The bi-monthly magazine for decision makers No.47 • May/June 2013
FINANCING YOUR EDUCATION LINKING THE CLASSROOM TO THE BUSINESS WORLD
AUA CONNECTING ANTIGUA TO THE WORLD Visit Us Online - www.businessfocusantigua.com
BF No. 47
Contents 76 FEATURES
DECEMBER 2010 JANUARY 2011 • Issue No. 35
Cover Story: American University of Antigua
Connecting Antigua To The World
Exploratory Drilling for Geothermal
Energy in Montserrat
PM Commits to Sustainable
Renewable Energy Meeting
Galvanises Support among SIDS
Health & Wellness
Digicel Submits Expression of Interest in Myanmar
Business Of Beauty In Anti- Aging Culture
Widespread Participation for Consultations
Lime - Powered Caribbean Learning
on Convention on the Rights of the Child
JAMPRO Wins Bid to Represent Region on
Sagicor Finalisation of Sale
PM Thanks EXIM Bank of China
Heads of Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions
Economy & Trade Focus
Employers’ Skills Demand Survey Launched
Trade Dispute Remains a Priority
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
Tourism Focus Bizz Buzz Events Page Major Moves New Company Registration
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” –Nelson Mandela allow the businessman to have his multifaceted portfolio and success. In fact, education in and of itself has provided its own avenues of business, as “after-school lessons” have become more than verandatype assistance, where institusions and buildings have been established in an organised business fashion to assist students while generating an income.
In an ever evolving world, undeniable is the impact or even the importance that education continues to play. Even in the business world, new discoveries, innovations and advances are attributed to the growing wealth of education. Education holds within its intellectual grasp the ability to change one’s socio-economic status and often proves the sole key to unlocking a gateway of opportunity. In this issue of Business Focus we recognise the strides Antigua and Barbuda has made in its commitment to education and progress. No longer is the student confined to the classroom in a teacher-centred environment, but education, whether academic or vocational, has become more hands-on as educators make the effort to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world. We commend persons like Jacqueline Peters-Richardson and the Ministry of Education, for example, with their business simulation programme which not only expose secondary students to the realities of the business world, but also encourages them to become entrepreneurs. Antigua and Barbuda holds within its shores one of the fastest growing medical institutions. Undeniable are the opportunities that the American University of Antigua has afforded our twin-island state from social, medical and business aspects. Their presence has spurred new businesses, while their integration into the community has been felt in varying outreach programmes. Evidently, the beach is really only the beginning as its academic potential is also an attraction. Experience also plays a large part in education, as academia or the classroom in no way determines one’s success. For many, it is experience and vocation that 4|
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
As such, even age has become nothing more than a myth, as adults return to the classroom or continue their education, sometimes right from the comfort of their own homes. In its age of technology, furthering one’s education has become as accessible as the internet speed they possess. In fact, within every issue, our “Business Moves” category highlights and congratulates the progress made by individuals in the business world. This adds to the testament that our nation fosters an environment of opportunity. In each issue we continue to keep you abreast of further moves within the business community, local, regional and international, as we make you aware of environmental issues directly affecting us while catering to your health needs. Noting the importance of training and advancing one’s portfolio for marketability in an increasing job market, we also believe this issue will inspire others to either rekindle their dreams of academic pursuit or to seek the relevant avenues available for their personal development. Business Focus also acknowledges the passing of Vere Bird Jr and offers his family and friends our sincerest condolences. In our pursuit to provide you with current trends in the business world Business Focus invites you to provide us with your feedback which is always welcome. Our apologies for the errors which appeared in our last edition and any inconvenience caused. We invite you to turn the pages and be informed and entertained as we offer you a variety of upbeat and current trends in the world of business. Do remember that the magazine is also available online at www. businessfocusantigua.com.
Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Regional Publications Ltd (RPL) in Antigua and Barbuda. Publisher: Lokesh Singh Editor: Lokesh Singh Graphic Designer: Deri Benjamin Advertising Sales: Gilda Alexander • Ann-Maria Marshall Evol Desouza • Shari Dickenson Cover Photography: Thaddeus Price Photography: Joseph Jones • Johnny Jno Baptiste byZIA photography Editorial Contributors: Zahra Airall • Carel E. Hodge Cassandra Simon • Paul Bacchus Brenda Lee Browne • Jon Whyte Micah Challenger • Alana Benjamin Avonelle Pole Regional Publications Ltd Bryson’s Office Complex, Friars Hill Road, P.O. Box 180, Suite #5A,St.John’s, Antigua
+ 1 -268- 462- 7680
mail: email@example.com E Website: www.businessfocusantigua.com Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialised fields or areas of interest. Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright. Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication. On the Cover: American University of Antigua
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June2013
OECS ASSEMBLY HOLDS SESSION IN ANTIGUA
aspects of the Economic Union; monetary policy; trade policy; maritime jurisdiction and maritime boundaries; and civil aviation. Representation to the OECS Assembly is drawn from government and opposition, with member states having five representatives and the associates three.
PM SPENCER GIVES TRIBUTE TO CHAVEZ DURING OECS ASSEMBLY
Antigua and Barbuda is the permanent seat of the Assembly.
PST LAW UNDER REVIEW The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Assembly had its first sitting in March – a working session – following the pomp and ceremony of the inauguration on August 10, 2012. Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Hon. Dr. Baldwin Spencer asked the OECS Assembly meeting in St. John’s to acknowledge the immense contribution made by the Government and people of Venezuela under former President Hugo Chavez to economic and social development in the region.
Sub-regional parliamentarians assigned to the OECS Assembly, met prior in a seminar and finalised rules and procedures of the parliament ahead of the first sitting. Following remarks from OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael and host Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, the Members of Parliament from the seven member states and two associates reviewed the Revised Treaty of Basseterre and the significance of the OECS Assembly as an organ of the organisation. The group also discussed the legislative competence of the OECS Assembly, as enshrined in the treaty. The OECS and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and how both constructs interface is also on Monday’s agenda. Among matters on the Order Paper for the Assembly was a motion to look at the challenges of free movement of people within the OECS Economic Union. Free movement began on August 1, 2011. The proposed Acts and regulations are Civil Aviation (Aeronautical Telecommunications) Regulations and Civil Aviation (Amendment) Regulations. The OECS Assembly serves as a legislative filter for the OECS. The five main areas for which decisions taken are legally binding on member states are the common market 6|
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
A number of key public servants, including permanent secretaries, the cabinet secretary, the ombudsman and officers in the Office of the Attorney General, met to review draft legislation for the Public Service. Director of the Public Sector Transformation Unit Konata Lee said the legislation is aimed at the effective management of a single and modern public service. The draft, among other things, seeks to integrate established and non-established workers under one umbrella. Also joining the revision process was Felicia Linch, human resource consultant from Linch Consulting, who is on island to assist with the functional reviews, which are being funded through a technical assistance arrangement between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and The World Bank. Lee said that at the end of the exercise, an important step in finalising the legislation, the team’s input will be presented to the relevant authorities for consideration.
During a presentation on the life and contributions of Hugo Chavez, Prime Minister Spencer said the true value of Hugo Chavez to our age is his “profound inspiration to all of us, that it is possible to build a better world, one that protects the dignity and worth of all its citizens.” Hugo Chavez had a love for people, ordinary people that was unmatched in any leader. “President Chavez, and his new vision of what was possible, inspired millions all over Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Venezuelan Government under Chavez launched PetroCaribe and the ALBA as an alternative economic and social model that delivered real benefits to the people”. PM Spencer noted one of the primary contributions to the governments and people of the OECS region, was the Chavez initiated PetroCaribe. He said it was “the difference between living on the edge and falling off the edge”.
CUSTOMS INTRODUCES COSTSAVING MEASURES
The Customs and Excise Division continues to improve its efficiency and alignment with international best practices with the introduction of two new initiatives. Stennette Knowles, Customs Officer in the PR Unit, said the division, in seeking to reduce the time importers spend clearing goods, will begin the Rapid Release of Goods. The procedure seeks to have goods released on a timely basis, to facilitate trade and to decrease the cost of doing business. Knowles said importers must apply to Comptroller of Customs Raju Boddu to utilise the Rapid Release of Goods procedure. Other initiatives that will be introduced are the Revised Procedures for Container Checking and Risk-based Selective Container Checking. Knowles said a fee will be charged for checking containers before and after regular working hours. Meanwhile, Nigel Christian, supervisor of Risk Management, said careful analyses will be undertaken to determine which containers are checked as it pertains to risk level. As such, more time will be spent examining high-risk importation and less time processing others.
VERE BIRD JR. SUCCUMBS TO ILLNESS
Vere Bird Jr., the eldest son of former Prime Minister Hon. V. C. Bird Snr., has died. He died on Sunday, March 31, due to cardio pulmonary failure or heart failure. Seventy-six-year-old Vere Bird Jr. was a former Antigua Labour Party (ALP) government minister and member of parliament from 1976 until 2004. He was also an attorney at law for several years. Senator, Hon. Winston Williams Jr., former Member of Parliament for the St. John’s Rural South Constituency during the period 2004 – 2009, a seat which Bird held until that time, extended his sincere condolences to the family. He acknowledged Mr. Bird’s contribution as the longest serving member of Parliament for the St. John’s Rural South Constituency and his service to the sporting sector which included his tenure as president of the Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Association for many years. The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda bestowed an Official Funeral on the former long serving parliamentarian.
CARIB CEMENT LAB ACCREDITED
Carib Cement has announced that its inhouse laboratory is the first in Jamaica to be internationally accredited. The Company’s Laboratory Management System is now ISO/ IEC 17025:2005 accredited. The ISO/IEC 17025 standard is a global ISO standard outlining the general requirements to ensure the competency of laboratories doing testing and calibration. The Carib Cement laboratory management system, therefore, had to demonstrate that it could successfully and consistently meet the international standard requirements. Carib Cement says it took the decision to have its laboratory internationally accredited as a part of its focus on continuous improvement in all aspects of its operations and its corporate social responsibility in ensuring a product in the marketplace of consistently high quality. Carib Cement is a part of the TCL Group of companies that supply cement throughout the Caribbean region.
Christian said the Customs and Excise Division is aiming to introduce this selective examination process to the passenger side of Customs in a few months. BusinessFocus • May/June2013
Submits Expression of Interest in Myanmar
More students benefit from GATE programme
With current mobile penetration well below 10% in Myanmar, Digicel is interested in rolling out a world-class mobile telecommunications network and has submitted an expression of interest to the Government of Myanmar.
Close to 900 secondary school students, accompanied by their parents were allocated computer tablet devices and 4G LTE connectivity under the Government Assisted Technology Endeavour (GATE) programme.
Digicel has been successful in driving mobile penetration in a number of underserved countries across the globe, most notably in Haiti where mobile penetration was just 5% prior to Digicel’s 2006 launch and now stands at approximately 50%.
Minister of Telecommunications, Science and Technology Hon. Dr. Edmond Mansoor believes in the opportunity for students to have access to technology, both for their professional and personal development.
Digicel is already one year into a two-year sponsorship of the Myanmar Football Federation and recently made a commitment to Special Olympics Myanmar which will see Digicel supporting all of the organisation’s preparations and fund-raising activities as it readies its athletes for the World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015. This is the first time in its history that Special Olympics Myanmar has received corporate support and is an extension of Digicel’s commitment to support the organisation in all of the markets where Digicel operates. Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves, comments; “Digicel is known across the globe for being much more than a telecommunications company. Wherever we do business, we ensure that the people of that country benefit from our presence and significant investments in infrastructure. There is so much potential in Myanmar and, by offering first class and first world communications services that enable the people of Myanmar to achieve extraordinary things in their day to day lives - and supporting individuals and communities - we can help them as they effect positive change.” 8|
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
“The role of teachers and parents is very important in this process, but I am very confident that the allocation of computer tablets to these students will help them in their professional and personal development. It will also help parents at home leverage on the super information highway. I am very certain that Antigua and Barbuda will not be the same in the next few years, where we begin to develop very important value added services in a 4G network.” Dr. Mansoor said. The game-changing e-Education computer tablets and e-Education Connectivity component of the (GATE) programme allows for students to integrate technology with their education. The Samsung Galaxy tablets come loaded with educational applications, the CXC notesmaster bookmark, and Internet access. The content accessed by the user of each Samsung Galaxy Tablet is filtered, denying students entry to certain sites. GPS tracking is also installed on each tablet. GATE is a four-component, award winning partnership between the Government of Antigua & Barbuda and Digicel.
FULFILL YOUR DREAM OF OWNING LAND • •
Interest Rate as low as 8.50% p.a.* Flexible repayment terms
Up to 100% financing, with savings account
Interest rate on savings account up to 4.00% p.a.*
Contact us at our
Client Service Centre 268-480-6187 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.ecabank.com
* Terms and Conditions apply. Offer valid to June 30, 2013. BusinessFocus • May/June2013
IPHONE OUTDATED says BlackBerry CEO
APPLE’S iPhone is outdated, according to the chief executive of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Limited. Thorsten Heins made the comment on the eve of the much-delayed launch of the new touch-screen BlackBerry in the United States. AT&T begins selling the Z10 touch-screen BlackBerry more than six weeks after RIM launched the devices elsewhere. Heins also told The Associated Press that a new keyboard version of the BlackBerry won’t be released in the US until two or three months from now. He previously said it would be eight to 10 weeks, but now he’s saying it could be delayed an additional two weeks. Both the touch-screen and keyboard models are part of RIM’s attempt at a comeback after the pioneering brand lost its cachet not long after Apple’s 2007 release of the iPhone. Heins said a lack of innovation at Apple has left iPhone’s user interface outdated. He noted iPhone users have to go in and out of applications and the device doesn’t allow for multitasking like the new BlackBerry Z10 does. “It’s still the same,” Heins said of the iPhone. “It is a sequential way to work and that’s not what people want today anymore. They want multitasking.” 10 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
RIM’s new software allows users to have multiple applications open like on a desktop, he said, noting that, with BlackBerry, you don’t have to close an application to check an email. “We’re changing it for the better, because we’re allowing people to peak in the hub,” Heins said. Heins said the iPhone was revolutionary five years ago, but he said it’s now “just kind of sitting there”. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris declined comment. But the delay in selling the new keypad BlackBerry, called the Q10, complicates RIM’s efforts to hang on to customers tempted by the iPhone and a range of devices running Google Inc’s Android operating system. Even as the BlackBerry has fallen behind rivals in recent years, many BlackBerry users have stayed loyal because they prefer a physical keyboard over the touch screen found on the iPhone and most Android devices. But the temptations to switch grow with each additional delay, despite favourable reviews for new system. Heins said the Q10 keyboard version BlackBerry is just not ready yet, and said part of the reason is out of his control. “It’s our job to deliver the right software package and the right software
quality to the carriers,” he said. “Then it is on the carriers to decide how intense they want their testing cycle to be, and that really can range from a few weeks to three months.”
The beauty of teracotta clay tiles, the strength of steel!
US carriers reportedly haven’t made testing a priority because RIM, which is based in Based in Waterloo, Ontario, has dramatically lost market share. The US has been one market in which RIM has been particularly hurting, even as the company is doing well overseas. According to research firm IDC, shipments of BlackBerry phones plummeted from 46 per cent of the US market in 2008 to 2 per cent in 2012. The iPhone and Android now dominate. Heins said the company has to regain market share in the US for BlackBerry to be successful. “You got to win here to win everywhere else,” he said. “That’s just the way it is. We’ve lost market share quite a bit, to put it mildly, and we absolutely need BlackBerry 10 to turn us around.”
Heavy Guage • A Dozen Colours • Easy to Install
Heins said initial sales in other countries are encouraging.
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
Caption: Miss Cathrin Stover, DANTE (Europe) makes a point to the panelists during the panel discussion at the official launch of CaribNET and the opening of the 2nd Assembly of NRENS. Listening are, from left, Mr Ken Sylvester, CKLN/CaribNet (Caribbean), Mr Chris Dehring, Chief Commercial Officer, LIME Caribbean, Dr Florencio Utreras, RedCLARA (Latin America), Mr Dave Lambert, Internet2 (US), Professor Emeritus The Honourable Errol Miller and Dr Francis Tusubira, UbuntuNET Alliance (Africa)
LIME-Powered Caribbean Learning Network launched
The Caribbean Research and Education Network, C@ribNET, a broadband fibre optic network constructed by regional telco, LIME, was officially launched in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, in February. C@ribNET, which is managed by the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network, connects tertiary institutions, schools, hospitals and other educational establishments to knowledge development and research platforms paving the way for enhanced interconnectivity and collaboration among Caribbean states. It serves approximately twenty-six million people, in twenty one islands, who benefit from costeffective access to high quality e-learning content and other knowledge resources from the region and around the world. “CaribNet is a project that’s been long in coming in terms of the scope that it has for the Caribbean,” said Chris Dehring Chief Commercial Officer, LIME Caribbean. He added, CaribNET has the potential to promote economic growth throughout the region and called for government and private sector support to ensure the network realises its full potential. “More focus is needed if education is going to be the key to unlock the potential of this region, particularly in the creative industry. We are an exceptionally creative people from an economical and commercial perspective,” Dehring said. 12 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
“The private sector needs to get involved because at the end of the day, the private sector is which benefits the most from these types of networks. It’s an eco-system and Government and every member of that eco-system have a part to play.” Noting that only “about 26 per cent” of Caribbean nationals have high speed broadband Internet connectivity, Dehring said there was also need for better collaboration to overcome such challenges. “When you compare it to North America and Europe which is up in the 70s and 80s you can’t help but think that the low penetration of Internet is part of the reason we are not progressing economically as we should,” he stated. “What that also speaks to is the affordability of broadband. We need to address this.” The network, which costs ten million euros, financed by the European Union, is connected to the world’s research and education community through AMPATH to North America, Geant to Europe and RedCLARA to Latin America. The launch attracted a rare assembly of distinguished leaders, regional stakeholders and sponsors and brought together representatives of
Co-Operative Credit Union Ltd.
