a newly developed methodology and case study from PAHO’s Immunization Unit. Participating health officers learned procedures and methods for timely reporting and high-quality epidemiological investigation of a measles outbreak; how to implement aggressive outbreak-response measures guided by a thorough field investigation; how to distinguish measles and rubella from arboviral diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya; and how to interpret laboratory results for diagnostic confirmation.  The workshop also included a simulation exercise based on two hypothetical measles outbreaks, one involving an international traveler and another in a public hospital. Participants learned how to organize themselves into a rapid-response team, conduct an epidemiological investigation of the outbreak, analyze and interpret their findings, and plan a rapid response to the outbreak.“It was an excellent training exercise that has left me feeling much more prepared to respond to an imported case of measles and also better positioned to take steps to improve routine surveillance for measles and rubella,” said Dr Iyanna Wellington, Medical Epidemiologist from Jamaica’s Ministry of Health. “Especially important was placing fever and rash surveillance in the context of multiple circulating viruses that have rash as a clinical manifestation,” she added.PAHO has been organizing similar training on measles outbreak response for its member countries in the Americas since late 2017. In addition to the Caribbean, workshops have been held in El Salvador for the countries of Central America and the Latin Caribbean, in Buenos Aires for the countries of South America, and in seven countries for national capacity-building. PAHO is also engaged in ongoing technical cooperation to strengthen national immunization programs to help its member countries achieve and maintain high rates of vaccination coverage.last_img read more

AUDIO: Preko Confident of Enyimba Scalp

first_imgTechnical Adviser of FC Ifeanyi Ubah Yaw Preko says he is confident his side will grab all three points when they confront 7-time Champions, Enyimba in a Match Day 29 fixture in Nnewi on Sunday.The ‘Anambra Warriors’ battle the ‘Peoples Elephants’ in a potentially explosive ‘Oriental Derby’ in the NPFL with both teams aware that a win will boost their chances of playing in the continent next year.In a chat with www.busybuddiesng.com ahead of the tie, the former Everton and Fenerbahce forward stated that he respects Enyimba but believes his team will emerge victorious over their more illustrious opponents on Sunday.“We have to give them respect. Enyimba is a very good team and they are well-organized, with very matured players,” the ex-Ghana International stated.“It’s not going to be easy but this is our home ground and we have to take advantage of that and go for the three points.“Nothing else is good but the three points. So we have to give them respect as 7-time champions of Nigeria but this is a different league (season), this is a different year and we have to let them know that IfeanyiUbah has also arrived.“I’m confident and I believe in my boys; I believe if we do the right thing, we’ll definitely get the maximum points,” the former Accra Hearts assistant coach said.A win for 6th placed FC IfeanyiUbah on Sunday could take them to 3rd on the log while an Enyimba victory could see them move up to 2nd on the table.Enyimba won the reverse fixture 2-0 on 15 March, 2017, at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar. Audio Playerhttps://www.busybuddiesng.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Preko-July-14.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.RelatedEnyimba’s Usman Abd’Allah Balances Out Fidelis Illechukwu’s Tough Talk ahead of MFM MeetingMarch 31, 2019In “NPFl”CAF CL: Oladapo Super Confident of Enyimba Win Against Rahimo (AUDIO)August 21, 2019In “Africa”AUDIO: AITEO CUP: Our Performance Wasn’t Convincing – Yaw PrekoSeptember 21, 2017In “Nigeria”last_img read more

Community Shield – Watch Arsenal Beat Chelsea On Penalties, As Morata Misfires

first_imgArsenal drew first blood against Premier League rivals, Chelsea, as the Gunners claimed the Community Shield trophy with a 4-1 penalty shootout victory over Antonio Conte’s men.In the traditional Premier League curtain raiser game at Wembley, Chelsea took the lead through Victor Moses at the start of second half, pouncing on a rebound header from Gary Cahill as Arsenal defenders were caught ball watching. New signing, Saed Kolasinac was at the receiving end of Granit Xhaka’s free-kick to pull Arsenal level in the 81st minute, following the dismissal of Chelsea midfielder, Pedro, for a high and dangerous tackle on Mohamed Elneny.?: Sead Kolasinac heads in his first Arsenal goal from Xhaka’s inviting ball to equalise for Arsenal! #afc pic.twitter.com/LuFEAJV2eP— afcvideo (@afcvideo) August 6, 2017The game ended 1-1 after full time and went straight into “ABBA” penalty shootout for the first time in English football, as Chelsea only managed to convert one spot kick to hand Arsenal a 4-1 shootout victory. Both teams will now turn their attention to the Premier League Matchday 1 next weekend, Arsenal will take on Leicester City in the season opener on Friday night, while defending champions, Chelsea will host Burnley on Saturday.RelatedPremier League Review (Saturday): United Edge Tottenham As City, Chelsea And Arsenal Win To Maintain Top Five PlacesOctober 29, 2017In “England”Club Friendly: Chelsea Blow Arsenal Away In BeijingJuly 22, 2017In “England”BREAKING: Petr Cech Announces RetirementJanuary 15, 2019In “England”last_img read more

2018 CHAN: CAF Sets New Inspection Visit Date Following Political Unrest In Kenya

first_imgThe Confederation of African Football, CAF have set a new date for the facility inspection visit to Kenya ahead of the 2018 Championship for African Nations (CHAN).Last weekend, CAF canceled the visit which was initially scheduled for 7th September to 12th September 2017 due to the political and security situation in the country following the annulment of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election by the Supreme Court of Kenya last Friday.According to the new development, CAF will now send an eight-man inspection delegation to Kenya on Monday, September 11, and depart the East African country on 18th September 2017.A statement credited to Communications Director Barry Otieno reads: “The CAF team will arrive on Monday, September 11 and will be here all through to September 18.“It will be led by Omari(CAF second Vice President) and will also include departmental heads who will come in to assess whether all aspects of the tournament are okay.”The 2018 CHAN would take place in Kenya From January 11 to February 2.Relatedlast_img read more

