Flooding around the tunnel!!!

I will be most grateful if you will grand me a space in your paper to draw to the attention of the powers that be the need to address this situation.

In recent years there has been major climate change which has affected most areas negatively – in the area of Bruce Street/Sendall Tunnel it has been causing increasing flooding resulting in pedestrians not being able to use Sendall Tunnel whenever there is even a little rain.

Flooding has been occurring in that area for quite some time now and I cannot understand why is it that the powers-that-be have not done anything to correct the situation.

If my memory serves me well, when the Cruise Ship Terminal was being constructed a huge drain was built alongside the hill, which I thought was to take all the water from the area into the bay.

Is that drain functioning? If yes, why is it that the Sendall Tunnel exit is very often flooded? Is it that the drain is at a somewhat higher elevation than the pipeline which is supposed to take away the water? Or is there a partial permanent blockage of the pipe line?

Whatever is the cause it is my firm view that it is long past the time that the situation should have been addressed.

I humbly suggest that a good look be taken at the size of the entrance pipeline to see if it is blocked in part, if the line is too small or if it is because of the sewer line causing the problem.

I beseech the powers-that-be to give this matter the serious attention it deserves since I am hoping that the situation will be remedied.

Simeon Green

Moving towards a perfect union for the OECS’

The Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) – comprising the Windward and Leeward Islands – was formed in 1981 to promote functional co-operation among its members and contribute to their sustainable development.

The member states continue to confront special developmental challenges due to their inherent vulnerability as small island developing states e.g. natural disasters, high dependence on international trade, high cost of public service provision.

These challenges were compounded in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis of the last quarter of 2008. Over the past twenty years the grouping’s economic growth rate averaged between 1 and 3 %.

Also extremely worrying are the high levels of youth unemployment (app 38%) and the palpable anger which is now coming from members of that group. The seeming hopelessness which is coming from this section of the population is not a good sign for the way ahead.

The above challenges also serve to highlight a very fundamental and worrisome experience in the economic and social lives of the OECS: the inability of our people and countries, both individually and collectively to reach our full potential.

Whilst the OECS states have made substantial progress since independence and have become in many ways mature liberal democracies, there hasn’t been a profound transformation of the economies or advancement in the process of social development throughout the communities.

There is also a growing cynicism about the political arrangements and style of politics. This clearly is a direct result of the inability at this juncture to transform the economies and to deliver on all the promises made over the years to the people of this region.

A fundamental and encompassing policy that was envisioned to treat with the various challenges and overall development of the OECS is the orthodox approach to integration. However, although integration is necessary it is not a sufficient condition for attaining our socio-economic objectives.

Since integration has not delivered fully on the economic front the current integration model and process, as well as its implementation, must in some way be flawed.

In the region there are two (2) integration arrangements operating side by side with common membership.

The CARICOM arrangement encompasses all countries while the OECS is a subset of the wider arrangement.

The OECS is however a much deeper arrangement which has been upgraded to be an economic union.

It can be argued that the success of the OECS is a necessary though not a sufficient condition for the success of CARICOM for two (2) reasons. Firstly, if the OECS with its much closer and deeper arrangements, which include a common currency; common judiciary; common procurement policy for pharmaceuticals cannot succeed, then the chances for CARICOM doing so are that much less.

Secondly, a much more closely coordinated and economically advanced OECS with substantially increased per capita incomes, removes the stigma of being, “poor relations” and provides more economic opportunities for firms and citizens from the More Developed Countries within Caricom (MDCs).

In the circumstances, the major question for the OECS is how to address this major issue of self-sustaining development which has to do primarily with achieving high levels of human development in a measured and constructive manner.

The answer lies in the implementing, as a matter of urgency, the Revised Treaty of Basseterre which was ratified on 21st January 2011.

This treaty provides the political, economic and administrative framework and architecture for executing the substantial adjustment required to achieve the socioeconomic development of the economies of the member states.

The economic union provides the political space and the economic environment to treat with one of the fundamental structural issues that has dogged the OECS countries throughout their economic history and marred their relations with the other countries of the region, that is, critical mass.

This has manifested itself in the high cost of government and the extremely small size of domestic markets.

These binding constraints on both the public and private sectors have seriously affected the growth potential of each country.

The contrast in possible outcomes can be seen in two (2) arrangements. The banana industry in the Windward Islands was established on the basis of the production capacity in all four (4) islands which made the shipping and marketing more cost effective.