Growing your savings for future sustainability Summer Club • Special Savings Club that runs from September to June • Save $50.00 or more each month • Gain a special interest • Members allowed to join the club in October but must make two (2) months installments
Permanent Shares • Strengthens your credit union’s financial base • Members receive dividends on their shares • Purchase permanent shares at E.C $5 per share
the Caribbean National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), leadership from the academic and research community, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), government, as well as representatives from international partners in Africa, North America, Latin America and Europe. Professor Emeritus Errol Miller said the launch of CaribNET is a step in the right direction as it would serve to better connect like-minded people across the Caribbean without them having to leave their respective islands. “I see collaboration and connection in learning involving students and teachers and principals in schools, in urban and rural areas within their countries, in other islands, between colleges and across the region,” said Professor Miller. “I see CaribNET as a platform of connection of Caribbean people who in their formative years will particularly use the virtual online space to form inter-island friendships and cross country study groups...I see the conveying of Caribbean consciousness and Caribbean civilisation and culture.” CARICOM mandated the establishment of CaribNET to be coordinated and managed by the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN)--a regional organisation established in 2012 to provide access to affordable digital technologies for building excellence in academic training, research and innovation, diversity and global engagement.
Educational Savings Account (CFESA) • Special Savings Program designed to help parents/guardians save towards their children’s education • Opening Minimum $550.00 • Monthly Installment $50.00 • Plan matures when the child turns 18 years • Interest rate is 5% per annum • Special conditions apply
Retirement Account (CFIRA) • Special Savings Program designed to help members save towards their retirement • Opening Minimum $1100.00 • Monthly Installment $100.00 • Plan matures at age 60 years • Interest rate is 6% per annum • Special conditions apply
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
JAMPRO Wins Bid to Represent Region on International Body
Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has won its bid to represent the Caribbean and Central America as a director on the Steering Committee of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA). The agency secured the regional directorship following elections during the General Assembly of WAIPA’s Annual World Investment Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Sancia Bennett Templer, JAMPRO’s president, in presenting the organisation’s candidacy for the directorship stated that for more than a decade it had a strong commitment to the organisation and its objectives. The World Investment Conference brought together government officials, senior private sector executives, representatives from investment promotion agencies as well as members of civil society and academia. JAMPRO - Jamaica’s investment and export promotion agency was established in 1988 to stimulate, facilitate, and promote the development of trade and industry, and export and investment activities in all sectors of the island’s economy. The agency drives this process through focus on a number of targeted sectors which include the creative industries (film, music and entertainment), manufacturing, tourism, agri-business, information and communication technology, mining, and professional services.
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
Finalisation of the sale of the BAICO’s traditional life insurance business to Sagicor It has been announced that, following the receipt of approvals from all nine Insurance Regulators and Courts within the ECCU and The Bahamas, where BAICO is incorporated, the transfer of BAICO’s traditional insurance business to Sagicor was finalised in March. As a result of the transaction, over 15,000 former BAICO policyholders have had their policies recapitalised, and are once again able to enjoy their original policy terms and access their insurance benefits. What do transferring Policyholders need to know?
the commencement of BAICO’s judicial management and the announcement of the sale of the traditional life insurance business to Sagicor. Once this work has concluded, an update will be provided. Background On June 29, 2012, the Governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union and the Judicial Managers of BAICO announced that: British-American Insurance Company Limited (In Judicial Management) (“BAICO”) has entered into an agreement to sell part of its insurance business to Sagicor Life, Inc (“Sagicor”); and the ECCU Governments have undertaken to provide funding to assist in restoring value to the transferring policies.
Sagicor will make contact with each affected policyholder whose policy has been transferred, to welcome them to Sagicor, and to confirm how to continue receiving their policy related benefits, pay premiums and make claims. Sagicor has made interim arrangements with BAICO for BAICO branches in the ECCU to provide ongoing customer support to policyholders. This means that BAICO will accept premiums and claims, and conduct other customer services on behalf of Sagicor. Persons may contact their local BAICO office to find out important information, such as the status of policies. Alternatively, emails may be sent to Sagicor at email@example.com or call on 1800-7447707. Payment of claims, surrenders, maturities and bonuses
& Co LTD
Gould water pumps Wellmate Pressure Tanks (Fiber Glass) Tankless water heaters (propane electrical)
Engineer For Life
Berger Paints Pumbing Supplies: Bath Tubs,Toilets Wash Tubs, PVC Pipes & Fittings Paddock wire & Metal Tpost Welding Material
Sagicor will also directly contact over an estimated 1,500 persons in the ECCU who are owed historical claim amounts, surrender payments, maturity payments, and bonuses by BAICO in order to make these payments. The ECCU Governments have provided funding for these amounts to be paid. Recipients will need to sign an appropriate release as a condition of receiving their payment. Lapsed Policies Some policyholders would have allowed their policies to lapse for a variety of reasons. The ECCU Governments and Sagicor will now focus on identifying whether a solution can be implemented for those traditional life insurance policyholders whose policies lapsed between
Call or Visit us Today
T: 268 462 0730 • F: 268 461 8878 firstname.lastname@example.org Friars Hill Rd, St.John’s Antigua
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
PM thanks EXIM Bank of China for support Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer has expressed his government’s appreciation to the EXIM Bank of China for supporting the nation’s development. During a recent visit to St. John’s by Vice-President Zhu Hongji and a delegation from EXIM Bank of China, Prime Minister Spencer said that the projects funded by the bank are vital to the growth and development of the country. “And so we want to thank the EXIM Bank for working with us on these projects as they benefit the people of this country significantly. The EXIM Bank of China has funded a number of projects including the 69 KVA Transmission Project at Crabbs, the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre and the new airport terminal. “With respect to the airport loan, we want to thank you very much for supporting us on this project. Once again EXIM Bank has come forward and we are extremely pleased with that. We can say that we are satisfied with the work that has been done and we are looking forward to the completion and getting a state-of-the-art facility,” noted PM Spencer.
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
Finance and Economy Minister, Hon Harold Lovell, who was part of the government’s team that met the principals of EXIM Bank, outlined the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with EXIM Bank. “It is important for us that we treat as a matter of priority our relationship with the EXIM bank. In treating it as a priority we were indeed very proud to be able to let the nation know that we had completed payment on the 69 KVA Transmission Line and this is a very important accomplishment for us. I also want to say that for the other commitments, we are not in arrears and this is also a great priority for us to keep all of our loans, including those with the EXIM Bank in a state of currency. We look forward to continuing this very good relationship,” outlined Minister Lovell. Tourism Minister, Hon John Maginley, who was also present during the team’s visit outlined that the work EXIM Bank is doing at the airport is very important for Antigua and Barbuda and its tourism industry. “The airport will be the first and last thing that visitors to our shores will experience and so the product must be exceptional. We look forward with great anticipation to the opening of the new terminal,” he said. In response, Vice-President of EXIM Bank Zhu Hongji said that previous projects financed by EXIM Bank have laid a profound basis for future cooperation and it is his hope that in the future EXIM Bank will have additional levels of cooperation and projects. “I hope that the completion of the new terminal will bring more tourists and promote the social and economic development of Antigua and Barbuda,” Mr. Zhu concluded.
Swimming Lessons Babies, Children & Adults Football Coaching Ages 1 1/2 - 18 years old Girls and Boys Home Work Club Babysitting Services Day Care Center First Aid and CPR Training Children’s Birthday Parties
swalings.com +1268 561 0707 +1268 726 2585 bbpin: 26f635d3
ENGINEERING GENERATOR SPECIALISTS
DON’T GET LEFT IN THE DARK • AUTHORISED SERVICE CENTRE. Exel Engineering is Antigua’s only F.G. Wilson Authorized Service Centre. • SAVE MONEY WITH FACTORY DIRECT PRICING. Top Quality, Fully Automatic Generators at Unbeatable Prices: Starting as low as $ 24,595.00 + ABST • HASSLE-FREE INSTALLATION,SERVICE & WARRANTIES. Up to 2 years manufacturers warranty. • SUPERIOR QUALITY SERVICE & SUPPORT. We combine years of experience with factory trained technicians to ensure quality service and technical support. • COMPLETE SALES & SERVICE CENTRE. We offer our customers complete sales, installation, servicing, technical support and we stock genuine parts for all our generators.
The Caribbean’s Premiere Generator Specialists
Friars Hill Road, St. John’s, Antigua
email@example.com Tel: +1 (268) 462 - EXEL (3935)
Factory Authorized Agents for
F G WILSON
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
IMF disbursement The recently-concluded combined eighth and ninth reviews of Antigua and Barbuda’s Standby Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be tabled before the Fund’s Executive Board in early April and, hopefully, accepted, IMF Resident Representative Wayne Mitchell has said. Speaking during the Quarterly Fiscal Review, Mitchell said acceptance would clear the way for the penultimate disbursement of around US $10 million also in April. Mitchell said although the continuous ceiling on external payment benchmark remains to be completed, the country continues to make good progress in the other areas. Antigua and Barbuda was approved for the 36-month SBA on June 27, 2010. The initial sum was US $118, but Mitchell noted on Friday the figure was revised downward to US $107. Approximately $35 million is outstanding, which should be split into two disbursements, with the final being US $25 million. The SBA is due to conclude in June.
Heads of Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions Discuss Accountability The Caribbean region public sector auditors met in Port of Spain, Trinidad from March 18-21, 2013. With a theme of “collaboration to promote best audit practices”, the Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) held its ninth Congress on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the organization that was formed to promote greater accountability by governments throughout the Caribbean. Antigua and Barbuda was represented at a Regional Public Sector Auditors congress by Dean Evanson, Director of Audit and Denise Hunte Acting Deputy Director of Audit. The auditors heard from a number of speakers who focused on the challenges facing the Supreme Audit Institutions including the implementation of the United Nations resolution requiring independent national public sector audit institutions and implementation of new international auditing standards. With most countries facing difficult economic conditions, severe austerity measures and charges of inefficient government operations, the auditors are implementing a plan to help their governments achieve greater efficiencies and reduce wasteful expenditures. Each auditor will ensure their work is addressing these challenges. Attending the four day conference were the heads of the national audit offices of the Caribbean region, Mr. Terrence Nombembe, the Auditor 18 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
General of South Africa who is also President of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), Dr. Josef Moser, the Secretary-General of INTOSAI and President of the Austrian Court of Audit, and representatives of various stakeholders and donor organizations who support CAROSAI with funding and expertise. Those organizations included the Inter-American Development Bank, INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), CCAF-FCVI, ACCA and World Bank. The auditors are exploring opportunities to undertake a cooperative audit of revenue collection throughout the region and report the results to their respective governments. The audits will report on how well their governments are assessing and collecting taxes, duties and fees. Led by Mr. Leigh Trotman, Auditor General of Barbados, work on this initiative will begin in the coming months. Mrs. Lyn Provost, the Auditor General of New Zealand shared her experience as SecretaryGeneral of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions on how their group of public sector auditors is dealing with similar challenges. CAROSAI was formed in 1988 to promote greater public sector accountability in the Caribbean region. With 22 member nations, the heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions meet every three years to approve their strategic plan, collaborate on best practices and training opportunities, and elect the executive committee.
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June2013
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June 2013
Expenditure Performance Total expenditure decreased by 5.0% or $36.0 million from
On the other hand, there were minor increases in other
$714.6 million for the period January to December 2011 to
components of primary current expenditure. Wages and
$678.5 million for the same period in 2012.
salaries grew by 3.2% from $263.9 million at the end of 2011
Primary expenditure, which comprises primary current
to $272.4 million at the end of 2012. As indicated in previous
expenditure and capital expenditure, was reduced by 7.3%
reviews, this was due to employment of new teachers and
or $47.8 million from $651.6 million in 2011 to $603.8
upgrades for staff in various government departments.
million in 2012. Moreover, primary current expenditure,
Though spending on overall wages and salaries increased,
which includes wages and salaries, goods and services,
expenditure on overtime fell by 61.8% from $12.3 million in
pension, and other transfers declined by $27.3 million from
2011 to $4.7 million in 2012.
$612.9 million at the end of 2011 to $585.6 million at the
Expenditure on goods and services increased by 11.2% from
end of 2012. The main contributor to the decline in primary
$103.8 million in 2011 to $115.5 million in 2012. Included in
current expenditure is spending on other transfers, which
this expenditure on goods and services is spending on road
fell by 31.5% from $161.8 million in 2011 to $111 million
repair and maintenance, which increased by 46.8% from $1.7
at the end of 2012. This is largely a result of lower financial
million in 2011 to $2.5 million in 2012.
assistance provided by the Government to ABI Bank Chart 2: 2011 and 2012 Comparison for Recurrent Expenditure (EC$m)
272.4 245.2 197.8
38.7 18.2 Salaries and Wages
Goods and Services
Transfers and Grants
Table 1: Selected Expenditure Items as a Percentage of Recurrent Revenue Salaries and Wages
Goods and Services
Public Debt Servicing
Transfers and Grants
Capital expenditure declined by 53.1% from $38.7 million in 2011 to $18.2 million in 2012. This reduction in capital expenditure was the result of the completion of the Fisheries Complex in Barbuda. When the $23 million in capital grants for the Barbuda Fisheries project in 2011 is excluded, spending on capital projects actually increased by 20% from about $15 million in 2011 to $18 million in 2012.
A publication of the Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration , Issued: 28 March 2013 Certainty | Confidence | Credibility
BusinessFocus • May/June2013 BusinessFocus • May/June2013 | 21| 21
Public Debt Turning to public debt, total interest payments on central
Chart 3: Disbursed Outstanding Debt (EC$m)
government debt amounted to $74.7 million for the period January to December 2012. Of this, $15.2 million was interest payments on external debt and $59.6 million on
domestic debt. For the period January to December 2012, external interest
payments declined by $8.4 million or 35.6% compared to the same period in 2011. Domestic interest payments increased by $20.2 million or 51.2% over the review period. Though total interest payments increased in 2012 when
compared to the end of year in 2011, external interest payments fell due to continued rescheduling of external debt. The rise in domestic interest payments reflects Government’s
Government Securities Market (RGSM). The debt stock, which includes central government and government guaranteed debt, has remained stable at $2.8
billion between 2011 and 2012. This indicates Government’s success at reconciling arrears with its creditors. In addition, the Government was able to keep additional borrowing in line with actual repayments during the year so that the actual stock of debt in 2012 did not exceed the stock of debt in 2011.
Overall Fiscal Performance The overall fiscal performance for the period January to
2012, the Government paid $65 million to local contractors
December 2012 improved by 62.5% from a deficit of $91.3
and suppliers as part of its ongoing plan to reduce non-debt
million in 2011 to a deficit of $34.3 million in 2012.
The primary balance also improved by 242.9% from a deficit of $28.3 million in 2011 to a surplus of $40.5 million in
Chart 5: Revenue and Expenditure 2011 and 2012 Comparison (EC$m)
2012. This significant improvement indicates that the
Government was able to allocate about $40 million of revenues generated to cover some of its debt obligations, including interest payments, debt amortization, and the
repayment of non-debt domestic arrears (which includes unpaid balances due to local contractors and suppliers). The Government was able to finance its overall fiscal deficit
Total Recurrent Revenue
Total Recurrent Expenditure 2011
with financing from external and domestic sources. In
particular, the Government received financing of $71 million under the IMF Stand-by Arrangement and $98 million from securities issued on the Regional Government Securities Market. Remaining funds were used to amortise central government debt and reduce non-debt domestic arrears. In
The overall fiscal performance for the period January to December 2012 improved by 62.9% from a deficit of $91.3 million in 2011 to a deficit of $34.3 million in 2012.
