Antigua and Barbuda Cabinet meets with Afreximbank Executives

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Monday met with the President of Afreximbank and a delegation of high-level executives from the bank and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States OECS to discuss prospective areas of funding and other collaborative and capacity development opportunities of mutual interest.

Prime Minister Browne welcomed the delegation to Antigua and Barbuda and spoke of a number of areas of possible collaboration with the Bank.

President of the Bank Benedict Okechukwu Oramah said that his bank is delighted to engage with the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda and sees many areas of collaboration that could be beneficial to both sides.

Both sides agreed to advance discussions in the coming weeks.

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ECLAC Presents a Selection of Key Statistics on Development in the Region’s Countries

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released today the Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2022, available online, in which it presents a statistical synthesis that illustrates the socio-demographic, economic and environmental development of the region’s countries.

This annual publication, which is among the United Nations regional organization’s most important, constitutes a reference for those seeking descriptive statistical data that is comparable between countries and over time. The current edition contains information available as of mid-December 2022.

The Statistical Yearbook 2022 is divided into three chapters. The first explores demographic and social aspects, including indicators on population, work, education, health, housing and basic services, poverty and income distribution, and gender.

In the social realm, the Yearbook’s data shows a slight recovery in some indicators after the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, poverty in Latin America affected 32.3% of the population, including 12.9% of the population that was living in extreme poverty. These figures represent a small decline versus the prior year, of 0.5 percentage points in poverty and 0.2 points in extreme poverty.

The pandemic’s impact on employment continued despite a slight improvement in labor indicators. The population’s participation rate in economic activity for Latin America and the Caribbean rose to 61.4% in comparison with the minimum of 57.8% reached in 2020. In addition, the open unemployment rate declined, falling from 10.5% in 2020 to 9.3% in 2021. In both cases, however, the improvements seen in 2021 were not enough for these indicators to attain their pre-pandemic values.

The second chapter presents economic information referring to national accounts, balance of payments, foreign trade and price indices, among other indicators.

The Yearbook shows that in 2022, the region’s economies grew at an estimated 3.7%, marking nearly half the growth recorded in 2021 (6.7%). This reflects the dwindling of the rebound effect on the recovery in 2021, along with the impact and effects of restrictive monetary policies, greater limits on fiscal spending, lower consumption and investment levels, and a deterioration in the external context.

While growth decelerated in 2022, inflationary pressures held firm. The variation in the Consumer Price Index in Latin America reached 15.4% in 2022, above the 12.4% seen in 2021. Food prices, which have played a significant role in the evolution of the overall consumer price index, rose by 13.2% in 2022, compared with 8.3% in 2021. The behavior of regional inflation also correlates with the evolution of prices for primary products, which increased by 16.6% between January and October 2022 versus the prior year, with particularly striking price growth of 45.9% for energy products, 36.8% for fertilizers and 19.5% for food and beverages.

The region’s complex domestic scenario is compounded by a difficult situation in the external sector. In 2021, Latin America and the Caribbean had a current account deficit in its balance of payments of 1.5% of GDP, with a deterioration in the trade balance of the region as a whole, influenced by growth of 34.7% in goods imports, which exceeded the 27.7% expansion for goods exports. However, in 2021 foreign direct investment experienced a recovery with 14.0% growth in net flows versus the 20.4% drop seen in 2020.

The third chapter offers environmental statistics and indicators from the region. These include metrics on physical conditions; land cover; ecosystems; biodiversity; environmental quality; land; energy, water and biological resources; emissions; disasters; human settlements; and environmental regulation and governance.

Historically, Latin America and the Caribbean has contributed less than other regions to climate change. However, the countries in this region are very vulnerable to its negative consequences: floods, storms, droughts and landslides, among others. In 2022 alone, 74 hazardous events and disasters occurred, directly affecting more than 7 million people and causing the death of more than 1,000 people. The total damage and economic losses related directly or indirectly to disasters in 2022 in our region amounted to $1.789 billion dollars.

On another note, it can be seen that since 1990, the region increased its accumulated aquaculture production by more than 1,547%, going from 229,611 tonnes in 1990 to 3,781,004 tonnes as of 2020. Meanwhile, fish extraction declined by 22%. All of this points to less pressure on these natural resources, leading to a less unfavorable impact on the environment.

Finally, this edition of the Statistical Yearbook includes information on environmental quality in the region through air quality (air pollution), which represents a significant environmental risk to human health. The results indicate that just 30% of the region’s countries (10 out of 33) comply with the World Health Organization’s guidelines for particulate matter (PM2.5) and, unfortunately, 5 countries have more than double the maximum value permitted.

