Bounty Killer Says Afrobeats Not In Competition With Dancehall

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Bounty Killer has declared that he fully embraces Afrobeats music, and says the genre should not be pitted against Dancehall.

In responding to the question whether “Dancehall music still has a place on the international market with the emergence of Afrobeats,” during an I Never Knew TV interview, Bounty said that the two genres should be left to co-exist harmoniously and not be constantly compared or seen as one replacing the other.

“Afrobeat has nothing to do with Dancehall.  Afrobeat is another genre.  Afrobeat never came in competition with Dancehall or came with intent to take something from Dancehall.    I don’t know why people keep on comparing Afrobeat and Dancehall.  Why? Afrobeat is like a baby from Dancehall; it’s a relative,” Bounty stated.

“Afrobeat and Jamaican music is similar music.   Africa and Jamaican music and I’m so happy so happy for Afrobeat.  Music originate in Africa from the Congo beat.   Africa finally have a sound, so I’m excited and Afrobeats not taking nothing from Dancehall.  Afrobeats complements Dancehall.  Si Nicki Minaj and Skeng deh all ova pon Dancehall beats,” he added.

Since March last year, many comparisons have been made between Dancehall and Afrobeats, especially after Billboard joined forces with music festival and global Afrobeats brand Afro Nation, to launch the first-ever US chart for Afrobeats Songs.  The move by Billboard had come two years after it discontinued its Reggae Digital Song Sales chart, which ranked the top-downloaded Reggae and Dancehall songs in the US.

In January this year, Opposition leader and President of the People’s National Party (PNP) Mark Golding, had expressed concern that the “heydays of Jamaica’s music industry had passed and “Afrobeats has kinda gone into that area and is eating our food.”

However, that same month, Reggae/Dancehall singer Tanya Stephens had dismissed comments made by her compatriot, Dancehall deejay Mr. Lexx who, in expressing discontent with the state of the music, had said that Dancehall music was lagging behind Afrobeats, because the majority of new songs being released are about violence, lewdness, and lotto scamming.

Stephens had come to the music’s defense, pointing out the duplicity in Lexx’s statements, while arguing that artists from as far back as the 1980s, and from his own generation, had never predicated their music on ‘feeling good’, but that sex and violence have always been a part of Jamaican music, as the island’s artists have never operated like a monolithic group.

She had also argued that the reason the Jamaican music was not seeing strong sales, was due to the island’s people not buying their music, unlike African audiences who are more supportive of Afrobeats, which leads to better quality shows and better positioning for singers from the African genre.

The Rebelution artist had also posited that once a Dancehall song is good, it will be successful. She had also said it was duplicitous to suggest that all music from the 1990s era was of a superior standard, as many were regarded as subpar.

In January this year, Anointed singer Bugle too, had declared that there should be no comparison between sales of Dancehall songs and Afrobeats, as the African genre has a continental marketplace of hundreds of millions of people, in comparison to Jamaica’s three million.

Bugle had argued that once an Afrobeats artiste releases a song, it will, more likely than not, instantly hit the Billboard charts and sell “diamond and gold” due to the sheer number of people who subscribe to Afrobeat music.

In November last year, following the release of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) Engaging with Music 2022 study, in which reggae was ranked number 10 out of more than 5,000 genres, University of the West Indies Professor Donna P.  Hope, had said Afrobeats’ absence from the coveted top 10, was a significant point to note.

“While we are being told that Afrobeats is pushing Dancehall out of the way, it did not make it on that list… It (Afrobeats) is a new enough genre; it will take some time for it to get to that level of recognition globally that Jamaican music, Reggae and Dancehall for example, have garnered over many years since the development of our music industry,” Professor Hope, Professor Hope, who is a lecturer in Culture, Gender, and Society, had explained.

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Popcaan To Release ‘Great Is He’ Deluxe Edition With 8 New Songs

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Dancehall artist Popcaan has announced that Great Is He Deluxe will be released on March 31, 2023. Great Is He, Popcaan’s fifth studio

On first-ever International Day of Zero Waste, FAO puts the spotlight on bioeconomy

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.

“We must use existing biological resources more efficiently, and waste less, instead of relying on finite fossil-based resources”, the Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, told a high-level event held at the UN General Assembly to commemorate the first-ever International Day of Zero Waste.

In a video message, Qu explained that as the world population is predicted to grow close to 10 billion people by 2050, there is an immense challenge to meet the rapidly growing global demand for food and non-food agricultural products–projected to increase by up to 56 per cent by 2050.

“To meet this extra demand for agricultural inputs, including food, fibre, fuel and fodder, in an equitable and sustainable way… We must produce and consume in a more sustainable and healthier manner, with fewer inputs”, Qu underscored, adding that a circular and sustainable economy offers systemic solutions to address these challenges.

The Director-General highlighted that bioeconomy is a current FAO strategic priority to reduce waste and pollution, as it values and promotes responsible production and consumption of renewable natural resources, contributing to climate action, biodiversity conservation and ecosystems restoration.