A publication of the Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration , Issued: 28 March 2013 Certainty | Confidence | Credibility
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
Table 2: Economic Classification of Government Finances
2012 / 2011 $ change % change 21.0 3.4
TOTAL REVENUE AND GRANTS
Total Recurrent Revenue Di rect Tax Revenue Indi rect Ta x Revenue of which: ABST (gros s ) Sta mp Duty
597.4 85.7 466.7
642.0 97.5 500.3
44.7 11.8 33.6
7.5 13.7 7.2
25.9 22.9 3.0
2.2 0.0 2.2
(23.7) (22.9) (0.8)
(91.5) (100.0) (26.3)
Primary Expenditure Sa l a ri es a nd Wages Goods a nd Servi ces of which: Rent Tra vel
651.6 263.9 103.8
603.8 272.4 115.5
(47.8) 8.5 11.6
(7.3) 3.2 11.2
Tota l Capi ta l Expendi ture
Publ i c Debt Servi ci ng Externa l Interes t Domes ti c Interes t
63.0 23.6 39.4
74.8 15.2 59.6
11.8 (8.4) 20.2
18.7 (35.6) 51.2
CURRENT ACCOUNT BALANCE
Non‐Ta x Revenue Total Capital Revenue and Grants Grants and Contri buti ons Ca pi ta l Revenue from Sa l e of As s ets
Trans fers a nd Gra nts of which: Pens i ons a nd gratui ti es
p means provisional
Totals may not add up due to rounding
Central government refers to the activities of the Government excluding those for
For further information, please contact:
statutory bodies. Transactions at this level reflect the legal budget of the central government.
Current account balance is the difference between recurrent revenue and recurrent expenditure.
Overall Balance: On a cash basis, total incomings and outgoings from the budget must always balance. The overall balance is the difference between the total revenue and grants and total expenditure.
The primary balance excludes interest payments from expenditure. It can be said to provide an indicator of current fiscal effort, since interest payments are predetermined by the size of previous deficits. P means Provisional A publication of the Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration , Issued: 28 March 2013 Certainty | Confidence | Credibility
Office of the Financial Secretary Tel: (268) 462 4860/61 Fax: (268) 462 1622 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the Government website for more information www.antigua.gov.ag
4 BusinessFocus • May/June2013
ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS
Employers’ Skills Demand Survey Launched
Enhancing Relations with the FCORs through Bilateral Cooperation By Barbara N. Williams
The ESDS is a part of World Bank financed preparatory activities for the proposed Public and Social Sector Transformation (PSST) Project.
In today’s challenging global economic environment developing
The objective of these activities is to facilitate the preparation of a proposed project designed to strengthen government capacity in managing public policies and the public service and promote an integrated social protection system. A third component aims to improve the income and employability of the low-income unemployed citizen between the ages of 17 to 50 years by providing basic life, employment and vocational skills coupled with a temporary employment experience or competencebased training programme.
increase their economic activity and attract foreign direct
The Labour Department within the Ministry of National Security and Labour (MNSL), through its One Stop Employment Centre, will be responsible for implementing these programmes under the programme name Antigua and Barbuda Skills, Training and Empowerment Programme (ABSTEP). Over the four (4) year project cycle (2013 – 2016), 900 ABSTEP beneficiaries will be identified and selected on the basis of a standardized targeting instrument that will evaluate financial standing and the employability of the applicants. The ABSTEP Temporary Employment Programme (TEP) is expected to open in July 2013, while the ABSTEP Training Programme (TP) is expected to open in January 2014. The Employers’ Skills Demand Survey is a part of the preparatory activities and is used to collect data to structure and implement focused programmes and services. The ESDS provides the Labour Department with relevant information about the skills employers require but have difficulty recruiting. The results will also assist the Labour Department, working in conjunction with training institutions such as ABHTI, ABIIT and ABICE, to design curricula for the ABSTEP Training Programme (TP). Two hundred and ten employers, registered with the Antigua & Barbuda Social Security Board were randomly selected from various industries to participate in the sample group. The ESDS was emailed to these employers along with a user’s guide to completing the questionnaire. The close-ended questionnaire took no longer than fifteen (15) minutes to complete. Owners and managers such as the general manager, human resource manager and operations manager were the best persons to complete the questionnaire since they would have information about employment activities such as recruitment, hiring and separations; and information on requisite attitude, skills, knowledge and certifications for positions within the establishment. The general public and especially employers are encouraged to visit the Government’s official website at www.ab.gov.ag to learn more about the programmes. 24 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June2013 2013 24
countries are pressed to find new and innovative ways to investments. These challenges have caused many developing countries to not only look inwardly to improve national capacities but also to expand on, and develop, new existing relationships with countries in the same geographical space or hemisphere. Philosophically, as small nations we are aware of the importance and benefits of sharing resources through bilateral cooperation, as a means of maximising the use of scarce financial resources, strengthening our position within the market place, and increasing visibility within the international arena. Bilateral cooperation at any level among states within the same geographical space is a necessary part of the geo-political culture of the region, and the deepening of the integration process within the Caribbean. Regional cooperation is an important component to the development strategy of the Caribbean, as well as the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Underpinned by the principles of cooperation infused throughout the EPA, Antigua and Barbuda in June 2011 and January 2012 signed two technical cooperation Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Guadeloupe and Martinique, which sought to deepen the relationship between the countries. Thus the signing of the MOUs will facilitate the expansion of the integration process between the English and French speaking Caribbean countries. The cooperation agreements seek to establish mutually beneficial mechanisms whereby the parties can enter into projects and programmes that would assist in confronting the global economic and trade challenges faced by small vulnerable developing states, and support their respective economic and social development. Additionally, the MOU’s also represent an avenue whereby the public and private sectors can share and benefit from expertise existing in each jurisdiction and the development of new business linkages and investment partnerships between the countries. The enhanced relationship between the French Caribbean Overseas Departments (FCORs) and Antigua and Barbuda represents the building of bridges between the regions through the identification of commonalities and cross-cutting issues of mutual benefit to the parties. Therefore, the collective immediate areas identified in the MOUs for the promotion of cooperation are:
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
Trade capacity building Renewable energy Environment agriculture Tourism (including sport and multi-destination tourism) Air and maritime transport (including ferry services and yachting) Health Culture Information and communication technologies Trade export promotion for small and medium-sized enterprises Natural disasters Education and training (including language exchanges) Infrastructure improvement Trade related cooperation including sanitary and p hyto-sanitary requirements and other matters affecting trade
Given the close proximity between Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe and Martinique the benefits of cooperation could only bring positive impactful results. Cooperation lends itself to joint sectoral and business partnerships, the sharing of expertise and technical knowledge. It is intended that partnership under the MOU’s will bring about new market opportunities for the private sector through joint-ventures and investments. The MOUs therefore stand as a mechanism that will assist in mapping the level of cooperation and integration among the parties into the future, recognising the value of widening and deepening the cultural and socio-political relations in the Caribbean. For example, through the MOUs it is envisioned that business-tobusiness meetings and the export of commodities and services would be undertaken. Additionally, day tours and ferry service between the islands could form part of the tourism marketing strategy for the islands into the future, as well as the emergence of scheduled ferry service. Thus the scope of the MOUs encourages collective action in the pursuit of bilateral and regional cooperation that advances our development. Given the signing of the EPA Agreement in 2008 and the market opportunities created, the MOUs are an added mechanism whereby the regional integration and cooperation aspects of the agreement can be pursued among the FCORs. The markets of the FCORs namely Guadeloupe and Martinique represent a microcosm of the EU market through which the technical cooperation provisions of the EPA can be pursued, as well as a testing ground to advance the development cooperation provisions therein. Under the EPA the business community can utilise these markets to improve their export capabilities, and their knowledge of the doing business environment within the FCORs. We are too close not to establish meaningful cooperation mechanisms in mutually beneficial areas that would propel aspects of our respective development goals.
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS
Trade Dispute Remains a Priority Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda have sought to keep the trade dispute with the United States on the front burner at World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings even as negotiations continue for an amicable settlement. “The delegation of Antigua and Barbuda has so far not seen substantial progress on compliance by the United States with the DSB’s decision,” the country said in a statement. “Nor have they seen substantial progress by the United States in achieving a settlement with Antigua and Barbuda.” Noting disappointment with the lack of progress and that the “negative consequences of this protracted impasse are very real for Antigua and Barbuda,” the country called the case a test for member states “seeking to determine whether the (WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding) can deliver practical and timely benefits for small and vulnerable countries.” “The delegation of Antigua and Barbuda also appeals to the DSB to realise that justice delayed is justice denied, and urges closer attention to the systemic issues that surround this case that threaten the health of the system the WTO has for the resolution of trade disputes,” the statement read.
Ambassador Colin Murdoch, has said the country is actively pursuing a settlement. He reported that a series of meetings were recently held in Washington, with trade representatives, senators and intellectual property stakeholders. Ambassador Murdoch said, ideally, the country wants access to the US online gambling market, but would be open to discussion about equally beneficial access to other areas. The WTO ruled in Antigua and Barbuda’s favour following a complaint, in 2003, that the US violated the General Agreement in Trade and Services (GATS) by passing laws that made cross-border gambling and betting services illegal. Antigua and Barbuda requested more than $3 billion in damages while the US would only concede that its laws had affected the local economy to the tune of $500,000. The WTO ruling granted Antigua and Barbuda $21 million by way of the suspension of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). After years of fruitless negotiation, in January, the county sought and received authorisation from the DSB to apply the sanctions.
Paint • Fans • Building Materials • Power Tools Bathroom Fixtures • Lumber • Plywood • Steel Hardware • Lawn & Garden • Electrical • Lighting Bulbs • Closets • Painting Supplies • Hand Tools Lawnmower Email: email@example.com • P.O. Box 1336, BRIGGINS ROAD, ST.JOHN’S Kennedy’s Hardware Express, Newgate St, St.John’s • Tel: 481 1348
26 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013 26 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
USVI APPEALS to CARIFORUM in rum dispute The United States Virgin Islands have now turned to moral suasion in an attempt to get fellow rum producing nations within the Caribbean Forum nations to back down from plans to take their ongoing dispute
“To ensure the economic health, stability and future of our region, we must move forward together. We must support, not undermine, one another’s efforts to be creative and look to new, innovative ways to modernise our economies, bring foreign direct investment to our countries and attract sophisticated jobs to our shores.
before the World Trade Organisation (WTO). United States Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh has penned letters to the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and St Lucia, asking them for the sake of Caribbean unity to avoid the WTO action that could lead to a prolonged legal case that he thinks could prove divisive and difficult to win.
“That is what we accomplished through our partnerships with Diageo and Beam, seizing the opportunity to do some real good for the people of the Territory, a result that is exactly in line with the US Congress’s intent for this economic development programme. Today, those partnerships and this program constitute nearly 20 percent of our Government’s total revenue,” de Jongh told Spencer.
A letter from de Jongh to Antigua’s Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer cautions that the WTO filing could “inflict damage on all of our economies”. The letter, which was shared with a regional news agency by Greg Romano, a communications consultant with the team working with the USVI rum companies, the USVI government and others hoping to avoid a WTO case, is reportedly similar to letters sent to the other Caribbean leaders.
This direct leader-to-leader appeal is the latest attempt by the Virgin Islands to protect its public-private rum partnerships, legal agreements that have saved its historic rum industry from extinction. However, the rum-producing countries of the Caribbean Forum (a trade bloc comprising the Caribbean Community and the Dominican Republic) have stridently argued that the concessions provided by the USVI to large European rum manufacturers are equivalent to subsidies, which are not allowed under WTO rules.
Highlighting the damaging effect that last year’s closure of the USVIbased Venezuelan oil refinery Hovensa had on his nation’s economy, de Jongh told Spencer that the US$580 million decline in economic output and $80 million loss of tax revenues caused by the closure has made holding on to the Rum Cover-Over Program even more critical.
The Caribbean rum producers under the umbrella of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) have argued that thanks to the USVI’s concessions, European producers such as Diageo are able to get their rum products into the United States at a much cheaper rate than the WIRSPA producers, and therefore are threatening their sales and by extension their island economies. BusinessFocus • May/June2013 | 27 BusinessFocus • May/June2013 | 27
Exploratory Drilling for Geothermal Energy in Montserrat The Government of Montserrat under the leadership of Premier, Honourable Reuben Meade have begun drilling as a part of a Geothermal Energy project on the Emerald Isle. The Iceland Drilling Company officially began drilling in Cork Hill to establish the first of two production wells with a depth of 5,000 feet each on Montserrat. The drilling and testing phases are expected to take three to four months. Montserratians are hopeful that the exploration will be successful based on a geothermal exploration report done by California-based EGS, that there is an 80 percent likelihood of geothermal energy on the island. The project, which is being funded by the UK-based Department for International Development is valued at £8,620,001 under the sector group, ‘Energy generation and supply’. To date, £6,711,902 has been expended on the initiative which began in August 2011. It is expected to be completed in March 2016. If successful in their drilling expedition, the Government of Montserrat is hopeful that their geothermal energy production will exceed national requirements and be available for export to neighbouring islands such as Antigua.
Minister Hilson Baptiste and Colleague Ministers Talk Biosphere Reserves Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment Hilson Baptiste travelled to St. Kitts for the Inter-Ministerial and Expert Conference on Biosphere Reserves in the Caribbean Sub-region. The theme for the meeting was “Tools for sustainable Development and Growth.” The two-day conference sought to explore ways to promote biosphere reserves as tools for innovative projects that bring added value to the local socio-economic and sustainable development. There was also discussion on the creation of a network of biosphere reserves in the English-Speaking Caribbean Small Island States. Day one discussed the action plan for the next three years, while day two analysed and approved the action agenda. The conference was organised by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 28 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June2013
PM Commits To Sustainable Energy Practices Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has indicated that his administration is possessed of the “passion, faith and persistence”, while Ambassador of the Organization of American States (OAS) to Antigua and Barbuda Jean Dormeus called for countries the world over to seek to maximise efficient use of energy and renewable energy options. Both men spoke during the opening of the National Stakeholder Consultation on Sustainable Energy in Antigua and Barbuda. The draft document lists the priority areas for the country as Energy Cost Reduction; Diversification of Energy Sources; Electricity Reliability Improvement; and Stimulation of new Economic Opportunities. “My government remains fully committed to enhancing the nation’s green energy and green economy credentials,” PM Spencer said. “The facts could not be more overwhelming for moving us in this direction. The latest available information from the International Energy Agency shows that the price of crude oil has consistently remained over US $100 per barrel since the middle of 2012. These unsustainably high prices have existed even in the midst of an 30 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June 2013 2013 30
unprecedented global economic recession: a period when economists would have expected to see some relief in oil prices,” PM Spencer told the gathering of private and public sector interests. Though contributing in a miniscule way to climate change, small island developing states are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts. This point was noted by PM Spencer, who also acknowledged the huge and prohibitive financial costs associated with energy efficiency as well as the overall costs to all spheres that inaction will cause. “The time has therefore now come when we must adapt our policies, measures, and behaviour towards patterns of energy use that will enhance competitiveness and efficiency in our socio-economic development,” the prime minister said. He highlighted the interconnection policy of Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) as well as the recent installation of a six KW photovoltaic power unit at Shirley’s Heights, which hitherto depended solely on diesel generators. “My understanding is that the results so far have exceeded expectations and allowed for a significant reduction in the need for using the costly gas powered generator.
This small project has no doubt helped to spur productivity, reduce environmental pollution, including noise pollution, and reduce Antigua and Barbuda’s overall contribution to greenhouse gas emissions,” PM Spencer said. He told the gathering that demonstration sites would be established at the airport and at the government office, to showcase renewable energy technologies.
Cool & Smooth
COOL & SMOOTH GEORGE HOURANI STORE LE AFFORDAESB
Additionally, APUA is exploring the viability of a 5 MegaWatt Wind Farm at Crabbes Peninsula. “The principal challenges which we will need to overcome in harnessing this available resource are those related to the costs and financing of the wind farm, as well as the technical issues from an engineering perspective for allowing such a major transition within the electricity grid and the phasing of the transition,” the PM said. He called on everyone in Antigua and Barbuda to be advocates for sustainable energy and to walk the talk. “We are not satisfied that sufficient efforts are being made, in public and private sectors, to maximise the use of energy – be it in terms of transportation or electricity usage. As the experts point out, energy conservation constitutes the low hanging fruit of green energy management,” PM Spencer said. In his remarks, Ambassador Dormeus commended Antigua and Barbuda for progress made in sustainable energy use and advised that the technical component must be twinned with a vibrant, unrelenting public education programme imbued with “passion, faith and persistence.”