The Statistical Yearbook is published in a print version and an online format that include a selection of tables and graphs aimed at providing a summary of the statistical information from a regional perspective. The interactive web version facilitates navigation and access to the information presented in the print version, linking graphs and statistical tables to the data series available in ECLAC’s databases, which allows for accessing information that is more detailed and refers to a much broader historical period. It also contains an additional chapter explaining methodological aspects and specifying the references to the data sources used.

The information underpinning the Yearbook is part of the set of statistics available on CEPALSTAT, a platform that gives access to all the updated statistical information from the region’s countries that is collected, systematized and published by ECLAC, enabling visualization of the region’s statistics in distinct territories through its Geoportal.

Given that most of this information comes from national statistics offices, central banks, international bodies and other official institutions, ECLAC invites users to pay attention to the sources and the technical notes presented in this publication. The data is obtained using international methodologies and standards with the aim of ensuring the greatest possible comparability between countries, which means that these figures may not necessarily coincide with national data.

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Mya Announces New Song With Bounty Killer, Shares Love For Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

American singer/songwriter Mya is tapping into dancehall culture again with a new collaboration with none other than Bounty Killer.

Mya previously collaborated with Ding Dong on “Hands Free” on the Sexting Riddim released in 2019, “Take Him Out” with Spice in 2013, and “Girls Dem Sugar” with Beenie Man. Now, she says she has an unreleased song with Bounty Killer.

“You can dance to it,” Mya says as she declines to give more details when pressed by local host Dutty Berry. “It’s a cultural dance that’s all I can tell you,” she laughed.

Mya said that she has been working and she completed two albums during the pandemic, and she is excited to be sharing her music with fans. The R&B legend was speaking at the recent post-Valentine’s Day concert “Lovers and Friends” event held on February 18 at Priory, St. Ann. The artist joined headliners Rotimi, R&B giant Bobby Valentino, and local acts Christopher Martin, Sizzla, Alaine, J Written, and British Geeza.


Mya also spoke about her love for dancing and also shared that her song with Bounty Killer will be a different vibe.

Mya also reacted to fellow artist and former “Lady Marmalade” collaborator Pink shading the other artists that were on the set for the song. In a recent interview, Pink said “Lady Marmalade” was 12th on her favorite songs because “it wasn’t very fun to make. I’m all about fun, and it was like a lot of fuss and there were a lot of personalities. Kim and Mya were nice.”

Mya, however, brushed off the question noting that she was not always aware of what took place backstage on sets with fellow artists as she was about her business and left as she was done.

In the meantime, Mya’s performance at the Lovers & Friends concert received rave reviews from happy fans who were treated to original choreography as well as a live performance from the artist.

The artist also shared her love for Jamaica, noting that she visits the island yearly and could “feel the love.”

“It’s a place where you can see love in creation. You can taste love,” she said.

UN representative supports ministry of youth empowerment, ageing and disabilities

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The decision by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to provide focused attention to the Federation’s youth, the elderly and differently-abled population was applauded by Cosbert Woods, United Nations Country Coordinator for St. Kitts and Nevis.

Woods’ comments were made at the official launch of the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Ageing and Disabilities on Monday. In delivering the feature address, the UN representative credited the formation of the new Ministry.

“The formation of a dedicated Ministry to tackle the developmental and sustainable needs of the most vulnerable in our society is extremely critical at this time when we are grappling with global conflict, climate change, food insecurity and financial hardships,” said Woods.

“More specific to our national context, St. Kitts and Nevis as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), is highly susceptible to a wide range of socio-economic shocks which place a huge burden on our limited capacity as a country.”

Woods noted that the goals of the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Ageing and Disabilities are in line with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We believe that the strategies and proposed activities outlined… are closely aligned to several UN SDGs geared towards achieving equality, preserving well-being and ensuring that no one is left behind,” he said.

“Our recent work in the Federation has revealed that there are strong expectations from the youth, elderly and persons with disabilities regarding the work to be undertaken by the government to support them.”

He noted that the UN Secretary-General Ant?nio Guterres stresses the need for transformation in 2023, which is grounded in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As such, the UN encourages the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Ageing and Disabilities to “adopt a human rights-based approach to their work which recognizes the importance of addressing different segments of the population in vulnerable situations and unlocking socio-economic opportunities for development which considers factors such as age, disability, ethnicity, health status and place of residence.”

The United Nations Country Coordinator added that the organization is very pleased to support the Ministry and to “build on the recent work undertaken in the Federation.” Mr. Woods pledged the UN’s continued support in providing technical support for activities such as the “development of a Youth Engagement Strategy and Action Plan Climate Change which will also feed onto the new Youth Policy, as well as the disaster risk management work programme.”

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