Also the sharing of central banking arrangements has produced an effective instrument of monetary policy.

The treaty explicitly sets out the framework of a state by identifying the essential elements of such an entity, that is, an Executive, a Legislature and a Judiciary.

The real game changer is the Legislature, which is selected from the elected members of the National

Assemblies and, which in the first instance, acts as a filter for legislation in restricted areas to be agreed by the Executive.

The legislature secures the participation of two (2) critical actors in the integration process, namely opposition parties and the public.

In short, integration will now become an open subject at the national and regional levels and should therefore gain more support.

The new arrangements will also establish in effect a dual system of government and governance. At the regional level, there will be supranational and functional cooperation structures while at the national level there will be the national government and local or community arrangements.

One of the critical factors in creating the governance arrangements is that there is effective political responsibility for national/regional matters and that there are political incentives to ensure that the authorities are fully engaged.

The result of these arrangements/considerations would be the creation of more representative, but efficient and effective processes, which would lower the cost and increase the productivity of the state.

As espoused by the revised treaty a single financial and economic space would be created. Having established a single space, the combined goals of the space must be ascertained by public discussion and consensus, hence the importance of the regional legislature.

The proper functioning of the legislature requires determining a balanced allocation of time spent on regional and national matters, as this has been one of the main impediments to the advancement and success of integration in the region.

The socio-economic transformation will require a rate of growth of between five (5) and seven (7) percent over a period of at least ten years to double per capita incomes in the OECS.

This rate of growth will be able to address the unemployment and poverty levels and maintain and improve the human development indices.

This is the moment for the OECS countries to mould into a State Nation. This is “a grouping of separate sovereign states that pool their sovereignty and resources and coordinate their policies as an instrument for collective decision making and collective action to achieve the goals of socioeconomic development”.

This would give them the political, technical and administrative capacity to collectively address the threats to their sovereignty and future prospects. By consolidating their independence, sovereignty, and nationhood they move dynamically and organically to a more perfect union among themselves.

It is time for the establishment of the Union of Eastern Caribbean States.

Kwame Venner
Economist

Free speech and Falling Moral Standards

Anyone can freely use obnoxious and condescending language, certainly it is not a stroke of linguistic genius to be vulgar and profane.

Frustration and inability at mastery in the art of flowery language to disarm an offender may cause one overwhelmed by the limitation of conventional language resource to scramble for unconventional vernacular to find comfort in defending honour.

Rum shop hysteria and liberal use of profanity has its place – the rum shop. But quite a different matter when it spills onto public airwaves denigrating, ad nauseam, upstanding citizens and many devoted souls who have served their country with distinction.

More unsettling when those who aspire to leadership pass offensive language off as “free speech,” or remain silent on decisive matters at the “core of moral values and community standards,” adopted by new generations of youth – the symbols of hope.

Missed is the opportunity to change the course of incivility and instill goodwill – national unity.

While recognising free speech as an inalienable right, the right to say anything, at any time and in any place is not absolute. Safeguarding rights of the most vulnerable guided by a legal and moral compass exclude: the lewd, the profane, the lascivious, speech intend to harm or impinge upon the rights of another and breaches of national security.

Reckless disregard for “normal community standards,” words used inflaming and inciting violence – power and control – provoke hate speech, incitement and disorder. Offensive language at odds with contemporary community standards, absent literary content or scientific or artistic value, inflicts “grave and irreparable” harm to the minds of our youth.

“Fighting words,” speech used to inflame another likely to provoke physical retaliation see teens and young adults in courts around the country charged with violent behaviour – avoidable conflicts emanating from falling moral standards.

Hateful, reprehensible and abusive words making a mockery of people and communities have no place in the market place of ideas. Speech by simple utterance intended to cause physical or emotional harm; cyber bullying and other verbal and non-verbal forms using public air waves have failed constitutional muster in courts of law.

Grenadian air waves consumed by political demagoguery froth with freewheeling debate walk a thin line in call-in radio and TV.

Resort to use the cover of “free speech” to mask inability to command and fashion appropriate expressive language is regrettable. Nevertheless, remarks unintended may, with remorse and apology, make tranquil a raging tempest.