SPORTING GEARS & EQUIPMENT We are proud to be associated with all sporting clubs and organisations Refrigerators • Washing Machines Stoves • Dryers • Blenders • Toasters Radio Etc. Adults & Children Clothes Shoes • Sports Gear • Bags Tel: 462 1524 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.coolandsmoothantigua.com
BusinessFocus •• May/June2013 May/June2013 BusinessFocus
31 || 31
Renewable Energy Meeting Galvanises Support among SIDS One of the main points coming out of the four-day Caribbean region Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Dock meeting in St. Lucia was that climate change and the need to embrace renewable energy and efficient use of energy are indivisible from each other and the sustainable development discourse. The meeting of national co-ordinators, financial officers, communications specialists, donor agencies, the SIDS Dock secretariat and representatives of regional and international institutions was held under the umbrella of The World Bank and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Research Scientist Dr. Albert Binger, Energy Science Advisor for the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), located in Belmopan, Belize, and Science and Policy advisor to Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the person described as the driving force behind SIDS Dock, said candidly that the system of political decision-making hampers the process. He metaphorically noted the costs – economic and otherwise – of tarrying on the issue, saying, “This boat has sailed, and it is now taking on water.” Dr. Binger noted that energy efficiency and climate change are linked to every sector and aspect of life, and said the region must acknowledge the real and present dangers posed by climate change, as well as realise the necessity for renewable energy. He was equally honest about costs, saying while adaptation opportunities abound, they would cost in the hundreds of billions of dollars for the SIDS. The good news, Dr. Binger, said, is that the money could be generated as long as there is clear organisation of SIDS Dock and cohesion among the member states. Speaking specifically to the Antigua and Barbuda situation in the margins of the meeting, Dr. Binger said one metre of sea level rise would lessen land space, contributing to further coastal erosion, and would severely compromise, if not wipe out ,traditional sectors. 32 32 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June 2013 2013
“What is the economy going to be based on when we don’t have beaches, when the airports have to be rebuilt, and the ports, and coastal areas?” Dr. Binger asked. “Renewable energy is the answer,” he said in response to his own question. Dr. Binger said the country must focus the collective mind on moving beyond tourism, agriculture and artisan fishing, to mariculture, green houses, hydroponics, and knowledge-based sectors. He said Antigua and Barbuda has the natural resources, like the wind and the ocean, to move to renewable energy, as well as myriad options for biofuels. The Caribbean meeting went some way towards solidifying the framework for SIDS Dock, taking into account input from the various stakeholders concerning the hurdles and the opportunities. The need for funding and access to same, capacity building and ways to capitalise on existing capacity, the establishment of regulatory agencies, and the ways to get national buy-in while acknowledging the reasons for slow pace or outright reluctance to change were among matters discussed. There was also training on use of the SIDS Dock Virtual Knowledge Network (VKN), and other useful information sharing. Commitment was made to continue the dialogue and the work, with face-to-face meetings and through the VKN. “This wasn’t about building an
First in Quality
organisation; this was about laying a foundation for our survival,” Dr. Binger said in his closing remarks. “Our biggest challenge is our ability to adapt to climate change,” Dr, Binger said, referencing the global financial crunch and other oftrepeated concerns. “Our survival is very much linked to our ability to transform the energy sector. As we know, transformation is a difficult job, and transforming the energy sector is that much greater given that are so many vested interests,” He added. His caveat was, “We have no other option.” SIDS Dock assists member states with developing sustainable energy sectors by increasing energy efficiency and developing renewable energy resources; provides a vehicle for mobilising financial and technical resources to catalyse low carbon economic growth; provides SIDS with a mechanism for connecting with the global financial, technology, and carbon market taking advantage of the resource transfer possibilities that will be afforded; and provides a mechanism to help SIDS generate the financial resources to invest in climate change adaptation. The country was represented by Paula Frederick, permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and SIDS Dock National Co-ordinator Antigua and Barbuda; Brian Challenger, Chairman of the National Energy Working Group; Senior Economist attached to the Ministry of Finance Denise Knight; and Director of the Public Administration Communications Unit Mickel Brann.
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
KEEPING EDU C AT I O N A P R I O R I T Y WITH THE MAP SHOP
series; and a great deal of exciting children’s books. “Our friendly, helpful, initiative sales personnel and our ever growing hunger to satisfy our customers continue to make the experience at The Map Shop a unique one.” Noting the importance of customer service Hogan takes into consideration the demands of her customers. “We make continuous efforts to expand on what is in the store, which encourages our customers to always want to come back. We offer high quality service at an affordable cost, which of course keeps our customers smiling and very appreciative. In operation for over 22 years, The Map Shop, the original shop, that is, was known for its wide variety of maps and charts with only a few books. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine The Map Shop without its rows of academic texts, learning posters, and other academic material. Taking over from previous owners Miriam and George Richards, who bought it from original owners, the Dydes, Manager Linda Hogan also decided to keep the store’s original name. She explains that because of the increasing demand for books years ago, the store was eventually converted to a fully stocked book store. The Map Shop has since changed from its original location on St. Mary’s Street, and is now comfortably nestled on the first level of the British American Mall on Redcliffe Street. Today it’s still known for its variety of maps, charts and tourist guides, but has since added other amenities to stay abreast of the changing tides in education. Hogan notes that The Map Shop offers a unique read for both residents and visitors; high quality educational toys – electronic and wooden for babies and children, including the Melissa and Doug 34 34 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June2013 2013
“The fact that we listen to our customers, spend quality time with them until they find what works for them makes a difference. We even have our young customers return to us with success reports filled with great pride and gratitude... That’s just special!” But The Map Shop is not without its own challenges between technology, a trying economy and other competition. While the introduction of the Board of Education’s Book Scheme has eased some of the financial burden off of parents, it has indeed
General Manager of The Map Shop Linda Hogan impacted the text suppliers on the island. Although she was not the owner at the time of its implementation, Hogan did indeed inherit some of the challenges it faced. “This only propelled us to be more innovative, to expand and perform with excellence. Moreover to ensure that The Map Shop fulfills its true purpose as we continue to serve all our customers – to educate and empower our people. Knowledge is wealth and that’s what we share.” To continue its innovation, The Map Shop will be launching summer camps and learning labs, providing continuous challenges to exceptional learners, multi-talented learners and those who have difficulty learning/ reading with various materials and activities. Expansion will also include a mini copy lab to assist students with their projects, SBA and other assignments. Taking their mission to educate into the classrooms, The Map Shop sets up displays in various schools so that teachers, along with students can have a first-hand experience of other stocks carried. During these displays, quizzes from books displayed are given to the students, and small incentives are given to participants. “We also work at fostering relationships with both teachers and students.” Many would arguably see The Map Shop as the cornerstone of education for our twin Island nation. Hogan adds, “We cater for readers from conception to the grave, also providing motivational reads for non-readers and those who need to be encouraged . We seek daily to educate not only by selling books, but when we interact with our customers, since we keep in mind this quote: ‘If we educate one person, we educate a village. If we can educate a village, we can educate a nation and if we educate the nation by expansion we educate the world’. We educate to build and empower our people, spiritually, mentally and emotionally with our various reads and activities!” BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 35 | 35
IN THE KNOW
UNEMPLOYMENT The Business Toolkit
You wake up at 11:30 in the morning and it’s Tuesday…or is it Wednesday? You know for sure it’s not the weekend because all of your neighbours have gone to work or school. The place is quiet. You get up to grab some food, but the fridge and cupboard are both like your stomach - empty. You would run to the supermarket to grab something, but there are two small problems – you don’t have any money and the car doesn’t have any gas. Soon the reality starts to creep back in…you are unemployed.
36 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013 36 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
In the early stages, it is not so bad. You get to stay up late and have the time to do whatever you want. But before long, you get the sense that life is passing you by. Even though you are one of the many people in Antigua and Barbuda without a job, that really doesn’t make you feel any better. Time to do something about it…but what?
Dealing with Others Being broke is no fun. So knowing that you will probably be low on cash this month, June, and July can be rather depressing. Consider the following scenarios:
Thank you for meeting with us. Unfortunately, we are looking for a candidate with a little more experience/qualifications for the post. We will however, keep your resume on file and if a position becomes available within 6 months’ time we will contact you.
1. You go to hang out and you run into some old friends. Everything is going well until they ask you that dreaded question, “So where do you work now?”
Then you ask yourself, “how do I get experience/education if no one wants to hire me?!?” Do not despair, there is hope…
2. You’re home cooking some instant oatmeal (because that’s all you can afford at the moment), and you decide to get creative. You throw in some cinnamon and you grate an apple to add some flavour. Someone comes along, sees you doing that and asks “Why don’t you just buy apple-cinnamon oatmeal. Are you on a health-food diet?”
Landing that Dream Job
3. A friend of yours calls and says, “Girl, I’m a little broke, can you lend me $50 until next week?” All the while, you’re thinking that you could do well with that much money yourself.
Here are some things to consider
Why are THEY working and YOU are not? You have asked yourself this question a hundred times, still you just can’t make sense of it. You are a bright, energetic, hard-working people-oriented person, full of ideas; but no employer is hiring you. Then it happens. You see some people in certain jobs at certain companies and you wonder how they do it. You know that Mary dropped out of high school, Jane has a nasty attitude, and Sue’s head is hard. You on the other hand went to State College or ABIIT, you are very friendly and learn quickly. Yet they all have something that you do not – an employer. Seriously?!?
Odd Jobs Desperate times call for desperate measures right? So you take any odd job that does not require you to do anything illegal or sell any part of your anatomy. It may not be the best, but at least it can put some food on your table. But it won’t be long before you learn exactly WHY you would not normally consider these types of jobs. Very soon, the combination of drama-riddled co-workers, obnoxious bosses and a salary that barely passes the minimum wage level takes a toll on you. You need to leave that company while you are still sane…or is it too late?
You finally get a call, and a prospective employer wants to meet with you. Altogether now…Hallelujah! You dress to impress, research the company and bring your laundry list of questions because you want to make an impression. When you get to the meeting you are on your P’s and Q’s, so seemingly all goes well. Certainly they will be calling you back, right? Then about two weeks later, you get a letter in the mail. And it reads something like this:
Odds are you have sent out application after application. But you still have not gotten anywhere. Then comes the million dollar question: “what am I doing wrong?”
1.What do I want to do? If your response to this question is an office job, then that could be a sign of your first challenge. Scotiabank has an office, but then so does the Central Board of Health (CBH). Is it safe to assume that it does not matter which entity calls you for an interview? 2.Why should a company hire you? Having a beautiful smile may really only count if you are auditioning for a Colgate toothpaste commercial. Unless you have skills that a company can use, they have no real reason to call you. 3. Why not someone else? It is a well-known fact that Third-world countries like Antigua are Employer’s Markets – There are many people competing for few jobs. That challenge is compounded by the economic recession at our doors. With that said, you need to know why an employer should pick you and not the next eager beaver. This is not about pulling anyone down, but about knowing your unique strengths that make you the candidate that no sensible employer will want to pass up. 4. Using your network. OK, so you have some contacts in places you would like to work. Why not use them? Not just to find out the name of the hiring manager, but what about functions the company has coming up? Perhaps the bank has a staff outing coming up and you can get to come along as a guest. Or LIME could be planning a community outreach programme where some key Executives could be present. Showing that your interests are in line with the company’s could score you some much-needed Brownie points. When your neighbours were first unemployed, you called it a recession. When you lost your job, it became known as a DEPRESSION. Be that as it may, being unemployed could really be a blessing in disguise, but only if you use it wisely. By regrouping, networking and volunteering, you could find out exactly what it is that you can do that makes you feel alive. But hurry! Because employment and its close friends – Broke-ness and Boredom are real KILLERS!
by D. T. Pryce
BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 37 | 37
The Underestimated Determinant of Business Profitability Think of some of the world’s most successful companies, namely Amazon.com, Google, Apple, Sony and Hilton Worldwide. Apart from obvious financial success, what else do these companies have in common? According to MSN Money/Zogby International 2012 customer service ranking, these companies rank among the top 10 for customer service. The same is true for many successful local businesses where customer service is high on their agenda. The link between customer service and business profitability has never been clearer. The secret to success of most, if not all successful businesses, is delivery of excellent customer service. So much so that businesses are increasingly introducing the concept of customer service in their mission statements. Antigua and Barbuda and the wider Caribbean rely heavily on the service industry, whether tourism or financial services. Therefore it makes perfect sense for superior customer service to be top of mind for everyone, from the baggage handler at the airport to the banker on High Street. It is easy to appreciate the link between customer service and financial success when one considers that the key to expanding your customer base is first of all keeping the customers you already have; that according to research it costs six times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep one; and finally 10 to 30 percent of customers leave your business because of bad service and each one tells 11 other people, although I think it is much more when one considers the prevalence of instant messaging and social media such as Facebook. On the flip side, the best advertisement a business can ever get is the recommendation of a satisfied customer to a friend or family. Satisfied customers also tell their stories on Facebook and other social media! Therefore, it is not difficult to see the magnifying effect of good (and bad) customer service. To deliver superior customer service, one must first see themselves as a service provider and then understand what is involved in providing superior customer service. Unfortunately, many persons especially in “back-office” roles don’t see themselves as service providers and little or no effort is made to improve their service delivery.
38 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June2013 2013 38
They fail to realise that the front-office staff is heavily dependent on the support functions to “wow” the customer. From my own perspective, superior customer service is always treating customers as your top priority, whether you are in a backoffice or front-office role. It is about being professional and courteous at all times and creating a welcoming and friendly environment for customers to do business.
It is about actively seeking to identify customers’ needs and responding to those needs in a way that is beneficial to the customer. It is about keeping promises made to the customer and not only meeting but exceeding their expectations. And last but no means least it is about showing sincere appreciation to the customer for choosing to do business with you. An important aspect of customer service is customer feedback through customer surveys and benchmarking your service quality against the competition by conducting mystery shopping exercises. Customer satisfaction surveys provide valuable feedback which businesses can utilise to improve their customer service. It can also give rise to the introduction of new systems and processes, new products and delivery channels or the upgrade of existing ones. Mystery shopping helps businesses identify their strengths and weaknesses relative to the competition. It is a good idea to get staff involved in mystery shopping exercises so they can experience first-hand what it is to receive bad service and similarly how it feels to receive good service. You will be surprised that with time your staff will seek to emulate the good examples and they will quickly recognise when they are falling short of expectations. It is also just as important for managers to conduct mystery shopping of their own establishments. For example you may have someone call your office to make an inquiry or visit your establishment to request service. Employers should resist the urge to take severe disciplinary actions against employees who are found to be delivering service below expectations, except for extreme violations. Rather the findings should be used to provide constructive feedback and identify training gaps and to implement action plans to address these concerns. You would expect that with ongoing customer satisfaction surveys and mystery shopping exercises and the implementation of action steps, will lead to an overall improvement in customer service overtime.
Research has also shown that there is strong interdependence between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Employees thrive on making customers happy and when they succeed the employees become engaged, motivated – and happy. By the same token when employees are engaged and happy about their jobs, they provide better service to the customers which make the customers even happier. It’s a win-win for any business. One of the inevitable aspects of business is customer complaints, and how it is handled is the difference between a successful business and one that merely exists. Businesses should view every customer complaint as an opportunity to create a loyal customer for life! It is said that customers who don’t complain simply leave your business if they are not happy. Therefore businesses should thank customers for their complaints and must be prepared to actively listen to the customer complaint and take steps to address them with a view to enhancing the overall customer service. As service providers, we must always remind ourselves of the old adage - “the customer is king”. That’s because our most important reason for being in business is to serve the customer. It therefore imposes an obligation upon us to serve the customer with distinction. Successful businesses understand the clear link between superior customer service and business profitability and are prepared to make the necessary investment to achieve and sustain a high standard of service. It is one area where we must all strive for perfection, the rewards for which are great and the cost of inaction is too high. By: Gordon Julien • Country Manager, Scotiabank
It is important for business owners and managers to see their operations from the customers’ perspective. It is also equally important that they develop a culture of customer service excellence and lead by example. At Scotiabank, our managers avail themselves each week to welcome our customers to our branches with a warm and friendly smile. After the customers have been served, we solicit feedback from them on the service they had just received and sincerely thank them for the business. We also observe our branches and our service delivery from the customers’ perspective and provide valuable feedback to management and staff. The impact of these activities along with our strong focus on customer service is reflected in consistent improvements in our customer satisfaction survey results. To succeed in the quest to provide superior customer service, employee training must be high on the agenda of businesses. Employees must be very familiar with the products and services of their establishments and must demonstrate the right behaviours in the workplace. They must appreciate the fact that good customer service is not a choice and is not only delivered to “pleasant customers” but must be provided to even the most difficult customer. They must be familiar with established customer service standards and there must be ongoing assessment of their performance against those standards. Staff must be recognised and rewarded for meeting or exceeding those standards and appropriate remedial action taken where standards are not maintained.
Tel: (268)562-1531 • Cell: (268) 464-3766 or 725-9904 • Fax: (268) 462-5234 Fitzgerald House. 2nd Floor, 44 Church St, Box 2010, St.John’s, Antigua.
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
IN THE KNOW
WICB Making Player Development a Priority Ayana Cooper is the Player Relations Officer for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). She’s held the position for just over two years, having started in October of 2010. Ayana plays a critical role in the Player Lifestyle Development (PLD) Programme which the WICB embarked on in earnest in 2012. The PLD programme focuses on ensuring that players, especially the younger players will be able to play cricket without compromising their education, finding that balance between the game and other aspects of life. The PLD programme has three main elements; Personal and Professional Development, Education and Training, and Career Development. Personal and Professional Development is geared at assisting players in balancing cricket with the other critical aspects of modern professional sport. Players will benefit from training in various areas including media skills, nutrition, etiquette and how to be an ambassador among other topics.