“For example, waste and residues along agrifood systems can be turned into beneficial products such as biomaterials, biochemicals, biopharmaceuticals, and bioenergy. In the bioeconomy, there is no such thing as waste!”, Qu emphasized.

The current challenge of waste in agrifood systems

FAO estimates that more than 13 per cent of global food production is lost between the production and wholesale stages of the supply chain. Furthermore, global data indicates that an additional 17 per cent is wasted at the retail, food service, and consumer stages. Food quality is also compromised throughout the entire supply chain.

These losses occur while over 800 million people are undernourished and almost 3.1 billion cannot afford a healthy diet.

Moreover, food loss and waste contribute to 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The FAO chief warned the 193 members of the UN General Assembly that wasting food and non-food agricultural products, as well as inputs like plastics, puts unnecessary pressure on the environment.

“It essentially means that we have wasted land and water resources, we have created pollution and we have emitted greenhouse gases with no purpose!”, he underlined.

Qu urged world leaders to identify the hotspots where losses and waste occur and to urgently address the inefficiencies and inequalities in global agrifood systems to make them more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable.

“Reducing losses and waste will not only contribute to our environment, but increase the availability of fruits and vegetables, and improve access to healthy diets”, he emphasized.

About the International Day of Zero Waste

At its seventy-seventh session on 14 December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution proposed by T?rkiye and supported by 105 countries declaring that 30 March would be celebrated each year as the International Day of Zero Waste.

The observance, coordinated by the UN Environment Programme and UN Habitat, aims to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns and raise awareness about how zero-waste initiatives contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

During the high-level event to celebrate the first “Zero Waste Day”, called by the President of the UN General Assembly, Member States and stakeholders exchanged experiences and success stories in solid waste management, including zero-waste initiatives.

The event had the participation of Ant?nio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Emine Erdo?an, First Lady of the Republic of T?rkiye; Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat; and Ligia Noronha UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNEP New York Office.

Guterres announced the establishment of an Advisory Board of Eminent Persons on Zero Waste to be led by Mohd Sharif and Jose Manuel Moller, CEO and Founder of the Chilean social enterprise Algramo.

FAO, as the UN lead technical agency for food and agriculture, is committed to working together with all partners to achieve the goal of zero waste through the transformation of global agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.

The UN Food Systems Summit Stocktaking Moment, to be held at FAO headquarters in Rome in July this year, will be an important opportunity for countries to share, exchange, and promote early signs of transformations in their agrifood sector.

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Technology and Innovation: The gateway to development for the Guyanese

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

By Cristina Caus

We live in vulnerable energy times. The energy crisis, climate change and energy transition are all shaking and shaping the global future.

“The energy realities of the world remind us that oil and gas will be here for decades to pivot a just, affordable and secure energy transition,” as John Hess, CEO of Hess Corporation, mentioned during the International Energy Conference and Expo in Guyana in February 2023.

As someone said, vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation and technology is the driving force behind progressive changes. Nevertheless, how can Guyana play a vital role in reordering energy security?

“By embedding innovation earlier in the process, Guyana can skip several steps and avoid what most economies went through” this idea was emphasized several times during the same conference. “If we integrate innovation into Guyana’s process today, there might be some accelerated success.”

Guyana can play an essential role in balancing the global energy supply and demand markets and address the energy crisis by becoming a top crude oil producer globally. This can be achieved by attracting oil and gas operators, service companies and solution providers that bring innovative technologies with them to market. The local leadership should be educated on the latest technology trends and how their application can increase safety, improve production, optimize the equipment, reduce the risks and human-induced errors.

Technologies like IoT platforms for remote monitoring; AI-enabled platforms for an intelligent decision-making process to increase the ROI; robotics & automation used in inspection, surveying and maintenance to 3D modeling, cloud computing and a digital twin can accelerate this success. The goal is to become competitive in the global oil and gas market and this can be achieved by attracting and establishing partnerships with companies that can bring increased efficiency and productivity to the local oil and gas operations, from exploration and production to storage and transportation.

For example. Saudi Aramco is one of the most innovative oil and gas companies. Back in 2013, Saudi Aramco announced that it will be spending tens of billions of dollars on technology and research to make the oil last longer and develop other energy resources that future Saudi generations can someday export. Ten years later, these investments are paying off. Not only is Saudi Aramco now the largest oil producer in the world, but it hit a record $161 billion profit for 2022, the largest annual profit ever recorded by an oil and gas company.

For Guyana, this means that improvements in regulations, a transparent, secure and competitive environment for foreign investment, and incentives from the government can serve as catalysts for technology and innovation. Collaborating with universities and creating a business innovation hub mentality for young entrepreneurs with government support, like loan guarantees, grants, and tax credits, will also spur the industry.

Innovative technology will play a critical role in climate change. The oil and gas sector must reduce its emissions by at least 3.4 gigatons of CO2 equivalent a year by 2050 –a 90 % reduction in current emissions. The current technologies can address most of the oil and gas emissions. At the extraction & drilling phases, solutions like energy efficiency, electrification and carbon capture and storage can make a significant difference.

