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Integrating Diaspora in National Development

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by Lincoln DePradine

Senior officials in the Grenada Ministry of Foreign Affairs want nationals in the Diaspora, dubbed the country’s 16th constituency, to participate in an ongoing initiative that will conclude with parliamentary passage of a Grenada Diaspora Engagement Policy.

Among the components of the initiative are the conducting of a “skills gap analysis” and the completing of a Diaspora Mapping Project which involves using an online survey tool to collect information about the socio-economic profile of Grenadians in the Diaspora.

“I want to urge everyone in the Diaspora to get online and engage in that survey,” Hon. Peter David, Grenada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, appealed on Tuesday.

David was speaking at the official launch of the website for the Grenadian Diaspora For Development (GD4D) project.

The two-year project is funded in the amount of US$200,000 from the International Development Fund and administered through the Guyana-based regional coordinating office of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), a UN member-agency.

The mapping project is an avenue “to establish a hub to connect the Diaspora online,” said Trisha Mitchell-Darius, the IOM’s Project Officer for Grenada.

“The online communication portal is www.grenadiandiaspora.gd. Please tell your family and friends out in the Diaspora,” she urged. “It’s open and available for all Grenadians globally.” The survey also is accessible at http://www.grenadiandiaspora.gd/survey/

Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Alva Browne, underscoring the importance of the mapping project, said that “without the mapping exercise, we would not be able to achieve much.”

The IOM-administered GD4D initiative began in February with Minister David and other members of the project team visiting London, England, and Washington, USA. The next Diaspora outreach meeting, with David scheduled to be the keynote speaker, is Saturday, 16 November in Toronto, Canada.

“This project seeks to engage the Grenadian Diaspora globally. The project will facilitate a collection of data on skills, resources and the return interest and plans of those willing to support the development of Grenada, through organisations and institutions here in Grenada. The information collected through the project will help to guide government policies aimed at engaging the Diaspora,” Mitchell-Darius said Tuesday.

Apart from the mapping component, a consultant soon is to be hired she said, “to assist us in gathering information regarding current and future skills gaps in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.”

Another key activity planned is a workshop, with banks and companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram, to discuss ways of reducing the cost of sending remittances to Grenada and on how remittances can be structured for national development.

“The talents and skills within the Diaspora are wide and varied,” said Browne. “It is our firm view, though, that if we engage in an organised and strategic manner, we can harness those skills and resources in national development.”

According to Minister David, “the Diaspora is not just a group of people out there who sometimes we rely on just to send this and send that for us. They should be engaged as a part of our development process.”

He added that the Grenada Diaspora is “our 16th constituency and must be treated as our 16th constituency, in that they must be integrated into national development.”

No reason exists, said the minister, why Grenadians abroad “cannot invest in hotels, individually or as a group. They can get involved in health. We have excellent health practitioners in the Diaspora.”

He emphasised that, “all areas of investment are open to persons in the Diaspora”, reiterating that he wants “all Grenadians – in the Diaspora, in Grenada – to become involved in the project.”

As far as the online survey is concerned, Mitchell-Darius said the highlights will include job, volunteer and investment opportunities. “Please take the survey so that Grenada knows how to connect with you when any of these opportunities arise,” Mitchell-Darius said.

She referred to it as a chance to “allow Grenada to be able to connect” with its overseas nationals “on a holistic level. As well, in terms of the draft Grenada Diaspora Engagement Policy, it is downloadable on the website www.grenadiandiaspora.gd. Please, take the opportunity to review that,” she said.

“If you have feedback, we’re accepting submissions until 31 December and/or if you are in a city near where the project team will be visiting, please come on out.”

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Caribbean & World

International Civil Aviation Day | United Nations

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Civil aircraft at airport terminal. Photo: Serge Davidyants

The purpose of International Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of States, and of the unique role of ICAO in helping States to cooperate and realize a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.

As the UN and world nations have now adopted Agenda 2030, and embarked on a new era in global sustainable development, the importance of aviation as an engine of global connectivity has never been more relevant to the Chicago Convention’s objectives to look to international flight as a fundamental enabler of global peace and prosperity.

Every five years, coinciding with ICAO anniversaries (2014/2019/2024/2029/etc.), the ICAO Council establishes a special anniversary theme for International Civil Aviation Day. Between these anniversary years, Council representatives select a single theme for the full four-year intervening period.

 

75 Years of Connecting the World

Seventy-five years after ICAO’s foundation, the International Civil Aviation network carries over four billion passengers annually.

The global Air Transport sector supports 65.5 million jobs and USD 2.7 trillion in global economic activity, with over 10 million women and men working within the industry to ensure 120,000 flights and 12 million passengers a day are carried safely to their destinations. The wider supply chain, flow-on impacts and jobs in tourism made possible by air transport show that at least 65.5 million jobs and 3.6 per cent of global economic activity are supported by the aviation industry according to research by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).

Learn more about ICAO 75 Years of Connecting the World.

 

 

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This Day in History | NOW Grenada

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by John Angus Martin, A-Z of Grenada Heritage

On this day, 7 December 1976, Grenada witnessed its most contentious general elections to date when opposition parties formed a coalition, the People’s Alliance (PA), to challenge the electoral monopoly of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) of Prime Minister Gairy, but lost.