Kit Stonewalling

Mitchell: NDC is responsible for WhatsApp messages

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has responded forcefully to allegations made by Miami-based blogger, Kenneth Rijock that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with his personal advisor, Trinidadian lawyer Kaisha Ince who is the head of the Grenada passport selling programme called Citizenship By Investment (CBI).

In his first public utterances on the issue, Prime Minister Mitchell told supporters of his ruling New National Party (NNP) at a public meeting in Carlton, St. Andrew on Sunday night that the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is behind the attacks on him and Ince.

According to Dr. Mitchell, the Congress party is behind this kind of gimmick to try and sway the votes in its direction in the upcoming general election.

He warned the NDC to cease from throwing stones, as it needs to keep in mind that its closet is filled with skeletons.

“My friends, you have seen all kinds of things written on the social media, all kind of nasty things written on the social media and I am quite clear they emanate from the National Democratic Congress because that is the character of the leadership of the National Democratic Congress.

“…Let me tell you something, I am giving them a warning…those who have glass houses must not throw stones; those who have glass houses do not throw stones. They are attacking the private lives of people, they spreading lies and propaganda on the private lives of people and their life is so dirty. So, I say to them, if you know you have glass house, don’t throw stone.

Prime Minister Mitchell referred specifically to the claims made by Rijock that he has screenshots of the WhatsApp messages with Ince.

He said: “…Only recently they put out some dirty stuff on their social media claiming that I was in conversation with a woman…well I glad they ain’t say in a conversation with a man, I give them credit for that because they know I am one dimensional.

“… Sisters and brothers it’s amazing how you could sink to a level of maligning decent women and men in this country because you believe that that would help you to get votes.

“Sisters and brothers, I am not worried, I am only giving you a warning to be careful and one of the reasons I raised this here tonight is because one innocent person today called me to (say) I should not be writing these things on Whatsapp.

“So I said, wait nuh, are you telling me that you believe I actually wrote this thing…my friend I don’t have time to write those dirty stuff, my time is spent on building Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

The Prime Minister urged the Nazim Burke-led Congress party to spend more of its time telling Grenadians how it intends to run the country rather than engage in “character assassinating innocent people”.

Dr. Mitchell said: “I say to them instead of spending their time doing this dirty work, tell the people what you would do for them. Tell the young people how you would create jobs and opportunities, tell the elderly citizens how you would create more opportunities to get more social help for them.

“Tell the farmers how you would bring irrigation; how you would provide more monies for them to expand the development. Tell the hoteliers what you would do to improve the hotel product in this country but they spending time maligning people.”

The Prime Minister warned his supporters to be on guard since the priority of the NDC leadership is looking at how it can bring down the members of the NNP regime.

He said: “…This is what their plans…because we have in fact got all the information but… I’ll give you a bit of it tonight. They brought in people from outside the country and in their private meetings, they talking about disrupting the votes on Election Day and prior to the general election.

…They want to bring outside type politics into this beautiful and peaceful country. Sisters and brothers, in addition, they have started attacking different persons within our political party. They have attacked several members of the New National Party personally.

“If you check what has happened with the National Democratic Congress; check its leader, the man never tells you to vote for him because he is a good man. Have you ever heard him say, he deserves to be elected by you?

“No, you know what he says, Keith Mitchell bad, Keith Mitchell wicked, Keith Mitchell thief, Keith Mitchell that. Sisters and brothers, anytime you hear someone (and) all they doing is badmouthing another person that person can’t care about anybody.

“This (NNP) party, you heard us tonight, we do not spend time character assassinating people on this platform because we believe that we are one Grenadian brothers and sisters.”

Dr. Mitchell is seeking a record fifth term in office and has warned Congress that he intends to repeat the 15-0 victory at the polls by NNP in 2013.

Denials from Kaisha Ince!!!

A British-based firm that is helping to promote Grenada’s passport selling scheme known as Citizenship By Investment (CBI) has once more been force to trade words with Miami-based Blogger, Kenneth Rijock.

Kaisha Ince – the attorney from Trinidad who is under pressure from the Blogger

The firm has flatly denied allegations made by Rijock in his latest postings that the firm was providing money to the head of the Grenada CBI programme, Trinidadian Kaisha Ince to pay the tuition fees for her daughter’s education in England.

According to the firm, any publication and re-publication of what it called these latest fabricated articles “are subject to review and further action by our lawyers in the USA and UK, where such defamatory and demonstrably false articles are actionable in court”.