Many companies have adopted techniques that can substantially decarbonize operations–for example, improved maintenance routines to reduce intermittent flaring and vapor-recovery units to reduce methane leaks. In 2015 the World Bank launched the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative,” targeting rapid and significant reductions in routine flaring and ensure that developing countries are working to end poverty and build shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. It is worth mentioning that new Guyana’s FPSOs, starting with Exxon’s Liza Destiny are designed to avoid routine flaring.

Guyana today can become a world leader in setting a benchmark around flaring and is possible for the country to achieve zero-flare objective, because “from day one the right solutions and the right technologies were properly planned and properly positioned in order to enable the extraction and the production with almost zero carbon footprint”, as the Emissions Director at Schlumberger vocalized about a year ago.

Companies are proactively looking for ways to reduce the emissions around their operations. For instance, ExxonMobil’s plans include spending more than $15 billion through 2027 to reduce emissions from company operations and investing in lower-emission business opportunities to help others reduce their emissions. Some of that money will be spent in Guyana, whereby 2027, their operations are expected to have about 30% lower greenhouse gas intensity than the average of their upstream portfolio.

The most carbon intense producing areas are power production, heavy-duty transportation, distribution, and transmission; therefore, technology for these areas is crucial. Service companies like Baker Hughes and Halliburton approach the Guyanese oil market with carbon reduction technology in mind. Halliburton, for example, is deploying dual-fuel technology in the pumping systems to reduce its emissions profile.

In the energy transition journey, one option is to implement initiatives that offset emissions by tapping into natural carbon sinks, including oceans, plants, forests, and soil; these remove emissions from the atmosphere and reduce their concentration in the air. Carbon credits are a market mechanism that can help oil companies, countries and the world meet their lower emission goals.

Before purchasing carbon credits, companies have to invest in the technological innovations, improved management practices, and asset turnover needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their business operations. Once companies have reduced their greenhouse gases as much as feasible, they can use carbon credits to offset their remaining emissions and thus make more rapid climate progress. Guyana received its first carbon credits payment of US$75 million in January 2023, under an agreement with Hess Corporation worth a minimum of US$750 million carbon credits purchased by 2030. The payment is a result of the government’s continued recognition of the important role that Guyana’s forests play in not only the development of the country but in combatting climate change globally, guided by the ground-breaking Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.

Innovations and technologies are key to the energy transition, from floating wind farms to solar PV farm developments, waste-to-fuel projects and green hydrogen, shaping Guyana’s energy transition and future. All this requires not only massive financial support but an innovation-oriented and technology-friendly environment, with a strong emphasis on education, training and research.

Nevertheless, the decision in Guyana on what technologies to adopt and how much to innovate will have a big impact on results over the long term and the government should base it on a clear vision and roadmap.


Cristina Caus is an international oil and gas business developer and consultant and holds a master’s degree in international business from Florida International University.

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CDB to invest US$88 million for Development Projects in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

A US$88.4 million package of development projects, to be implemented in collaboration with the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), will underpin the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) new Country Engagement Strategy (CES).

The roadmap, for the period 2022-26, identifies initiatives which will be financed across a variety of sectors. These projects will seek to address challenges in agriculture, infrastructure, climate change and other multisectoral concerns while building resilience.

The engagement strategy, which will guide the Bank’s interaction with SVG on projects, is informed by CDB and Government determined priorities to meet development targets.

CDB’s Vice-President (Operations) Isaac Solomon, speaking at the launch of the strategy on March 28, 2023, stated that “Through this new and ambitious strategy, the country seeks to support the re-engineering of economic growth; the enabling of enhanced human and social development; while facilitating environmental sustainability and enhancing climate resilience.”

Minister of Finance for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Camillo Gonsalves, who also spoke at the launch, indicated that while CDB has done phenomenal work in engaging with ministries and programming resources to suit the country’s agenda of transformation and resilience, “an injection at this time and an injection into critical areas can transform the developmental trajectory of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines if we sequence our priorities successfully.” He argued that while the strategy aggregated the wants and desires of the government, its successful ownership and implementation requires an understanding of what projects must be undertaken and the requisite resources. He therefore encouraged the team of civil servants and other stakeholders involved in implementation to carefully devise the areas and initiatives to be supported by the strategy.

Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who also delivered remarks at the launch event, encouraged representatives of CDB to provide even more support than the current offering. Citing the USD 250.8 million Kingstown Port Modernisation Project, currently the largest venture in CDB’s portfolio, he affirmed his sustained backing for the regional financial institution, adding that “This period going forward we have to do far better than we are doing, listen more and help to see how we can solve problems better. I am a huge fan of CDB and I want [the Bank] to grow stronger. While Saint Vincent and the Grenadines needs more development funds still the Government and the Bank need to continue to work together for success for our region and our people.”

The CES sets out the tactical direction for CDB’s engagement with the Government of SVG. The approach is guided by the National Economic and Social Development Plan 2013-2025 (NESDP) which defines the country’s development objective as improving the quality of life for all Vincentians. While the approach to implementing this CES will be undergirded by heightened and more meaningful engagement on the programme of projects it remains flexible and will respond to Government’s priorities as circumstances change while remaining aligned with strategy outcomes.

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