So what exactly is Ayana’s job? “The main focus of my job is to act as the first point of consultation for all West Indies players’ personal, professional development and welfare issues. In order to accomplish this goal, relationship building is a major component of my job. I liaise closely with coaches and other player support personnel and of course with players
40 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June 2013 2013 40
regarding player welfare, personal and professional development challenges they may be experiencing. The role also seeks to take a more holistic approach to players’ development with the concept of developing more well-rounded individuals.” The players that benefit and are involved in the Player Relations Officer Programme include the region’s: • Age group cricketers (U15, U17, U19 Youth Squads) • Womens Cricketers • First Class Cricketers • Cricketers based in the High Performance Centre • West Indies Teams (U19, Women, West Indies A and Senior Men Squads) Players are provided with a variety of personal and professional development services. This includes educational workshops on an array of topics, e.g. financial management, time management, leadership and emotional intelligence as well as personalised oneon-one guidance and support for any welfare issues they may be experiencing. Ayana said that it is vital that she continuously grows a welfare network system to support the services offered. Networks include family members of players and organisations such as the Territorial Boards, Government agencies, private entities and the West Indies Players’ Association. “As the Player Relations Officer I am also responsible for the WICB’s Anti-Doping Programmed and its Anti- Corruption Programme,” she said.
The PLD is the first of its kind in the cricketing landscape in the region. “To my knowledge this is also the first time that a sport governing body within the region has invested in a position that is solely dedicated to its athletes’ personal and professional development as well as addresses their welfare challenges,” Ayana said. Although this position is relatively new to the WICB, other national cricket federations have been investing in structured personal and professional support for their players’ for some time now. Namely, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) have been pioneers in seeing the value of this function, especially as it relates to their athletes’ performances. They have invested in departments that solely focus on the development and implementation of structured programs and support for their players at every level. Ayana noted “My cohorts with the similar role in the UK and Australia are usually based in their respective country’s county cricket academies, providing personalised and group support to cricketers that are under their supervision.” West Indian players were initially a bit hesitant to seek the support services offered through the WICB PLD programme. However, Ayana said that over the past two years with more education and awareness about the Player Relations Officer role and functions, she has seen the element of trust being developed, whereby players are now more open to the programme and actively seek and utilise services offered. “Over the past two years we have experienced some achievements in regards to the Player Relations Officer role and function,” Ayana reported. The WICB now has a more structured approach to the holistic development of players, in particularly the age group cricketers with the introduction of the Player Lifestyle Development Program. More players have been buying into the programme and are actively seeking out services offered. Additionally, the success of the programme can be seen in the Anti-Doping Program that the WICB conducted for the first time with doping control (drug testing) at one of its regional tournaments; 2013 Caribbean Twenty/20 Tournament. Despite the accomplishments of the initiative thus far, ultimately there still exists vast room for growth and improvement. Ayana said increased involvement by players throughout the region as well as more coaches and support personnel buying into the programme will lend to her position having a greater impact. Additionally, an increase in support from corporate Caribbean and other stakeholders will also facilitate greater success.
New Events Facilities! The Trade Winds Hotel in Antigua is known to many as the "Business Traveller's" choice hotel because of proximity to the airport and St. John's City as well as for our conference, business facilities and our Bay House Restaurant. To better serve our business clients and with the launch of our wedding packages, in January we began construction on a bigger multi-function events space and we are happy to say it is finally completed. The new facility has been designed to be ideal for meetings, conferences, training seminars, weddings, private parties and much more with a seating capacity of 60 persons. This new addition brings the hotel's number of events rooms to two. The space boasts state of the art AV equipment to include multimedia televisions with Skype and Webex capabilities, surround sound, microphones and high speed Wi-Fi. Our smaller event room's AV equipment was also upgraded to mirror the new room. Located above the Bay House Restaurant the new addition is open and airy with natural lighting and beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea. The variable lighting system and black-out curtains, allows you to customize your lighting requirements whether it is a bright light for training or toned down for intimate dinner functions. Our Bay House Restaurant offers banquet or buffet style menus to accommodate your meal requirements, whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails or light snacks for breaks. For further information and a tour of our facilities please feel free to contact our Events Team with your requirement. Thank you for choosing Trade Winds Hotel & Bay House Restaurant
T: (268) 462-1223
w w w. t w h a nt i g u a . com
BusinessFocus••May/June2013 May/June2013| |41 41 BusinessFocus
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June 2013
EDUCATION IN ANTIGUA The increase in educational institutions throughout Antigua and Barbuda, from pre-schools to tertiary level and industrial/vocational institutions is a testament to the country’s recognition of education as a key component to unlock diverse opportunities in the local and international communities. Our feature takes a peek into the diverse educational opportunities offered in Antigua and Barbuda from medical academia to vocational practices and education through experience, as not all education is confined to academia. We appreciate the fact that as a country, innovation continues to partner the progression of education, and steps are continually taken to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship, as persons create their own avenues for business and success.
BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 43 | 43
Financing Your Education
For some persons, even before the process of application begins, the discouragements sets in when one ponders the source of financing academic pursuits. It goes without saying that education is not a cheap commodity, and only increases with each level. While some persons can thank their family lineage for the ease of paying their own education, no matter the cost, even the affluent turn to loans and other means of sourcing the funds for their or their children’s education. If you don’t fall into the small percentage of those who can indeed foot their own bill, don’t get discouraged, get in the searching frame of mind. Student loans are definitely options that have afforded many the opportunity to study abroad, or even via distance. Each bank and credit union has its own set of requirements, so it’s important to shop around to find the best option for you and of course your pocket. Among the number of international scholarships available, including the Commonwealth, OAS, and revered Rhodes Island Scholarship (of which Antigua and Barbuda has had a recipient in the person of Karen Mae Hill), there are several scholarship opportunities available for applicants right here.
Scholarship covers all expenses related to the completion of the final year of study, allowing the recipient to focus primarily on achieving exceptional grades. A long list of successful Antiguans have benefited from this Scholarship Programme and have returned after their academic tenure to make valuable contributions to our society. These scholars include Seymore Mario Blackman, the 2010 Scholarship recipient who majored in Accounting, and the 2011 scholar Kareem Martin, an Economics and Management major. Stratton Browne, the 2012 Scholarship recipient is currently concluding his first degree in Computer Science & Accounting at the University of the West Indies and is expected to graduate in October 2013. The Antigua Commercial Bank Louis H. Lockhart Scholarship has become one of the most successful and prestigious scholarship programmes in Antigua & Barbuda. Application forms can be downloaded from the Bank’s website www. acbonline.com. Application deadline is 31st May 2013.
The Louis H. Lockhart Scholarship
Government Friendly Scholarships
Antigua Commercial Bank (ACB) remains a vanguard in ensuring that deserving Antiguans and Barbudans are given the opportunity to further their educational pursuits through its affordable Student Loan product and its very competitive scholarship programme, the Antigua Commercial Bank Louis H. Lockhart Scholarship. The Antigua Commercial Bank Louis H. Lockhart Scholarship, which was originally launched in 1993, was conceived to honour one of the Bank’s founding members, Sir Louis H. Lockhart. The scholarship is open to nationals of Antigua and Barbuda who are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree programme at an accredited college or university and will be entering their final year of study in the new academic year. The
The Prime Minister’s Scholarship programme, established by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer in 2007, offers various scholarship programmes received from friendly governments/universities during the country’s Silver Jubilee Anniversary celebration. These scholarships are designed to empower the intellectual aptitude of the youth, by giving them opportunities to pursue tertiary studies in some of the top universities around the world.
| BusinessFocus• May/June • May/June 2013 4444| BusinessFocus 2013
A committee comprised of individuals versed in the education field meets regularly and follows the guidelines set out by the Board of Education for the granting of national scholarships. The committee, working in collaboration with the Board also follows the priorities
guide published by that institution on a yearly basis for the basic selection of degrees. Scholarships received from friendly governments/universities include: The People’s Republic of China Maylasia Italy Republic of Cuba The Hellenic Republic (Greece) Russian Federation The Kingdom of Morocco Polytechnic University of NYU University of the West Indies Midwestern State University Grambling State University American University of Antigua Antigua and Barbuda International Institute of Technology Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute
3) including Mathematics and English; passes in at least four units at CAPE would be an asset. Potential students applying for engineering courses are required to have passes in chemistry, physics and mathematics; while medical students must have CAPE passes in chemistry and biology. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25. The deadline for the friendly government scholarships is 30th March annually. If you missed this year, you now have the opportunity to prepare for next application process. Further information can be given by contacting the Prime Minister’s Office at 268-562-3860. BOE National Scholarship
Offers of scholarships to students in Antigua and Barbuda have also been received from the Governments of Turkey, Brazil, Singapore, India, Sweden, Costa Rica and Serbia.
Unlike the aforementioned scholarship, the Board of Education National Scholarship has no age restrictions, and is not limited to education abroad. Online and distance learning students are also welcomed to apply for this scholarship sponsored by the BOE. Their application process is largely determined, however, by the assessment of the National Needs/Priority Areas, as determined by the Ministries of Education and Planning. A minimum of six CSEC passes are required (grades 1, 2, 3), including mathematics and English. For those who are awarded the scholarships, they must maintain a “B” average or a GPA of 3.0.
An application fee of EC$50 is required with three completed copies of the application form and accompanying documents. The qualification requirements include a minimum of six CSEC passes (grades 1, 2,
For more information, you can visit the office on the corner of Popeshead and North Streets, call 268-463-9025 or email email@example.com.
BusinessFocus •• May/June2013 May/June2013 BusinessFocus
45 || 45
A New Approach to Education
So your child is in grade 6! S/he has completed her/his SBAs and you are both revising for the National Grade Six Assessment. Next year your baby will be going to SECONDARY school. But how should you decide the best school for your child? Some parents simply select their alma mater. Others make the decision based strictly on price or location. Yet others depend on fate to make that selection. Please allow me to suggest another way to make such a decision. If we start from the premise that all individuals, including children, have various needs that must be met and that school is an institution with the responsibility of fulfilling these needs, then the curriculum of the school that you select should cater to all of these needs. Let us think of each child being made up of three parts: the Intellectual, the Physical and the Social. Each of these parts must have its needs met. It is on this tenet that the curriculum of the Trinity Academy is established. Our academic programme is a Competence-Based programme that uses a Modular Approach. Competency based learning simple means that students are assessed and assigned an individual programme tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. A form one student, for example, after being assessed may be found to be strong in Mathematics but weak in English.Our competency-based curriculum allows us to assign her/him to curative language classes that focus 46 |
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June 2013
Principal Adeola Matthew on strengthening these skills. The content of this class may draw from the content of the grade five/six English curriculum: this in an effort to strengthen foundational issues. This same child however, who is assessed to be very strong is Mathematics may be assigned a programme where the level of Mathematics is drawn from the Form 2 Mathematics curriculum. Such a student, though he/she is still in Form 1 may be assigned a programme of corrective English and advanced placement Mathematics.When students are assigned subjects based on their individual ability it reduces frustration and boredom. Have you ever wondered why students in forms one to three are taught 12, 13 or even 15 different subjects while more mature students, in forms four and five, are limited to usually eight or at most nine subjects? This practice is hinged on the school of thought that by end of Form 3 students should have decided on a career choice, hence be able to streamline their subject choices into the sciences, business or social sciences. But can a student really fully decide on a career at age 15? We believe that students should be exposed to as much subject matter as possible. Our Modular Approach allows us to realise this without the risk of student burn-out or the need for supplemental classes. In each grade, students are assigned five academic subjects and one technical subject. This reduced subject load allows for increased contact time for individual subject areas. Starting at Form 3, students are prepared to write CSEC exams, usually Integrated Science, Office Administration and Social Studies. The integrated nature of these subjects, as well as their degree of difficulty, makes
them manageable to students at this level. This subject complement also gives students not only certified academic balance, but it allows students to get first-hand exposure to the various academic areas allowing them to make more informed choices as to the subject area that they like or are good at. In forms four and five students are then given greater choice of subjects and are encouraged to sit at least four and five subjects respectively in these later forms. This academic approach has proven successful. Our in-house research has found that having passed one subject at the CSEC level, when other subjects in the same core are taught, students are able to make better linkages between the subjects compared to when both are being prepared for simultaneously. Students, especially in their second and third sittings are more focused and experience less exam anxiety. It has also been noted that weaker students have been able to achieve moderate subject passes on an average of seven subjects while average and strong students are able to successfully and comfortably negotiate up to twelve subjects. Though uncommon in secondary school in the Caribbean, this approach is used in high schools in the United States and in universities throughout the world. But the school experience cannot be complete with academics only. Our 8-4 school day allows for vibrant sports and social development programmes with focuses on self-knowledge and community service activities for all students. Footnote The Trinity Academy is located on the Christian Valley Road, Jennings and was founded in 2009 by Ms Adeola Matthew. BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June2013 BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June2013 | 47| 47
Must Meet Practice
“Education, like the mass of our age’s inventions, is after all, only a tool; everything depends upon the workman who uses it.” - The Simple Life A nation that does not prioritise education is doomed to fail for it is the core of our existence. The level of one’s education determines the way in which he speaks, thinks, behaves and relates to others. And where does this ‘education’ come from? It is the training that is received from parents, teachers, elders and society itself. While parenting plays a very important part in the kind of individual that is nurtured, it is the school to which the society looks to prepare young people for the world of work and for life in general. Success is not only hinged on passing examinations; it is a lot more than that. It comes in a bundle: self respect, respect for others, intelligence (just enough of it), good manners (plenty of it), self control, hard work, ambition and the desire to serve.
ensure that there is no disconnect between theory and practice, Richardson seeks attachments in business establishments for these students during the summer vacation whereby they can get on-thejob training.
The education system is faced with the dilemma of “manufacturing” students who can pass examinations but who are not always ready for the workplace. With the present state of the economy, employers will be looking for value for money from their employees; only the best will be hired. School leavers must be aware of this and therefore prepare themselves for the job market. Employing someone with a number of CXCs and even a first degree, but who lacks the social graces and savoir faire that the workplace demands is bad for business. This further emphasises the role of the school in the overall development of the child.
During the Easter vacation this year, an Entrepreneurship Seminar for business students was held. Recognising the difficulties faced by many establishments to make their monthly deductions on behalf of their employees, a key area of focus was “The Responsibilities of Small Business Organisations”. Students also learned how to sell their business or their skills via social media, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Business Etiquette and Table Setting were other topics taught. The last topic is deemed important since at school functions, some students’ inability to use the appropriate cutlery while dining was detected.
Jacqueline Richardson, the Education Officer responsible for Business in the Ministry of Education, recognises this great divide between what students are able to do and what they should be able to bring to the work place after secondary school and regularly organises many initiatives during the school year in an attempt at preparing students for the world of work.
The Ministry of Education is aware of the disconnect that exists between what is taught and what is put into practice by students once they leave school. We however continue to empower students with the knowledge. As the opening quotation states: “everything depends on the workman who uses it (education)”. The attitude of the student determines his altitude.
The Business Training Camp is an initiative that allows students to attend a seminar at which etiquette in the workplace is taught. Nothing is taken for granted. The way in which one answers the telephone, the mode of communication and the way in which one interacts with a customer are all basic skills that are taught. To
The Ministry of Education wishes Business Focus the very best as it seeks to bring awareness to the issues that affect this nation.
48 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013 48 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
The Business Plan Competition is yet another initiative to prepare students for the world of business. They are taught how a Business Plan is to be written and then they are asked to write one and then implement a small business. The best well-executed and managed business wins the competition. Several skills are taught: how a business is run, money management, working in a team and socialisation.
Jacintha Pringle Director of Education
PLUG IN • CONNECT • DISCOVER
Stay connected with secure and fast Wi-Fi. Sync your Android handset,laptop or tablet and enjoy no boundaries Visit us today and inquire about our top of the line wireless modem and discounted 2 year contract.
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
Getting ‘Junior’ to Read Reading1: It is never too early to begin reading to and with your children. Let them see you reading, as children mirror what they see.