“…The republication of any of these false statements and allegations would be grossly defamatory and also actionable if repeated. (Name of company withheld) expressly reserves all its rights in this regard and will pursue all remedies, including legal action, as necessary, should anything, even just part of these latest fake news, be republished in any form or manner”, said the British firm.

Rijock has claimed that he has evidence of alleged wrongdoing in the form of text messages between Prime Minister Mitchell and Ince, an attorney-at-law by profession.

The blogger has published screenshots in which PM Mitchell and Ince are allegedly referring to a US$1M diplomatic passport sale that surfaced a few months ago involving a businessman from Ukraine.

Rijock claims that the exchanges between the Prime Minister and Ince does not refute the diplomatic passport issue.

The blogger followed this up with another post discussing an alleged personal relationship between the pair.
Over the weekend Ince released a statement denying any wrongdoing and labelling the blog posts as “an outright lie” presenting “unsubstantiated issues” as facts.

Ince also warned that if Rijock continues to publish articles on the subject matter then whoever is responsible will be prosecuted “to the full force of law”.

The attorney said in her most recent release: “As Chairman of the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Committee and the person referred to in blog posts dated 1st, 2nd and 3rd December, 2017, by convicted criminal Kenneth Rijock, and further to my statement dated 1st December, 2017, I reiterate that the contents of these ridiculous blog posts are totally fabricated and without foundation.

“None of the allegations is true. Mr Rijock, a proven and bold-faced liar, has manufactured the text messages, ascribing purported conversations between the Prime Minister and myself that never took place. As a convicted criminal with no credibility whatsoever, he sells himself and his blog to other criminals and persons who are strangers to the truth to disseminate fake news.

“Those malicious and baseless blog posts by Mr. Rijock and the persons hiding behind him are wholly designed to bring the Government of Grenada, the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI Programme) and me personally, into disrepute.

“The purpose of this statement is to put in the public domain that there is absolutely no truth to Mr. Rijock’s blog posts and that they are highly defamatory. Besides attacking the CBI Programme, Mr. Rijock has attacked me personally. It is therefore only fair that I protect and defend my personal and professional integrity.

“I have already instructed my Attorneys to begin proceedings against Mr Rijock for defamation. Similar consequences will follow for any person or entity publishing any of the contents of his blog posts with reckless indifference to the facts, as I have stated above.

“I am left with no choice but to defend my personal and professional integrity. A word to the wise is sufficient.
Since then Rijock has published two more posts, titled The Smoking Gun, which purport to show the WhatsApp messages he was referring to in last week’s blog posts.

The writer – a convicted money launderer who now describes himself as a financial crime consultant – also alleges that hackers in Grenada and the UK attempted to shut down websites carrying his articles.

Transformed Angels of Light and Anti-Christs!!!!

Minister Winston Garraway, on GBN to the point programme hosted by Joseph Cadore on the 22nd Nov 2017 corrected a caller who said Satan is the angel of light.

Minister Garraway said Satan appeared like the angel of light. The King James version of the Bible states, Satan is transformed into an angel of light, 2 Cor.11; verse 14. I wondered when Dr. Keith Mitchell in the 2013 campaign for that general election, sounding like an angel of light told the Grenadian people that he will not raise any taxes, and that sounded real good.

Then on entering office in 2013 as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance gave the Grenadian people close to 30 new taxes. That good promise turned out to be a big lie, and that’s bad.

Dr. Mitchell turned out to be a messenger of Satan, parading as an angel of light, like Satan he told the people a big lie of his, like Satan and gave them more taxes.

Satan is a liar, you know; John ch,8 verse 44, of the Holy Bible. Dr. Mitchell is walking in Satan’s footsteps and the messenger of his by that deed.

On the 19th Nov. 2017 a few days earlier, at the launch of Tobias Clement rally, Dr. Mitchell declared with much energy that he is a Christian. Dr. Mitchell – a Christian? A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ who lives like Christ. Does Dr. Keith Mitchell the Prime Minister of Grenada lives like Christ? His government sponsors and promotes carnival which is revelling, for close to 18 years! Revelling if practiced will keep you out of the kingdom of heaven, in other words, cause you to lose your soul Gal.5 verse 21.