Three Nigerian Players Make List Of Top 100 Teenagers

first_imgThree Nigerian players have made Four Four Two’s prestigious list of 100 Best Teenagers in world football.Dennis Bonaventure, Ovie Ejaria and Fikayo Tomori have been named on the list for 2017 as released by the influential British football magazine.Former Nigerian U15 international Dennis Bonaventure was ranked 27th on the list as reward for the blistering start he made to his Club Brugge career. He scored 8 goals in his first 11 matches in all competitions.On his best moment so far, the magazine wrote that: ”Five minutes into his Brugge bow, Bonaventure cut inside his man and rifled the ball into the bottom corner to give the Belgians a flying start to their Champions League qualifier against Istanbul Basaksehir.”Bonaventure, an Abuja Academy product, has already been scouted by major European clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, AS Monaco and Manchester United.Former Golden Eaglets trainee Ovie Ejaria was ranked 70th while Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori came in at no. 74.AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was ranked the best teenager in world football ahead of Paris Saint Germain (PSG) star Kylian Mbappe. RelatedNigerian Stars Set To Light Up 2019/2020 Champions LeagueSeptember 2, 2019In “Nigeria”Europa League: Nigerian Stars Line Up In Round of 32February 20, 2020In “Europa League”Dennis Bonaventure Forsees Man United’s Europa League ExitFebruary 22, 2020In “Europa League”last_img read more

Codeta seeks new investment for further European ambitions

first_img TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Share Share Ray Wilson, AMLGS: Industry deserves praise for its reaction to a new normal July 23, 2020 Related Articles Genesis to appeal UKGC’s ‘disproportionate suspension’ July 23, 2020 Submit Edward IhreIndustry live gaming specialist Codeta (Codeta.com) has announced that it has launched a second funding round with a view to aid its ambitious future growth plans.The Malta-based operator which seeks to be the leading industry provider for live games and content, is seeking new investment/investors as it looks to expand its services within various European igaming jurisdictions.Confident of securing a new round of financing, Codeta CEO & Founder Edward Ihre detailed to industry media“Codeta.com has been on an incredible upward growth trajectory since we first went live earlier this year. To keep building momentum, we need to enter new markets, continue to launch new products, and put additional weight behind our marketing campaigns.“This funding round will allow us to do all of this, and continue with our mission to bring live table games into the mainstream. The vertical has huge potential, and we have positioned ourselves to capitalise on it in the coming months,”Ihre further states that following its initial launch in November, Codeta has made significant progress in its starter markets of the UK, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.  Codeta.com now offers a sleek and intuitive site with a variety of live dealer games including blackjack and roulette from the likes of NetEnt, Evolution Gaming and Authentic Gaming. The operator’s live dealer games are streamed from dedicated studios, as well as real-life tables on casino floors all over the world, which is known as dual-play. StumbleUponlast_img read more

FIFA seeks ‘stronger ethical code’ for its World Cup 2026 bidding process

first_img StumbleUpon SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Submit Canada’s sports betting hearings threatened by Trudeau’s ’emergency recess’  August 24, 2020 Related Articles Share Share ESI Digital – No Drama Please… Esports growth should be treated as business as usual  August 20, 2020 FIFA governance has presented its official guiding mandate for the bidding process to host its 2026 World Cup tournament.World football’s governing body has presented its official guidelines to the committees representing North America’s joint bid of USA-Canada-Mexico competing against Morocco for the right to host football’s biggest tournament.Presenting a 35-page document, FIFA governance has made bidding parties’ aware of key timelines, judging criteria, host evaluations, rules and conduct related to the 2026 World Cup bidding process.The 2026 FIFA World Cup, will be the first tournament to be expanded to 48 national teams from its current format of 32.  The 2026 World Cup bidding process will feature no European or Asian countries, due to FIFA’s ‘rotation policy’ following the host nation wins of Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022.Seeking to bring full-transparency to its bidding process, FIFA has pledged to publish all casted votes for its 2026 judgement which will take place on 13 June 2018 in Moscow.Taking on his first World Cup bidding process, new FIFA President Gianni Infantino will be desperate to avoid the corruption and bribery scandals that marred the December 2010 Zurich bidding process in which Russia and Qatar were selected as host nations.Combined FBI and Interpol investigations revealed numerous high ranking cases of corruption for World Cup hosting votes, which would ultimately lead to the downfall of former disgraced FIFA President Sepp Blatter.Furthermore, FIFA has been pressured to adopt a stronger ethical and social code with regards to selecting World Cup host nations, following Russia and Qatar failures in regards to human rights violations, gender diversity, environmental impacts and racism.Infantino and FIFA officials have moved to implement ‘four key principals’ guiding its bidding process’ ethics which include; bid transparency, human rights monitoring, event sustainability and overall tournament legacy.Appointed FIFA President in 2016, Infantino stated that his tenure would focus on cleaning the governing body from corruption and cronyism, the process and outcome of the 2026 World Cup judgement will be Infantino’s first acid-test.___________________The industry’s World Cup 2018 context, debate and dynamics will be discussed and analysed at the upcoming ‘2018 Betting on Football Conference’ (#bofcon2018 – Stamford Bridge London, 20-23 March)last_img read more