Former prime minister, Catholic priest among Calypso Hall of Fame inductees
5 hours ago
February 18, 2020
Five honorees were inducted into the Dominica Calypso Hall of Fame on Friday night during a ceremony at Fort Young Hotel.
The honorees were Patrick John- Dominica’s first prime minister and calypso writer for 60 years, Father Branker John- Former National Monarch and Road March King, Val Cuffy- thirty-year entertainer for calypso finals and sponsor, Julian “Pickie” Lockhart- over 50 years in Calypso and Andrew “Scrunter” Bazil- who has over 30 years in Calypso.
The principal of the Dominica Community High School, Celia Nicolas, delivered the feature address at the event.
She said these “national icons” dedicated their lives to the evolution and practice of the art form and over the years, have refined and sustained their expressions through research and documentation.
“In communion with each other, they have knitted a resilient bond between the art form of calypso and the socio-cultural dimensions of our nature isle so that we play Mas with Ridim,” Nicholas said.
She believes that all those who were honoured contributed “classical masterpieces which upgrade the integrity and spirit of calypso”.
Nicolas also noted that records prove that they have persuaded, published and established a world-class calypso culture and for this, they must commend them.
Meantime, Chairperson of the Dominica Calypso Hall of Fame Trust, Alex Bruno, said the ceremony was a success and was well executed.
He said since the organization was established in 2008, twenty-one calypsonians and institutions have been honoured.
The President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin, was also present at the ceremony.
The University of the West Indies has collaborated with the organizers to ensure the successful staging of the induction ceremony since its inception four years ago.
Dominican manufacturers move to make manufacturing pillar of economic growth
6 hours ago
February 18, 2020
Local manufacturers will be given an opportunity to exhibit their products for sale at a Pop-Up Shop next week as the Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA) moves to position manufacturing as a major contributor to economic growth.
This activity will be held concurrently with the Dominica Manufacturer’s Association (DMA) symposium which is carded for Thursday 27th February 2020 at the Goodwill Parish Hall.
DMA officials say it is part of the first steps towards making manufacturing a pillar of Dominica’s economic growth and reversing the country’s unsustainable trade deficit.
“We will be setting up a Pop-Up shop at the downstairs the Goodwill Parish Hall where all persons who are in the production of local products can actually come in and display and sell. It’s not going to be an exposition; it’s really one where we are going to expose products for sale,” President of the DMA, Severin McKenzie, said during a press conference on Tuesday.
He said visiting Dominicans and the local population should be able to find anything local that they want at the Goodwill Parish Hall on that day.
Visitors and the general public are being encouraged to take advantage of the event as products will be at discounted prices.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the DMA, John Robin, said the association is seeking to boost the economy through manufacturing and increase the contribution of manufacturing to the GDP [Gross Domestic Product].
Robin, who is also the manager of Benjo Seamoss, indicated that everybody loves products from Dominica and at his company 95% of what is produced is exported to about 22 countries.
“Because of our Nature Island image, people believe in Dominica’s products. They trust Dominica’s products and we are confident that if we are able to harness the amount of potential that is in manufacturing, we will do very well,” he stated.
Robin said the DMA is trying to tap into the creative and innovative potential of young people.
“We want to move away from the tendency of people just wanting to depend on a job and actually create a job,” he remarked. “And not only create a job for yourself but create a job for many more people.”
He said the DMA believes that Dominica has some very good products to offer and they are first trying to work with the companies that are export-ready and then with companies that are challenged.
Additionally, Robin stated, the DMA is also seeking to encourage and give support to new investments, “new persons with new ideas.”
Meantime, Mckenzie pointed to the three main areas within the manufacturing sector which the symposium will focus on.
He identified as the first area of focus (1) manufacturers, some of whom are already exporting but need to develop their products and their facilities to meet the necessary standards and the volume they would like to obtain in terms of export. The second target group, he said, are the manufacturer/manufacturers whose facilities are underperforming or still in rubble since Hurricane Maria, “and how we can get some of these facilities back into production” and the third area is to show how the association can attract new investors into the manufacturing sector.
“The only way we can do it is to show that manufacturing is still an attractive sector that can be profitable and we can actually contribute to job creation,” Mckenzie stated.
He said the main objective of the symposium is to begin the process of preparing a Strategic Action Plan for the DMA and the manufacturing sector in Dominica. The goal is to make manufacturing one of the main pillars of the Dominican economy by the end of the decade of the 20s, through increased production and quality products.
Dominica-born Dr. Peter Alfred, who is based in Jamaica, will present the feature address at the 2020 DMA Symposium. He has an MBA in Finance and a PHD in Economic Development Policy.
Short presentations will be made on fiscal incentives, collaboration, standards & packages and technical support.
A presentation will be made by a representative from the United States (US) Embassy in Barbados in which he will discuss access to the US markets with special emphasis on the situation in Dominica post-Hurricane Maria, how the DMA can get other products to the US and what are the requirements for meeting the US markets.
The symposium will be held under the theme: “Stepping up Production”.