Would Jesus cause you to practice anything that will cause you to lose your soul? Sad to say Dr. Mitchell is head of a government that pushes sinful carnival for close to 18 years! Carnival where so much sin is rampant.
Jesus Christ won’t push carnival or revelling. So, Dr. Mitchell is anti-Christ in his words and deeds to Jesus Christ. He is doing that which is against Christ. He is an anti-Christ;1Jn.2; verse 18.

Even more so today, as he leads a government that is pushing the mark of the beast on its people today.

The voter’s ID card and registration today is the issuance of the mark of the beast, and the mark of the beast that will send you to the Lake of Fire for all eternity; Rev.13;16-18 and Rev.14;9-11.

GCPP say we have a messenger of Satan that appears like an angel of light and an anti-Christ in Dr. Mitchell.

This man is dangerous for Grenada. This man is fulfilling scripture on the Devil side by his works.

People, flee from that man this upcoming election. Give him zero vote! Why would you the Grenadian people want to put an anti-Christ and someone who appears as an angel of light who is a messenger of Satan with good news, only to turn and do the opposite to what he promised when in office?

His wrong doings make him unfit to rule Grenada today. In light of the fulfilment of the two last prophecies today, they are issuance of the mark of beast and the return of Sodom.

Chose the Grenada Christian Political Party GCPP. Almighty God true and approved political party to rule Grenada today.

Here comes a general election soon to be contested here in Grenada and Minister Garraway is telling the people that this election is about the economy. That’s a big lie!

GCPP is declaring to you the Grenadian people that this election is about your souls. Minister Garraway is defending Dr. Mitchell like a pitbull dog guarding its master.

Like if Dr. Mitchell is a saint when the man is an anti-Christ. Minister Garraway is an anti-Christ too for defending someone who is pushing sin.

GCPP is declaring to the Grenadian people that this election is about your souls and a vote on the mark of the beast to keep it or destroy it.

It’s a vote for God or the Devil. Derick Sealey representing God and Keith Mitchell representing the Devil.
GCPP says to you the people to give Dr. Mitchell and NNP zero vote and GCPP all the votes to be on God’s side this upcoming election. This is serious and true!

To the other politicians in the country, don’t shame Dr. Mitchell as yet. All of you are in the same sinful ship pushing Carnival and the mark of the beast on the people.

You are all anti-Christ and Satan’s messengers, transforming yourselves as angels of light. Shame on all of you from GCPP.

People shame them too by giving them zero votes in this upcoming election. They are expired! This is serious and urgent. Wake up people, wake up.

Derick Sealey
Founder
Grenada Christian Political Party

Indian-origin Man Takes on Gandhi Critic in Grenada

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi, overlooking the Sauteurs Bay in Grenada, is becoming the talk of the town in the Caribbean country. Indians had arrived more than 100 years ago in the island nation.

Mahatma Gandhi

The statue, unveiled in 2013 as a mark of Grenada-India relations, invited criticism from a person named Josiah Rougier who wrote to the newspaper, The New Today, calling the leader a “racist.”

He wrote in a letter to the editor: “The following is a quote by Ghandi, he said, ‘Kafirs (black) are as a rule uncivilised convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals’. Ghandi – March 7, 1908. As a person of African heritage, is this the kind of person whose bust should be placed anywhere among our people? What has this racist ever done for the people of Grenada?”

The letter adds: “If Indians in Grenada choose to celebrate the birthday of their leader Ghandi, they are free to do so in their own homes, but not among our young children who should be celebrating the life and times of those who fought against the evil system of the apartheid regime in South Africa.”

In response, an Indian-origin reader Jai Sears wrote to Guyana Chronicle, saying: “Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: ‘Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.’

“Gandhi was a man; he was not God. And even God made mistakes. Rougier must instead focus on Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in Satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world.” Sears added in his letter.

“Gandhi’s life is an example to us all and his legacy, a positive influence to all Grenadians, especially the youth in these times of increasing violence,” the then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas was quoted as saying at the unveiling of the bust.

“The figurine is that we remember all who contributed to this island in one way or another, he is a hero in India and is recognized by Indians all over the world, so this is our respect to him,” he is reported to have said.
Indians comprise less than 5 per cent of Grenada’s population.

This is not the first time Gandhi’s statue has been at the center of a controversy.

Last year, a statue of India’s ‘Father of the Nation,’ unveiled in June 2016, was removed at Ghana University following protests by academics and students.

The statue was a gift by the Indian embassy to the university during then Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the country.