In an attempt to end the GULP’s seemingly unshakeable electoral monopoly, the three main opposition political parties–the leftist New Jewel Movement (NJM) under Maurice Bishop (nominating seven candidates), the centrist Grenada National Party under Herbert Blaize (nominating five candidates), and the pro-business United People’s Party under Winston Whyte, a former GULP senator (nominating two candidates)–formed a coalition party, the People’s Alliance, to contest the 1976 general elections. Ideological differences between the parties created some tension, as was evident with the establishment of the PA only a few days prior to the deadline for nomination. The PA brought together three politically diverse groups, with only one thing in common, a strong desire to be rid of PM Gairy and the GULP.

The failure of the NJM to remove Eric Gairy from power by mass protest in 1974 had forced its leaders to participate in parliamentary elections, even though they believed the electoral process to be “woefully deficient.” The youth vote, from which the NJM derived much support, became important, especially since 18-year-olds were eligible to vote for the first time. Though the PA had hoped that its broad-based support would be enough to defeat PM Gairy, it was confronted with a number of political obstacles. PM Gairy’s supposed abuses and corruption of the electoral process, and the passing of a number of laws like the banning of the use of public address systems by opposition parties, thwarted the opposition’s every move. The GULP government had a monopoly of the airwaves, and even controlled the choice of an opposition election symbol.

In the end, the PA won six of the 15 contested constituencies, capturing just under 49% of the popular vote. It later protested that the election was not free and fair. It was one of the most hotly contested elections in many years. Despite the PA’s loss, the GULP government was confronted with a noticeable opposition for the first time in a decade. By 1979 many believed that “the Parliament had degenerated into a theatrical act, with Gairy always the leading actor,” and the opposition, under Bishop, a reluctant supporting cast. Some have suggested that “the Grenada Parliament had become a caricature of the Westminster model and, moreover, reflected the inherent weaknesses of that model,” leading to disillusionment in the process, and ultimately resulting in the Revolution. If there were winners among the PA, it was the NJM, which won over new supporters and gained a national platform for its leftist views.

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RGPF retirees encouraged to continue serving their communities

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada 

  • Police retirees urged to use job knowledge and experience to serve communities
  • 20 police officers of various ranks with a combined 587 years of service, retired

The underlining message embedded in most of the addresses to the retirees of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) was to use their knowledge and experience gained on the job to continue to serve their communities.

On Wednesday, 4 December, twenty police officers of various ranks from ASP to Royal Constable with a combined 587 years of service, retired from the RGPF. The Police Welfare Association staged a farewell ceremony in their honour at the Special Services Unit (SSU) compound at Camp Saline.

These police officers entered the service at various times, dating back to 1984, and in recognition of their services each received a plaque and medal of service in recognition of their contribution to the RGPF. As customary, the retirees marched off to Auld Lang Syne under a guard of honour, and elicited tears and applause from their comrades as they gave their final salute to Acting Police Commissioner, Edvin Martin.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Michael François, reminded them not to allow their talents and abilities to wither away but to put them to good use in their respective communities.

“As you retire you can look back and feel part of the part you played in seeking to build a culture in the RGPF that reflect values that underpin the service that we provide in many ways. Life begins at retirement today, and by today’s standard you are young men and women with a lot to offer to your immediate communities and to the wider society. I order you to reflect on how you are going to use your wealth of experience and talent for the common good. It is always said that the only true retirement is that of the heart. I know that your hearts are not retired and they are in the right place,” ACP François said.

Chairman of the RGPF Welfare Association, Inspector Simon Douglas, outlined areas where retirees can focus their attention post-retirement to have a more meaning life: to build a strong spiritual connection with their creator, improve their social interaction, maintain a positive attitude towards retirement and maintain a healthy body through diet and exercise. He also stressed that they now have a duty to be more integrated within the fabric of their communities. “Be intentional in creating your social network. During retirement also understand that folks from the job aren’t very likely to be a part of your post-retirement life. For those of you who are solitary try to discover the engage others; join community groups with people of similar interests. Volunteer in organisations that help people, for giving others brings the greatest sense of fulfilment. Use your knowledge and experiences to guide and encourage those of us who are still on the job.”

Kerabe Belfon, a former officer of the RGPF delivered the charge. He emphasised the importance of retirees to remember that life does not end after retirement and that they are still expected to play a leadership role in their communities. “I challenge you to enter the phase with a sense of purpose so that you could remain in good health and prosper. I understand the fight. I understand what it means to finish the race. I tell you brethren when my time arrived I finished that race sprinting. As retiring [people] I say to you, finish the race sprinting; finish the race strong so that when you move into that new phase the energy that you have you [will] transform it in realising the goals that you have beyond the RGPF, beyond service to this nation.”

2019 RGPF retirees:

  1. Supt. Terrence Noel
  2. WSupt. Lynda Francis
  3. ASP Terrence Julien
  4. ASP Renwick Francis
  5. Insp 664 David Lewis
  6. Sgt 141 Denis Burke
  7. Cpl 612 Eric Bascombe
  8. Cpl 779 Reynold St. John
  9. PC 284 Carl Fletcher (deceased)
  10. PC 60 Lincoln Roberts
  11. PC 655 Roderick Williams
  12. PC 790 Thaddeus Lewis
  13. WPC 188 Agnes Mc Lawrence
  14. WPC 759 Carol Horsford
  15. PC 507 Desmond Alexander
  16. PC 566 Wilson Richards
  17. WRC Jean Chetram
  18. RC Lennard Dickson
  19. RC Herman James
  20. Betty Ann Joseph

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