The academics, who were not consulted before the statue was erected, wrote in a petition: “It is better to stand up for our dignity than to kowtow to the wishes of a burgeoning Eurasian super-power.”

A statue of the preacher of non-violence in Downtown Davis in California sparked similar protests in October last year, citing Gandhi’s letters, which called the blacks “kaffirs”.

The unveiling of Gandhi statue at Parliament Square in London in 2015 was met with criticism as well, with Dalit and Sikh activists accusing him of discriminating on the basis of the Hindu caste system.

London-based historian Kusoom Vadgama also launched a petition against the statue, saying that Gandhi ‘dishonoured women’.

St. David’s Man Faces 105 Years for Rape

A Providence, St. David man, Roland Charles, is facing a maximum sentence of 105 years imprisonment after he was found guilty Monday on three (3) counts of rape against his ex-lover, the now deceased Larry-Ann John.

The case against Charles was heard by a 9-member jury and lasted 9 days before the No. 2 High Court in St. George’s.

The jury returned the unanimous guilty verdict on all three counts of rape on Monday afternoon, having deliberated on the evidence in the case for just over 2 hours.

The victim, who was 19 years old at the time, alleged that the chain of events occurred on October 19, 2013, at different locations in her home village of Coals Gap in St. David.

At the beginning of the trial on November 20, defense counsel Anselm Clouden had failed in an attempt to get the court to dismiss the proceedings against the now convicted man, based on certain preliminary issues, relating to the April 2017 death of the virtual complainant, who he insisted would not be available for proper examination before the court.

The court ruled in favour of the State, led by Crown Counsel Brandon La Touché, who rebutted by referring to section 198 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which provides for the trial to proceed by way of deposition.

Having read in the statement of the now deceased rape victim, the Crown then proceeded to call 4 other witnesses to give evidence against Charles.

Citing alibi, however, Attorney Clouden did not succeed with his attempt to convince the jury that Charles could not have committed the crime, as he was hanging with some friends at a neighbourhood shop when the rape incidents reportedly occurred.

At the end of the Crown’s case, the experienced defense counsel, who did not call any witnesses on his client’s behalf, proceeded to make a ‘no case submission’ but it was dismissed by the court.

In an unsworn statement from the dock, the accused continued to maintain his innocence of rape based on his alibi presented to ther court.

Charles admitted that he and the victim were involved in a sexual relationship, which he was trying to keep secret just between the two of them but sometime in June 2013, he had pulled out of the relationship out of embarrassment due to the degrading things he was hearing about the now deceased woman.

He also asked the jury to treat him with fairness but expressed no remorse over the turn of events.

Charles, who faces a maximum sentence of 35 years on each count of rape under the revised 2012 Criminal Code, is scheduled for sentencing before trial Judge, Guyanese-born Madam Justice Paula Gilford on January 17, 2018.

Coding Academy Coming to Grenada

This will be a technological breakthrough not to be taken lightly.

In the first quarter 2018 Grenada will launch the Caribbean Coding Academy (CCA) making history again with another first. With this initiative CCA is realising a mission of high-paying sustainable jobs for Caribbean nationals by bridging the technological divide between our region and the world.

The academy is a not-for-profit EDUTEK subsidiary dedicated to stemming the brain drain of Caribbean professionals escaping economic hardship and reversing the trend for our own development.

CCA is the brainchild of a group of diaspora visionaries returning to the homeland with impeccable credentials and decades of expert experience in information communication technology (ICT) and software engineering.

The name Caribbean Coding Academy is not a misnomer because student recruitment is regional and the growing number of affiliates includes St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados. And importantly, CCA academics are rooted in the STEM’s education system of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with special emphasis on robotics, artificial intelligence, and coding.

Coding is an esoteric, cutting-edge technology skill that few of our nationals have ever heard about even if, ironically, they use it every day. So, there is a huge skills gap to be filled. Our intention here is therefore an effort to demystify the field for the uninitiated layman – to decode the mystic, so to speak.

Coding is software programming derived from the binary machine language of zero (0) and one (1).

Programming languages are unique collectives of semantic rules, algorithms, and syntax used in software applications to command computer devices to do specific tasks.

For example, programming languages like JavaScript and Python make many software applications including websites, mobile phones, and social media networks.

Our young generation coders are the architects and builders of the New Digital Economy. Coders write software programs, software programs make software applications, and software applications run the world. We are no longer going to be just passive consumers of software applications: we are going to be active producers.

In analogy, coding is to technology what DNA is to living organisms. It is the building block at the core foundation of our digital world, the origin source of myriads of automated machine devices we use every day at home, at work, at learning institutions in communication, transportation, and production processes across whole economies.

Without coding technology we would not have answering machines, automatic teller machines (ATMs), MRI scanners and laser imaging, computers and smart phones, traffic lights and light-sensitive street lights, the computerised automobiles we drive, electricity power grids that light the nation, and dozens of sophisticated remote-controlled gadgetry that is unthinkable to live without nowadays.

In our digitised global economy coding skill is an indispensable technology resource that is under serious stress resulting from chronic scarcity of supply. Hence, job demand in technology industries and market forces are seeing skyrocketing wages for coders.

Once a student has acquired the coding skills for programming software applications the sky is the limit. Coding practitioners are weaponised with an arsenal of highly specialised skills to virtually conquer the digital world.

Recent market surveys report that with increasing demand even minimum coding expertise attracts high wages averaging U$40/hour in financial markets and technology companies.

Our CCA graduates are given a 100% job placement guarantee in financial markets and with telecom giants such as Google, Apple, and Yahoo – that’s how confident we are. Another caveat: CCA’s centralised contact center will obviate the need to travel since jobs are outsourced on location working with systems like computer telephony integration, a model used by countries like Taiwan and India with great success.

CCA cadres of certified coding professionals will be a potential bonanza for regional economies and a significant problem solver for governments.

Our youth unemployment averaging 50% in some islands will be positively impacted, employment income will boost scarce foreign exchange earnings, and foreign direct investments (FDI) gravitate to countries with reliable and dependable workforce skills base.

EDUTEK/CCA Grenada is headquartered in the beautiful Archibald Avenue suburbs with a panoramic view of St George’s Harbour and the Caribbean Sea. In the hub of the education belt the academy is strategically positioned for access linkages with neighboring tertiary institutions like T.A Marryshow Community College, Presentation Brothers College, and Wesley College. In terms of esthetics, the physical setting is a student-friendly environment with atmospherics and human ergonomics conducive to learning.

Going forward Caribbean Coding Academy projects the signature technology institution in the region’s STEM capacity-building value chain, a center for learning and excellence with world-class, state-of-the-art technology and a high calibre resource faculty.

Jay Bruno

Englishman Caught with EC$500,000 Worth of Cocaine at MBIA

A 36-year-old, English national, who was caught trying to leave the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA), with 5 kilograms of cocaine, has pleaded guilty to Trafficking of a Controlled Drug, when he appeared before the St. George’s No. 2 Magistrate’s Court last week Thursday.

English national Martin Collins, after pleading guilty to Trafficking in Cocaine at the St. George’s Magistrate’s Court

THE NEW TODAY understands that on November 27, Martin Collins, along with his wife and 2 kids, and their luggage, were taken off the Virgin Atlantic Flight #V052 returning to Gatwick, after a check of one of the suitcases revealed a false compartment with suspicious looking packages.

A detailed search of the luggage (a black and brown Samsonite suitcase), which bore the name of Collin’s 11-year-old daughter, revealed 10 packets containing a white powdery substance concealed within the lining of the suitcase.

During the interrogation process, the UK national reportedly told police investigators that the illegal substance, which carries an estimated street value of approximately EC$500, 000, was indeed his and that his wife, daughter and 5-year-old son had no knowledge of it.

Information reaching THE NEW TODAY is that the wife and kids were not incriminated and should have left the island last week Friday.

Collins who was slapped with a trafficking charge and remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison, retained the services of criminal defense Attorney-at-Law, Peter David, to assist him.

The UK resident, who is a construction worker by profession, was afforded special treatment by local police escorts as he was taken from the holding cell to the No. 2 Magistrate’s Court using an inside passage way, instead of the usual outside routine used with other prisoners.

After entering the guilty plea, Attorney David informed the court that his client is not the actual owner of the drugs but was paid a sum of “£10, 000” to collect it for a friend, who had financed his family’s trip to and from Grenada.

The attorney requested full disclosure from the State including the test results of the substance, and the Police Prosecution team informed the court that they should be ready sometime this week to comply.

Collins is due in court today (Friday) for sentencing.