As I sit at my desk in the bookshop it is not uncommon for random strangers to wander over seeking advice as to how they can ensure that Junior’s next report card is not as bad as the last. As a good doctor would, I seek information about Junior; so I ask my first and often last question: “What are the last three books that Junior read?” The answer is usually some variation of “ Well she don’t really read so much you know” or “You mean outside of her school book?” Thus my advice is simple, consistent, and exactly what they would expect me to say. Get Junior into a routine that includes at least 15 minutes of reading six days per week. Let’s explore what my suggested remedy contains and what ailments it can cure. Junior will get better grades in social studies now or when she gets older because reading exposes us to other places and other cultures. Junior will develop a better vocabulary without even realising it as he is confronted with new words at his own level. Subject/verb agreement will be easier for Junior to understand as she would have seen the correct placement of words over and over again. Since Junior lives in Antigua it is highly possible that English is not his first language, not the language spoken with ease inside his home or on the street corner. This makes it even more important for him to spend time with books so that he can become more comfortable with a language that he can use beyond the shores of Antigua & Barbuda. The interesting thing for me is that although 15 minutes of reading time has the ability to transform young Junior’s life, parents will tell me that they are not sure that they have the time or energy to police such an activity. This response always clears up for me at least the parents question concerning why Junior is not doing well at school. 50 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June2013 2013 50
Here are a few tips concerning the right time for Junior to read: (1)While you are reading – children will mirror what their parents do. (2) While you are doing something that has become a part of your daily routine. Have your child pull up a chair at the kitchen counter while you are preparing a meal or washing the dishes. If the child is young have him/her read aloud to you. If the child is older ask her to give you a summary of what she has read. Get involved and be ready to discuss what your child shares with you. (3) Just before bedtime. Reading calms the soul and for many it makes it easier to slip into peaceful sleep. In addition there are now a growing number of reading activities around the island. At the Best of Books we read to children on Fridays and Saturdays as a means of helping parents to get their children hooked on reading. But we’re not alone in this. The Public Library on Market Street seems to be becoming more active in the community although their opening hours are far from sufficient. Numerous churches and community organisations, such as the Cushion Club, also host reading activities and reading clubs. And if your church isn’t there yet there’s no time like the present to join the growing number of organisations that understand that just as education creates a foundation for life, the love of reading creates a foundation for a good education. If we are focused on business, the development of the human resources that will facilitate our business environment must be at the top of our list of things to support and encourage. The good news is that this can be done simply by encouraging our youth to read. To receive more information on the reading clubs at the Best of Books, pop in for a visit at the store on lower St. Mary’s St., call 562-3198 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACCA Qualification - The Ideal Programme for that Individual Who Wants to Possess an International Passport to Business. One of the leading careers in Antigua and Barbuda, and of course throughout the world of business, is that of accounting. What is it? ACCA stands for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, which is the leading international accounting body. It is designed to deliver a broad-based qualification focusing on the essential skills of accountancy, business and finance without introducing unnecessary barriers to membership. It offers a choice of examinations and work experience competences allowing students to tailor the path of qualification to suit their needs and aspirations. Members Its members are required to pass a series of examinations in order to qualify. These examinations cover all aspects of business management from the purely technical, such as bookkeeping and cost accounting to the more theoretical aspects such as motivational theory and theory of risk. ACCA & CPA Certified Public Accountant (CPA) & Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) are both connected with accountancy. The ACCA is based in the United Kingdom, whilst the CPA is based in the United States of America. ACCA has 85 staff centres across 170 countries giving it plenty of flexibility for students considering career opportunities in accountancy. What is also important is that ACCA covers both management accounting and financial accounting. ACCA & MBA Without doubt MBA programmes offer high levels of advanced education and are prestigious throughout the world, but many of them are not recognised by companies. One reason for this is that there are no consistent standards of content or quality of an MBA programme, as these are internally determine and assessed by the university itself. ACCA offers a much more practical emphasis. The qualification is not aimed at any one particular business sector; it covers all areas of business management. Students in Antigua & Barbuda They are approximately 250 students in Antigua & Barbuda. Based on statistics from the finalist list, posted after each exam session, in the last five years, only eight students became members of this prestigious body. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June2013 â€˘ May/June2013 | 51 | 51
“I was skeptical at first, especially since I had heard of numerous cases of organisations not recognising some certification. After successfully passing my first set of papers I must commend I.W. School of Accountancy, whose guidance has enabled me to pursue a highly recognized qualification, which in turn has allowed me to more understand the challenges faced and the need for skilled individuals in an organisation” – Carol Welsh – SOA Student
the ability in all areas of business. ACCA enables you to become a Chartered Certified Accountant, use the designatory letters ACCA. ACCA does not concentrate only on theory; it prepares a graduate for practical usage.
Testimonial “ACCA has helped to build my confidence and in so doing develop my personal and social skills including communication and team building” – Ceiphus Joseph – (SOA) Professional Level Student
SOA enables anyone pursuing the ACCA Qualification to received quality tuition right here in Antigua as opposed to travelling aboard.
Employer • A cost effective and efficient way to increase knowledge and professionalism. It therefore reduces the training costs of the employer. • Employers benefit from having accountancy professionals who understand the financial needs of business and who can evaluate and present effective business solutions. The qualification equips finance professionals with knowledge and skills which are diverse yet dynamic – the curriculum includes tax, audit and business law as well as the core accountancy subjects.
SOA offers part time classes that are aligned with students’ schedule s allowing them the flexibility of working while studying to qualify.
New trends in Accounting
I.W. School of Accountancy (SOA) Established two years ago by its founder, Renato Wilson, SOA caters solely to the ACCA qualification. From its inception, the school’s focus is to offer equal opportunity for all, providing tuition for students.
“I’ve attended the I.W. School of Accountancy for the past two years studying ACCA courses. Mr. Renato Wilson has been an outstanding lecturer. He has a professional yet down-to-earth approach to teaching which makes any material easy to understand. If there is still any confusion he does not hesitate to clarify with other necessary information. He is always available with a quick reply to any questions outside of the classroom. A very commendable quality is his concern for the success of his students not only in the exam hall but also their personal and professional development. Possessed with a wealth of knowledge and experience, Mr. Wilson is able to adequately prepare any student for their examination. I have not been disappointed with the I.W. School of Accountancy and would not hesitate to recommend this institution for higher learning.” – Danielle Bennett – (SOA) Professional Level Student Other Benefits Individual • Better employment prospect as a result of having shown 52 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June 2013 2013 52
Ethics & Risk The events of Enron 2001 & Lehman Brothers 2010 to name a few have increased pressure on the accounting profession to ensure high standards of accounting practice especially in areas such as Ethics and Risk. This has recently been further highlighted by Barclays new CEO, Anthony Jenkins, after the LIBOR scandal where he said he was putting five values at the heart of his plan: respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship. Decision Maker As technology expands and the automation of data collection rises, the focus of accounting will shift from computation to consulting as businesses increasingly rely on their accounting professionals to analyse business information to support decisions and provide strategic advice. Technology Changes Social media and mobile technologies will become even more pervasive, changing the way accounting professionals conduct business and attract new clients. As a result management of their web site and mobile would be very important to establish firm reputation and brand. These trends further emphasise that organisations will be looking to recruit individuals with the highest standards and you can gain such standards through with an ACCA qualification. For further information, contact Mr. Renato Wilson @736-2121 or email email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
An Academic Journey with Karil Sampson He admits that he lost focus for a few years. He admits that after leaving the Antigua State College and being inducted into the world of insurance, where he quickly learned the ropes, continuing his education became a more distant goal with each passing year. He also admits that after a four-year career with Caribbean Alliance Insurance Co., he began to get restless and tried his hand with the gaming industry. So he left insurance and joined World Gaming for five years. Now looking back at his choices, Karil Sampson is confident that he made the right decisions when he left Antigua, December 31st, 2004 to begin his academic journey – one that he will see completed this year. Juggling his duties as a lecturer, teacher’s assistant, and preparing to defend his thesis during the final leg of his academic journey, which will result in a doctorate, Karil Sampson has to his credit a BA in International Studies & Political Science, which he obtained in 2007, an MA in Political Science (2009) and another MA in Transnational Political Systems & Public Policy (2012), a formality for his doctorate. Remaining focused until his academic portfolio has been completed Karil’s nine-year journey has not been an easy one. The reality for many students after completing Antigua State College (ASC) or the Antigua and Barbuda International Institute of Technology (ABIIT) is to find a job – whether it is to save for future tertiary pursuits or to just begin their lives. Karil shares, “I was supposed to work for two years, save up some money, then go off to school. I got side-tracked ... kept getting promotions and raises … lost focus. One day I realised that my life had no real purpose. My epitaph would be ‘He Installed Windows OS one million times’.” At age 28, he exchanged what had become his livelihood for research, assignments, and exams. “Was it difficult humbling myself, giving up a steady pay cheque and accepting my new position in the social pecking order? Very much so. But the thrill of finally being challenged, engaging with new people and ideas more than made up for it. I felt like I was awakening from a long coma and finally doing something I loved and being someone I was always meant to be. I don’t think I would have appreciated the gift as a younger man. Maturity allowed me to appreciate university so much more. It gave me focus, drive and direction, and most of all discipline.” Noting the valued experience of attending an institution, Karil welcomed the interaction from the vast variety of personalities he’d encounter at an American university. “You get to engage, work with, and challenge each other’s beliefs and ideas.” Reading for his bachelors and masters at Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and now his doctorate at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, the access he’d have to various resources could not be ignored. “ I found US universities to have more ready access to resources and curriculum more geared towards innovative thought. This is evident in the type of research the institutions produce … researchers [are allowed] to be more creative and adopt more positivist approaches.” Seeking a challenge, an online degree for Karil would have been seen as “little more than a certificate of course work completed. It says
nothing of rigour. A degree is more than just the knowledge contained in assigned text books.” Stating that he’s wanted his doctorate since age 17, when he embarked on his journey Karil had made up his mind not to return home until he’d achieved that goal. “I was afraid that if I stopped life would have gotten in the way. I had to make the conscious decision to avoid distractions … or temptation.” That is not to say this decision to pursue the full academic journey in one go has not been tedious. Noting that not taking a break has sometimes challenged his stamina and left him with little to no time to recharge, he adds, “I’m like everyone else. I would like to have a family one day. But it was either this or that. There was little room for both. … I made a choice. And that choice was to follow this dream now. Now I’m at the end I can pursue family life. I have time. I prefer this to waking up at 60 and contemplating all the woulda, shoulda and coulda’s of a life unfulfilled.” His area of concentration revolves around political development and analysis, an area that he’s always had keen interest in. “When I was BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 53 | 53
very young I was told to do what I loved and love what I did. I am as passionate about political analysis and social causes as other people are about sports, or music. I just followed my heart and let fate take care of the rest. You rarely fail at doing something you’re good at. Explaining his passion, Karil went on to say, “My research has focused on transnational political systems and public policy. In particular how different states and cultures approach problem solving and interactions. My specialty is Latin America & the Caribbean, but I have also done some work on West Africa and West Europe. Thanks to my research I have been tapped as a business consultant focused on developing implementation strategies for entry into emerging markets – navigating local policies, recruiting, location analysis and cultural sensitivities. Businesses are always looking for professionals able to practically apply knowledge to immediate problems. They have supported my research in return for advice and analysis. It has been very rewarding seeing my research incorporated into their decisions.” As he approaches the final destination in his academic journey, readying his thesis, and on the brink of exhaling and returning to Antigua and Barbuda where he can finally feel the sand beneath his feet, allow the cool island breeze to kiss his cheek, and be enveloped
54 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013 54 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
by the cascading ripples of our 365 blues, there is one concern that weighs on Karil’s mind – whether home will still feel like home. Since leaving in 2004, he has never returned. Through summer sessions and the College Level Examination Programme (CLEP), he was able to complete his bachelors in only two years, and then went straight into the masters and now his doctorate. “University is nice but it’s not home. It’s not mine. Antigua is mine. I miss my people,” he honestly shares, adding, “I’m more afraid Antigua has moved on and I return to find there is no longer a place for me.” Ready to re-submerge himself into the island life he has dearly missed, Karil Sampson holds no preference in offering his knowledge and qualifications to either the private or public sector. “I am open to both the public and private sectors and have a lot to offer. But I am looking for something engaging and challenging … an opportunity with clear goals and a strategic approach to achieving them. I want to do something positive and build something substantial. I think the Caribbean has a lot of potential just waiting to be tapped. …waiting to be seen with fresh eyes and passion.”
Paving an Academic Path with the Board of Education Legally implemented in 1994, but opening its doors in 1995, the Board of Education continues to be, for many, a pillar of opportunity, and in some cases, arguably, a financial fuel behind education in our twin-island state. Undoubtedly, the Education Levy, and thus the Board of Education (BOE) supports many of the programmes designed and implemented by the Ministry of Education. But as Executive Secretary of the Board of Education D. Gisele IsaacArrindell puts it, many continue to under-appreciate the varying tasks performed and opportunities afforded by this statutory body. With the Education Levy supplying about XCD$1.5 million a month, the BOE then distributes those collections into the thousands of text books that are distributed to thousands of students annually; school supplies to include toiletries, photocopying paper, ink (for the copiers), arts, home economics and sciences’ supplies; maintenance of school property and compound from furniture to pesticides for ants and bees; Antigua and Barbuda’s annual dues to the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC); and tertiary scholarships. The 2013 budget projects that about $4.6 million will be spent on texts, while $8 million will be injected into the scholarship fund ($1.5 million of which will be new scholarships awarded). Notably, although the BOE affords applicants the opportunity to pursue education at a tertiary level with a three-year bond, some recipients fail to honour these bonds and never return to Antigua and Barbuda. Arguably, the three-year bond ensures that the country does not fuel its own brain drain, and gives the awardees the opportunity to contribute to their country once they’ve completed their studies. At the moment, the BOE is being proactive in its pursuit to ensure that the bonds are honoured, or forfeiture fines paid. Going back to 2005, Isaac-Arrindell reports, her office literally clustered with awardee files, that there are several hundred recipients of the BOE scholarships that have failed to honour their bonds. In such a case, the responsibility of repaying the Board falls on the pockets of the sureties. But the awardees are not the only persons delinquent in honouring the Board, as it is becoming more and more difficult to collect the
tax from employers and self-employed persons. The Education Levy is calculated at 2.5% of one’s salary. The Board of Education employs 65 full-time employees, which include book scheme managers, grounds people, and persons in the inventory, accounts, project departments, and its executive administration. Another project financially supported by the BOE is the National Library. With work resuming in January, it is projected that the library will be complete for full operation by this September. Commenting on its delayed completion, Isaac-Arrindell notes that while the BOE is only responsible for its finance, the library’s operation will be a concerted effort between the Ministries of Education and Information. Her only concern is that the relevant parties have taken into account the delay and updated their accommodation for mainstream technological amenities, as the Library project has been a work in progress for just about 20 years now. Although the National Library project began under the umbrella of the Public Works Department, one of the reasons for its delayed completion was the miscommunication between the Antigua and Barbuda Contractors Enterprise Limited (ABCEL) and the Board of Education, which took over the financial responsibilities in 2008. Isaac-Arrindell explained that in this miscommunication, the original budget was grossly underestimated. In 2008, the Board supplied the $6.4 million that was then estimated for the project; but in 2011 had to provide a further $2.7 million, through a loan with the Antigua Commercial Bank. Since then, she reports that the budget has since passed the $10 million mark. With all disputes settled, however, all parties involved are confident that 2013 will finally see the completion of the Public Library. As it continues to supply the Ministry of Education and thus the country with the necessities for an education in the 21st century, the Board of Education is sometimes considered the “stepchild” in the academic scheme of things. In its commitment to support the pursuit and maintenance of education, the BOE continues to encourage persons to make their monthly contributions to the Education Levy which fuels many of the daily requirements needed to schools to operate, as well as to provide individuals with the opportunity to pursue further education. For as Malcolm X stated, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 55 | 55
‘Everybody learns here’ –
Collins’ Centre for Academic Progress Such is the slogan at the Collins’ Centre for Academic Progress – “Everybody learns here”. Coined by their eldest son Rhodri, eight at the time they were brainstorming a slogan to commemorate their move into their building on Bishopgate Street, the executive and its team of dedicated teachers all stand behind these words. What began as tutoring a friend’s child on their gallery well over 20 years ago, Desryn and Albert Michael Collins have indeed established a legacy of learning. Meeting a growing demand, the Collins’ Centre for Academic Progress (CCAP) has expanded far beyond a gallery, and is now a two-storey building with the capacity to add another storey – something that they envision will come into play in the coming years. Beginning with just mathematics, taught by Albert Michael Collins, who is now the Assistant Chief Examiner for CXC Mathematics, the Centre has since expanded to tutor a host of subjects. Creating a business out of a passion, the Collins rented a house in 1996, when their first son was born, to accommodate the growing number of students seeking additional assistance with their studies, namely mathematics and English. John Isaac, a lecturer at the Antigua State College, also joined their team that year and remains one of the core principals behind the CCAP’s operations today. Sitting as Director on their executive board is Myrick Smith, examinations officer in the Ministry of Education. Isaac teaches English, SAT prep, sociology and communication studies, while Smith lends his expertise in social studies and geography. Today the CCAP is an approved testing centre for CXC, CAPE, SATs, the ACCA, and other international examining bodies and institutions, and is a proctor facility for some universities as well. With a staff of just more than 30 highly trained and experienced teachers, a full-time office administrator and an assistant and a cleaner, CCAP educates an estimated 200 students on average, offering a wide array of subjects at levels from elementary to tertiary levels. Noting that most of their academic staff remain the same personnel since their 2007 move to Bishopgate Street, the low turnover has built a supportive team amongst the staff where persons who are passionate about education and their respective subject areas are committed to seeing the students excel. At the Centre, the framed mission statement hanging in the office reads: “Based on our belief that all normal human beings have the capacity to learn, the Collins Centre for Academic Progress is committed to providing excellent opportunities, in an environment that is comfortable and inspiring, for individuals at any stage in their lives, to improve their academic standing.” 56 56 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June2013 2013
Providing a climate conducive to learning, the classrooms are built to house varying sizes, but as a policy they make every attempt to keep class sizes small to increase the learning experience for the students. The Centre is also furnished with a modern computer lab that seats 25 students at one time. “We strive for excellence,” explains Desryn Collins, who is an English lecturer in the Teacher Training Department of the Antigua State College, and presently sits on the CXC English panel. “Even more than that, we want to provide an avenue for students to make progress.” As such, a strict code of discipline is also enforced, which the students adhere to, sometimes more than that of their respective schools. This also contributes to creating this environment conducive for learning. Commenting on the experience of the staff, which, combined, would total more than 100 years in experience, Smith noted with regards to the students preparing for CSEC and CAPE, many of the instructors are either experienced in marking for the respective subjects or have been placed on CXC panels which influence the syllabi. In fact, save for one member of staff, everyone else teaches at an academic institution. Notably, the role of the Centre is not to compete with these already established institutions, but rather, serves to complement these institutions, reinforcing what has been taught in the classroom. Notably, with most schools, particular the government schools housing beyond the recommended capacity, some students are left behind. CCAP creates the environment to bring them abreast of their lessons, often with just about a year to prepare them for major exams. Albert Michael Collins admits that while this is sometimes a huge challenge on the part of the staff, preparing students (including adult students who have been out of an academic environment for years) for exams within a year’s span, this encourages the instructors at the Centre to be innovative and creative in their instruction. “Indeed, our stats are commendable and … there is joy in seeing someone achieving success.” Taking what was considered a high risk dream to the bank, the idea of building a centre for after school lessons was rebuffed by
most financial institutions. Knowing first-hand the demand for such a centre, the Collins pursued and received the means necessary from the St. John’s Cooperative Credit Union. To accommodate growing demands, however, they later moved to ABI Bank which offered modern amenities that made collection transactions more convenient for their clients, such as on-line banking. And while the doors of the CCAP remain open, that is not to say they, like so many businesses, have not felt the economic downturn. Depending largely on the collections from their students, the Centre remains committed to providing a high calibre of service to its student-clients. It is important that they pay their staff, maintain the building and of course meet the mortgage, something that they have never faltered in doing. “A lot of sacrifices have been made,” admits Desryn Collins, “to maintain the quality that we offer.” Cognisant of the “word of mouth” adage, John Isaac notes that this continues to be their strongest method of advertising. “We’ve been able to successfully build a web of communication that goes into the community. … and in most cases, once one family member has attended, you find that other members, or generations, follow suit. … We’ve developed a good rapport with the parents and guardians of our younger students.” Moving with the technological age, CCAP keeps electronic records of its students, so parents/guardians can request progress reports. Additionally, students taking subjects outside of their respective schools can submit certified documents to their schools and examining boards. The Collins Centre of Academic Progress continues to be a premier institution, meeting the demands of its clients as it continues to lives its vision: “At CCAP, an environment that embodies the best in education will be provided, and students will receive first class tuition and guidance that is geared towards helping them maximise their academic potential and become more responsible, moral citizens.”
BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June2013 May/June2013 || 57 57
A Tender Type of Education Maid 2 Work Health Care Centre opened its doors in 2009, when I saw a void that needed to be filled in caring for the elderly within their homes, instead of them going to an institution. Competent, caring individuals are very much in demand and needed to make a difference in the lives of others. I also wanted to bring a high level of professionalism, quality service and expertise in this area. Our population is aging quickly. In the year 1900 the average life expectancy was 49 years old, today it is 75 years old. Thatâ€™s a tremendous increase in life span within a relatively short period of time! Some of us do not think about getting old and what our situation might be, but when we get to that certain age where we need help with our everyday functions, it is good to know that there is someone who would have the basic skills care and who is professional in taking care of you. After speaking to two registered nurses who brought into my vision of professional and qualified care giving within the home, a team was formed. The course is offered to anyone who is interested in the health care field. It is run for six months at a time, and it is taught by a Registered Nurse. Within the six-month period the students are taught a wide area in taking care of not only the elderly but anyone who might be sick. Some of the topics taught are how to take Vitals, Dementia Care and Abuse Prevention. A lab is at the school where the students learn how to make an occupied or unoccupied bed; how to assist with grooming the patient/ client, basic brushing of the teeth or dentures; how to turn a patient and how often to turn a patient for the prevention of bedsores; feeding, dressing and transferring are also taught. The criteria (manual) used in the course is approved by the Ministry of Health. The students also have the opportunity to do their internship at various Health Care Institutions around the island, where they can put what they have been taught to use; a mandatory amount of hours has to be completed at each health care facility. First Aid is also taught and a Fire Safety Prevention course is done by the Fire Department. Usually we have a graduation ceremony at the end of each course and certificates are presented to the students who would have successfully completed the course. So far we have over 50 students who have completed the health care course for the elderly and most of them are now working in the field successfully. Once the students have completed the course they are not guaranteed a job, but the service side of Maid 2 Work Healthcare services will place a student once a vacancy exists. So far we have been recommended highly by clients who would have used the services. 58 58 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus â€˘â€˘ May/June May/June 2013 2013
Trainees in the Maid 2 Work Health Care Centre.
The classes are also recommended to other people by the students, so classes are usually filled before the next session starts. This is a course geared towards people who might not have gone on to higher education but who want to learn more and be productive in the community, or who might have a love for healthcare, but not the A-Levels that are required to get into the nursing program that is offered on island. My desire is to see this educational programme go further, where not only will it receive the stamp of approval from the Ministry of Health, but also be a stepping stone for higher education in the health care field. Shirlette Thomas is the entrepreneur behind Maid 2 Work Health Care Services which focuses on the care of the elderly and training. For further information call 268-785-5414.
Reaching the World f r o m
The “dream” for most students graduating from high school or the Antigua State College or the like? To leave Antigua and Barbuda to pursue academic goals overseas; to leave our twin-island state and participate in that grand university experience we continue to read about, see in movies, and hear from others who have sat in lecture halls built to hold hundreds. The reality? Not everyone will be able to travel to reach those academic goals. Not everyone will be able to leave their lives, commitments, families or circumstances to sit in one of those lecture halls built for hundreds. But given the advances made in technology, coupled with the lengths that have been reached with education, pursuing those academic dreams in the 21st century is as close as your Internet connection. Equipped with her BSc in Management Studies (2004) from the University of the West Indies and a MSc in Marketing (2007) from the University of Leicester (UK), Head of the Social Sciences Department at the Antigua Girls’ High School Janelle O’Mard also holds a Diploma from the Antigua State College and a Certificate in Teaching from UWI, and is looking to pursue her doctoral studies in the very near future – all from the comfort of her twin-island state. Aware of her personality, realising that scheduled classes were not for her, and examining her financial options, the more economical route was to pursue her academic goals through distance learning. “I liked the flexibility distance learning afforded me … and I did not like the issue of having a school loan on return …having to pay it off after I was finished before I could really start to live my life.” Realising the challenges of the ever-changing economy and the importance of job security and upward mobility she made the decision
H o m e
to pursue her studies. In the event that an opportunity for migration became available, Janelle also wanted to be more marketable and flexible. With the payment options available for distance education, this option proved more convenient for her. Not having to put her life on pause, the decision to pursue her master’s online was not a difficult one to make. Adding her son to her life since the completion of her bachelor’s, leaving to study was not an option for her. Juggling a young baby with her financial commitments, she returned to distance learning and the convenience of working at her own pace. “I would study between his naps and at night when he was asleep… I was also able to make my payments with each course that I was doing, so if I was doing only two courses in one semester, that is exactly what I would pay for at the time.” When she reflects on her journey, especially during her first degree, studying online was the best decision for her. She laughs as she admits, “At that age, I was really about doing my own thing, so I know for the classes that had attendance requirements I would have had issues with those, since I study best late nights or early mornings.” In the pursuit of any goal, there are challenges. While there is the convenience of moving at one’s pace and choosing your hours of study when doing an online programme, with that comfort comes the fact that your life does continue. As an educator, while preparing for her own exams, she was also preparing her students for CXC examination. Add her son to the equation, Janelle then had to be BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 59 | 59
sure while studying she was giving him the attention he needed. “The cost of living was on the rise, so that in and of itself presented its own challenge.” Now looking at the progression of distance learning, the programmes available are even more varied than when she studied, not to mention the accredited institutions that have added distance learning to their programmes. Acknowledging the increase in everything, however, she does note that persons may still need to take out a partial if not full loan. Considering that living expenses would not be in the calculations, however, it still makes distance learning more economical. Taking note of the programmes available right here in Antigua and Barbuda, she completed her Certificate in Education from the University of West Indies through the Antigua State College Teacher Education department. As an educator, she wanted to advance her personal growth. At the moment she has embarked on another course here in Antigua, one in early childhood development.
Janelle’s ultimate goal is to become a university lecturer, she hopes at Antigua’s own university when that time comes. As such, when her doctoral studies commence, she will be focusing on administration and curriculum development. To anyone thinking they can’t achieve their academic goal, Janelle encourages others to know that it can be done, at any age too. “Pray and ask God for guidance. Be true to thyself and assess if this type of study suits your personality.” She further advises, to do complete checks to ensure the accreditation of the college/university you wish to complete the programme with. “Online/distance studying is a commitment, and self-disciple is very important. Opportunity costs will be high and decisions that one may not like will have to be made to reap long-term benefits. Speak to different persons who have done that type of study and get their challenges’ advice. Once you’re self-motivated with supportive family and friends you’ll be able to enjoy the serenity of many sunrises on the mornings you’re up working and knowing it will all be worth it!”
Creating Young Entrepreneurs The public sector and the increasing government wage bill have become unrealistic for a government to maintain, therefore many of our graduates will have to be absorbed into the private sector workforce or become self-employed. With the implementation of the CSME (Caribbean Single Market and Economy), these graduates are now competing with graduates from other countries across the Caricom countries. Job vacancies are now not only advertised in the local media but are also advertised in the media of all the Caricom countries where individuals are able to apply. One of my goals as the Business Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Sports, Youth & Gender Affairs, is to inform, guide, and support these students in creating feasible small businesses and become self reliant individuals. These youth are our future entrepreneurs and leaders, and it is our responsibility to ensure that they get the necessary guidance and tools to become productive citizens. The Business Practical Training Programme commenced in 2010, when I took up the post as Education Officer - Business. The 60 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013 60 | BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
programme was started as we recognised that there is disconnect between what is taught in schools versus what actual happens in the workplace. The aim, therefore, is to improve the quality of education received by our business students. This can be achieved by creating hands-on experience which affords students the opportunities to practice the principles that they learn from their textbooks. This in turn will make the educational process more meaningful as they could better relate to the theories learnt in the classroom. The goal of this camp is two-fold: 1. To allow students to expand and implement the theory studied in the classroom in a practical real life setting. 2. To offer guidance and training to students on starting and operating a small business. During these camps the students are provided with hands-on training within various business organisations as reinforcement of the theory learnt. This method of learning motivates and encourages students to become self-sufficient in creating self-employment.
Students also develop their competencies in collaborating and reporting in a business environment. As an addition, the students also receive encouragement and guidance to make positive contributions to their society. Upon completion of this training camp the students are knowledgeable on how to start and operate their own business, and are equipped to make decisions for their future career paths whether they become employees or employers. They are also equipped to work in an entry level position in an office environment. Although the Commercial Department of the Antigua State College offers a similar programme, all the students desirous of attending that department do not get accepted. With this programme, students receive the opportunity to participate in and get the benefits of practical training. Each year 50 students are invited to participate but as the programme grows it would be expanded to all business students who meet the criteria. As part of the programme, students are placed in various business organisations for a two-week period as trainees. During this period they are trained in various departments, such as sales, marketing, accounting, customer service and human resource. Students are usually placed in businesses in close proximity to their schools in an effort to reduce their travelling cost. While placed in the various business environments, they are supervised and evaluated by their supervisors on the training programme. At the end of the programme, they will be required to submit a report on what they have learnt and how it has assisted and will benefit them. The Business Practical Training Programme has and continues to receive support from the following corporate citizens: Price Waterhouse Coopers Best of Books Medpath Clinical Lab Bell Labs Services Trade Winds Hotel CoCo’s Resort Community First Credit Union Social Security St. John’s Cooperative Credit Union Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank Inland Revenue Department Board of Education El Unique Boutique Royal Antiguan Resort Sandals Antigua People Insurance Co. Ltd Hawksbill Hotel LIAT 1974 Ltd ABI Bank Ltd KPMG Eastern Caribbean Seventh Day Adventist Credit Union First Domestic Industry & Commerce Insurance Co. Ltd Consolidated Maritime State Insurance Coorporation Kennedy’s Club Ltd
Harney Motors APUA Antigua Plumbing & Hardware Centre Digicel Antigua Antigua Masonry Products Antigua Airport Services Lt Port Services Ltd Cool and Smooth In addition to the Business Practical Training Programme, there have been several initiatives to offer guidance to business students. There was a business plan competition held in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, National Development Foundation (NDF), Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA), Chamber of Commerce, the US Embassy-Barbados and the Ministry of Education. The competition was geared to individuals between ages 15 -25 who are enrolled in one of the following educational institutions Secondary Schools, ABICE, ABIIT, Antigua State College and GARD Centre. The aim of the competition was to assist young entrepreneurs to fast-track their business idea into a viable business. There will be a workshop (October 2011) and panel discussion (December 2011) held with all participants to offer instructions and guidance on preparing a business plan. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank held a Regional Youth Symposium in October 2012 to assist students develop their Entrepreneurial Skills. Institute Chartered Accountants Eastern Caribbean (ICAEC) Business workshop for accounts students was also held in October 2012. During this session there were several motivational sessions to include • If you can dream it, it is possible - presenter Kathy David (PriceWaterhouse) • Social Media and Marketing – Cathrona Samuel – Corporate Communication Manager - APUA • Business Etiquette – Heidi Skerrit – Training Officer - APUA • Personality Traits – Marisia James – ABI Bank • Being well rounded – Megan Samuel-Fields – Principal Director – Samuel-Fields Group - Davidson Charles – CEO- LIME Antigua This year’s Business Training Programme will begin with an Entrepreneurship Seminar in April. Some of the students will prepare a business plan and run a small business during the summer. Others will also participate in an attachment programme during the summer. In an era when we see the rapid evolution of technology and business, we must also evolve the methods we use to educate our youth, and instil in them a strong sense of entrepreneurship. Jacqueline Peters-Richardson is the Business Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Sports, Youth & Gender Affairs. Email: email@example.com; Cell: 268-721-7847; Work: 268-4683026; Fax: 268-462-4970. http://businesseducationantigua.webs. com/
BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June2013 May/June2013 || 61 61
Becoming a part of the Antiguan Community
62 62 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June2013 2013
American University Of Antigua
Since the university’s inception, American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine’s Co-Founder and President, Neal Simon, has always believed it was important to aid the Antiguan community. AUA recognizes that to be considered a member of the community, AUA has to become a part of it. AUA has provided unprecedented economic opportunities to the Antiguan community. As tourism dollars fell, AUA stepped in to provide steady employment and economic relief in a struggling economy. Most of AUA’s administrative and support staff on the island are Antiguans; in fact, more than 155 Antiguan citizens are currently employed by the university. During construction of its US$60 million campus and its US$20 million expansion, jobs have been created for more than 350 local residents. As part of the university’s mission, AUA provides the same opportunities to Antiguans as U.S. students. AUA offers the Antiguan Tuition Grant to Antiguan citizens enrolled at AUA; it covers tuition for the entire MD programme. AUA has created 355 scholarships, totalling more than US$3.67 million, for Antiguan students. Excluding tuition, students spend nearly US$32 million each year on living expenses, which include, but are not limited to, shopping and dining at Antiguan establishments, entertainment, and renting automobiles and apartments from Antiguans. AUA itself leases 500 beds from Antiguan building owners, with monthly rental payments exceeding US$300,000. Antiguans are as much the backbone of the university as the students and faculty. AUA has heavily invested in the health of the Antiguan community in a variety of ways. Recently, AUA has sponsored the 100 Mile Challenge and donated to the Antiguan and Barbuda Sickle Cell Association. The 100 Mile Challenge consists of eight weeks of walks including the Heart and Soul 5k/10k walk-run, TinMAN Rohr, Glaucoma March, and EAG Earth Day Walk. AUA presented a substantial grant in January to the Antigua and Barbuda Sickle Cell Association. This grant will cover free testing for high-risk individuals with family members known to have sickle cell disease (SCD). The grant will also help build a database of people with SCD in Antigua and Barbuda. As enrollment has increased, AUA students have become more involved with making a difference on the island with AUA-sponsored student organisations. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has provided Antiguans with free annual health screenings. In 2012, AMSA and the Antigua Junior Chamber sponsored these screenings during the health fair at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre on AUA’s campus. Many people took advantage of screenings for blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), vision, and blood sugar levels. Patients were able to consult with doctors about the results
of these tests, their overall health, the role of diet and exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and any follow-up advice. The health fair also partnered with the AIDS Secretariat of Antigua to promote World AIDS Month and to raise awareness of the importance of HIV testing. Confidential HIV testing and counseling were offered on-site. Female members of AMSA’s executive board and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Dr. Naira Chobanyan participated in a breast cancer screening day organised by the Antigua Lions Club and Breast Friends. Approximately 200 people participated and learned that awareness and prevention are the first steps to defend against breast cancer. A number of breast cancer survivors were in attendance to tell their stories. In July 2012, AUA staff member Vernon Solomon, Director of the Emergency Training Center and Clinical Simulations, conceived the inaugural Men’s Health Day, which took place on AUA’s campus. More than 150 people attended the free health screenings that ranged from diabetes testing to prostate exams. Attendees were matched with medical students who administered free blood pressure, heart rate, glucose, and cholesterol exams. Anyone with abnormal results of health problems was referred to a physician for further consultations. Staff also provided participants with preventive health advice. Director Solomon also conducts classes at the American Heart Association International Training Center, located on campus, to teach students and local health professionals, including policemen, firemen, and government officials about the critical components of Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for adult and paediatric patients. The training centre was formally established with the Mayo Clinic Medical Transport’s Gold Cross Training Center. The American Heart Association approves the center. Recently, the AUA student organization Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) launched its Emergency Response Team. The team comprises 30 student volunteers who are certified in basic first aid. Some of these students have previously served as paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, nurses, and lifeguards. The Emergency Response Team assists anyone near campus, including students and locals, in need of assistance. Clearly, AUA’s 1,500 students, its world-renowned faculty, and the institution have benefited Antigua and Barbuda’s economy and, just as importantly, its well-being. As the university continues to expand, AUA will continue to contribute to the growth of Antigua and Barbuda for years to come.
BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June2013 May/June2013 || 63 63
Staying Atop of the Medical Field American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine is at the forefront of technology and medical research in the Caribbean. AUA’s campus was built with the latest advances in medical school technology. Universal high-speed Wi-Fi service allows students to work from their laptops, tablets, or smart phones throughout campus. The library includes a vast collection of electronic resources including thousands of articles, research papers, best-practice guidelines, and more. Any of these can be accessed from dozens of computer terminals set aside exclusively for student use. Each classroom has HD televisions, which allow students to follow their professor’s presentations from anywhere in the room. At AUA, students can take the classroom anywhere with an Internet connection. Blackboard Learn™ gives students access to lecture notes and additional materials to extend their education. Echo360 lecture capture service allows students to re-experience their classes. When they study for their exams, for example, they can replay the lectures to see if they missed anything. AUA includes a suite of high-tech laboratories that make students feel as if they are already participating in their clinical rotations. The Center for Simulated Learning is equipped with the latest training simulators for students and physicians, including SimMan® 3G, SimBaby™, Harvey®, and a birthing simulator. These simulators include the latest interactive software, incorporating challenging clinical scenarios. The Anatomy Lab includes computer stations and video systems that provide instant access to Adams Atlas, V.H.Dissector™, and prerecorded prosect demos. These systems can also project lectures and live demos on the five HD monitors. AUA is proud to be affiliated with one of the most modern hospitals in the Caribbean: Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC). MSJMC is a US$100 million development that incorporates state-of-the-art diagnostic and operating room equipment. It has served the Antiguan community since 2009. The facility features 185 beds, five operating theaters, an electronic records system, a 16-slice CT scanner, and a full endoscopy suite. AUA students receive early clinical training from MSJMC that allows them to be more fully prepared for clinical rotations when they move to the United States. 64 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June 2013 2013 64
Beyond Antigua, students and faculty have been leading a number of different research initiatives in the United States and elsewhere. In 2012, students presented their research at distinguished conferences across the United States, including, but not limited to, the New York Osteopathic Medical Society Eastern Regional Conference, the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual National Meeting, the American College of Physicians Regional Conference in Baltimore, and many others. Not only did they participate in these conferences, but students have also had their research published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, Pediatric Clinics of North America, and The Neurologist. AUA student Prathap Jayaram was the first author of research on hemodynamics (blood movement) and the effects of an anomaly of the vertebral artery, a major artery in the neck. The project was presented at two international conferences: the American Association of Anatomists annual meeting in San Diego and the American Association of Clinical Anatomists annual meeting in Toronto. Other projects by AUA students have included research on topics such as anesthesiology (in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic), emergency medicine (in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic), and the cellular basis of diseases (in cooperation with Tulane University). AUA Provost Dr. Seymour Schwartz has published extensively. He is probably best known for his textbook Principles of Surgery, which is considered by many academics to be the definitive textbook on the practice of surgery and is still used in most U.S. medical schools.
American University Of Antigua
In 2012, he co-authored the book Holystic Medicine: The Patron Saints of Medicine, an insightful examination of the patron saints of medicine and why they are associated with certain diseases or conditions. AUA faculty members have long established themselves in the international medical community through their groundbreaking research and publications. In 2012, faculty members have presented at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., and the Blackboard BbWorld Conference in New Orleans. Professor Deborah Gerrity presented “A Biopsychological Approach to Prevent Transmission of HIV” at the AIDS conference and Professor James Rice presented “Examination Challenges in a Caribbean Medical School and the Study of ‘Decision Fatigue’ in Examinations.”
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, The Journal of Carcinogenesis, The Journal of Evidence-Based Oncology, and The European Journal of Oncology. Chair and Professor of Pharmacology Dr. Hani Morcos completed a research paper on “The Effects of Simvastatin (Zocor) on the Memory of Alzheimer’s Disease [Patients],” which made headlines in The Washington Post as well as on several health news sites in the United States and around the world. He found that nNOS (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) levels were significantly higher in the hippocampus and cortex statin, which is the result of high cholesterol. As AUA expands its campus, it continues to encourage innovation in its technology, faculty, and students. AUA can only expect further greatness.
Dr. Naira Chobanyan, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, has more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 65 | 65
Life after AUA
Dr. Tobari – Dr. Radmehr Torabi, MD (Class of 2008), is now a Neurosurgery Resident at Brown University–Rhode Island Hospital.
American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine graduates have secured coveted residency positions at prestigious teaching hospitals across the US and Canada through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) and the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS). Alumni are now in private practice and on staff at top hospitals throughout the United States and Canada, such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Brown University–Rhode Island Hospital, Case Western Reserve University at MetroHealth, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa–Urban, and University of Chicago Medical Center–Northshore. 66 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June2013 2013 66
A majority of graduates have secured placement in primary care practices, including internal medicine, family practice, and obstetrics/ gynaecology. As the Affordable Care Act expands health insurance to 30 million Americans and more baby boomers turn 65, there is a greater need than ever for primary care physicians. AUA is proud that it has given Antiguans the opportunity to become licensed physicians. The Antiguan Tuition Grant provides tuition for the duration of the four-year MD Program. Eighty Antiguan students are currently enrolled at AUA, which has provided more than US$3.67 million through 355 scholarships for Antiguan students.
American University Of Antigua
The Valedictorian of the Class of 2011, Dr. Jasmine Riviere Marcelin, a recipient of the Antiguan Tuition Grant, is now an Internal Medicine Resident at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Before she graduated, she received a perfect score on her United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and was actively involved with clubs on campus, such as student government and the student newspaper AUA Pulse. In January, she was the primary author of a manuscript published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, titled “41-Year-Old Woman with Fever, Neutropenia, and Elevated Transaminase Levels.” Dr. Marcelin is one of the many distinguished Antiguan graduates now in their residencies in the United States. Dr. Marcelin joins Dr. Raaj Ruparel (Class of 2011) at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Ruparel was a General Surgery Resident at the Mayo Clinic but recently began a two-year research fellowship in Simulation and Surgical Education. During his fellowship, he has managed to have two abstracts published and has presented at numerous national meetings. Many AUA graduates have distinguished themselves in their residencies as chief residents, fellows, award winners, and researchers. Dr. Sanjiv Gray (Class of 2009) was recognised as Intern of the Year for 2009-2010 during his General Surgery Residency at Columbia University at Harlem Hospital Center in New
York, NY. Dr. Adam Isacoff (Class of 2008) is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow at Kosair Children’s Hospital, the only freestanding children’s hospital in Kentucky. Dr. Christopher Cortes (Class of 2010) was recognized as New York Methodist Hospital’s Resident of the Year; in July 2012 he began an infectious disease fellowship. In addition, some graduates have matched in some of the most demanding specialties such as neurology, ophthalmology, pathology, and neurosurgery. Valedictorian of the Class of 2012, Dr. Whitney Boling, is currently an Ophthalmology Resident at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN. In 2012, Dr. Boling was the only Caribbean medical school graduate to match into an Ophthalmology residency in the United States. Dr. Jesse Gill (Class of 2009) is currently an Emergency Medicine Fellow at the University of Toronto, which is a coveted fellowship in Canada. Another notable AUA graduate is Radmehr Torabi, MD (Class of 2008), who is now a Neurosurgery Resident at Brown University– Rhode Island Hospital. Prior to matching, he served as a research associate in functional neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital, where he investigated the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation in treating Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, major depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. While he attended AUA, he had a 4.0 GPA, the highest in his class, and earned a perfect score on his USMLE Step 1. After completing their residencies, AUA graduates entered practices in competitive specialties. Dr. Ehsan Esmaeili (Class of 2007) is a Hand and Microvascular Surgeon at the South Florida Hand and Orthopedic Center in Boca Raton, FL. His wife and fellow AUA graduate, Dr. Allyson Bagenholm (Class of 2007), is working at a family medicine practice in South Florida.
Jasmine - The Valedictorian of the Class of 2011, Dr. Jasmine Riviere Marcelin, a recipient of the Antiguan Tuition Grant, is now an Internal Medicine Resident at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
The lessons learned at AUA are carried on long after its students graduate. AUA teaches its students more than just medical knowledge necessary to become exceptional physicians. AUA believes its students should become compassionate, well-rounded physicians to meet the health needs of today’s global society. BusinessFocus • May/June2013 BusinessFocus • May/June2013 | 67| 67
Increasing Antigua’s Global Visibility
American University of Antigua (AUA) investment in the Antiguan community has managed to increase Antigua’s global visibility. AUA has hosted diplomats, conferences, and students from U.S. and international colleges in various capacities to learn about the opportunities available in Antigua and Barbuda. In 2012, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister W. Baldwin Spencer visited AUA’s New York offices with U.S. Representatives Donald Payne Jr., Eliot Engel, Yvette Clarke, and Gregory Meeks and Senator Bob Menendez. Prime Minister Spencer was in New York to attend the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations, where he discussed the impact of the global economy and climate change on Antigua and Barbuda. The discussions at AUA focused on the relations among the U.S., Antigua and Barbuda, and other Caribbean nations. Topics included the Peace Corps, national security, the World Trade Organization, and the status of offshore medical schools. They also discussed the 68 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June 2013 2013 68
positives of Caribbean medical schools and the contributions they are making in the region and the United States. Congressman Engel pledged his full support of foreign medical schools, noting that the U.S. needs more physicians. On its Antigua campus, AUA hosted international conferences such as the 7th Annual International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) Conference to attract experts from abroad. AUA’s annual Research Day brought acclaimed international health care professionals to share their research with AUA students, faculty, and local health care professionals. Last year, Dr. Michael Lumpkin from Georgetown University gave the keynote address: “From Acute Stress to Chronic Stress to Chronic Diseases: Connecting the Dots in Mind-Body Medicine Research.” Three epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provided presentations on food-borne illnesses and diseases. Historically, AUA’s Research Day has helped create a deeper connection among AUA students and faculty, Antiguan health professionals, and the international medical
American University Of Antigua
(From left ): Neal Simon, President and Co-Founder of AUA; Rep. Gregory Meeks; Rep. Yvette Clarke; Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minster W. Baldwin Spencer; Rep. Elliot Engle; Ambassador Anthony Liverpool
community. Visiting professors and invited international guests have arrived in Antigua with money to spend on the island. AUA’s cricket pitch is approved by the International Cricket Association for practice matches, which also bring money to the economy. AUA brings the world to the idyllic island of Antigua. AUA is eternally grateful that the Antiguan government and its people granted permission to create a medical school on the island less than 10 years ago. In return, AUA has tried to give back to the community by working with its community to make it one of the most prosperous islands in the Eastern Caribbean. In a matter of nine years, AUA has created one of the top Caribbean medical schools. In the next nine, AUA is committed to help build Antigua into the premier international destination for medical education.
(From left ): Dick Woodward, Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management & COO at AUA; Dr. Majid Pathan, Vice President of International Affairs and Dean of Library Services and Academic Support at AUA; Rep. Donald Payne Jr., Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minster W. Baldwin Spencer; and Neal Simon, President and Co-Founder of AUA. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 69 | 69
Interview with AUA Administration in any institution is always a challenging task, staying abreast of the operations of the institution, its image, marketing and of course recruitment. One can only imagine the magnitude of responsibility and tasks that befall the administration of any university. Taking the opportunity to peer into the administrative role of an institution, Business Focus received the opportunity to speak with Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management & Chief Operating Officer Dick Woodward, who has been at AUA for seven years. He now works in two areas: academics as SVP for Enrollment Management and operations as COO. As SVP for Enrollment Management, he is responsible for overseeing marketing, new student recruitment, and is regularly involved with student affairs. As COO, he is responsible for day-to-day business routine of the company including finance, IT, administration, and registrar.
Business Focus: Why have you decided to remain in the field of education? What is your specific role within the institution? Dick Woodward: I have been with AUA for seven years. In my tenure, I have seen hundreds of our graduates go on to do great things in the US and Canada. What makes this career so rewarding is that you are giving people the chance to fulfill their dreams of becoming physicians. When I see their smiles at commencement as they hold their MD degrees in their hands, that’s what makes me fulfilled. I am the Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management & Chief Operating Officer. That means I work in two areas: academics and operations. On the academic side, I oversee marketing and new student recruitment and I am regularly involved in student affairs. On the operations side, I am responsible for the day-to-day business routine of the university, which includes finance, IT, administration, and registrar. 70 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June2013 2013 70
BF: There is a perception among mainstream institutions that offshore institutions are diluting or lowering the standards of the medical field. How does AUA measure up to its mainstream counterparts or rebuff such beliefs? DW: Our curriculum is based on US medical schools, and we have a similar two-semester schedule. Our faculty is composed of professors that have taught in US medical schools as well as renowned universities abroad. Our Provost Dr. Seymour Schwartz wrote the essential textbook on surgery, which is still being used in US medical schools. With that said, we give our students more pre-clinical opportunities than many US medical schools. When our students graduate, they are more prepared for their residencies than are some of their US counterparts. Most of our graduates are filling primary care residencies; many of these residency slots are left unfilled by US medical school graduates. There have been articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal recently about the dearth of US medical school graduates joining the primary
American University Of Antigua
care field. In some areas of the US, people must drive over an hour to see a primary care physician. We are fulfilling a need that mainland schools are not. BF: There are a number of medical schools in the Caribbean, as well as on the island. Why should students consider AUA over the longer-established schools in the region? DW: To start, we are the only medical school in Antigua and one of the few in the Caribbean to be recognised by the Medical Board of California, approved by the New York State Education Department, and provisionally accredited by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions. Compared to other schools with all three of these qualifications, our tuition is much lower. We also have a high number of hospital affiliations in the US for clinical rotations. We strive to have an affordable tuition while providing a high-quality medical education. Also, if you think about it, we have only been around for nine years and managed to achieve these three qualifications that have taken decades for other Caribbean medical schools. Imagine what we can do in the next nine. BF: How well has AUA been able to integrate within the Antiguan environment, specifically, how well have students been able to adjust to Antiguan life? DW: Our students have really embraced living in Antigua. I know students have gone out to Jabberwock Beach to study and to help local residents clean up the beach. In fact, AUA’s cricket team usually plays against local teams on our cricket pitch. When our students feel homesick, a lot of them have found many of their favourite comfort foods at the Epicurean. Our students have managed to build a great community here that consistently gives back to Antigua. AUA’s AMSA branch holds an annual health fair to promote healthier living in Antigua, and our students have volunteered at numerous Antiguan organisations to assist in the prosperity of the island. It’s really become a second home for a lot of them. BF: How many Antiguans are currently enrolled in AUA? Are there a set number of places for Antiguan students? Are there scholarships available for Antiguan students? DW: We have 80 Antiguan students currently enrolled at AUA. We do not have a set number of places for Antiguan students. If they have the qualifications to enter our university, we evaluate them as we do any other prospect. However, we actively encourage Antiguans to join our university. We offer a scholarship for Antiguan citizens called the Antiguan Tuition Grant, which covers tuition for their entire medical education. Many of our Antiguan students have excelled at AUA. Some of them have secured residencies at the most prestigious hospitals in the world. One of our Antiguan graduates, Dr. Jasmine Riviere Marcelin, secured a residency at the Mayo Clinic.
BF: When recruiting, how does AUA select its prospective students? DW: We take a holistic approach to evaluating prospective students. First off, we do not require the MCAT for admissions. We require it only for matriculation. Studies have shown the MCAT has been generally ineffective in predicting personal and professional characteristics of future physicians. We want our students to become compassionate physicians, and the only way to see if an applicant can become one is by examining the entire candidate. Most important, we want to see that they have a passion for medicine and that they can thrive in a rigorous medical education program. Medical school is a serious commitment and we want to ensure that everyone who wants to enroll knows this before applying. BF: After completing studies at AUA, do students have to meet additional requirements to become a practicing professional? DW: Students have to fulfill the same requirements that US and Canadian medical school graduates do. Before they graduate, students have to pass the USMLE Steps 1 and 2, which qualifies them for the residency match. After they match, graduates go on to residency training in July. When they complete their residencies, they can go on to practice anywhere in the US or Canada. We currently have graduates practicing throughout the US and Canada. BF: AUA has moved from Friar’s Hill Road to Jabberwock Road. Are there future plans for further expansion? Is the new location now equipped with all modern amenities to facilitate the programmes offered? DW: Yes. We will have erected two new academic buildings by August/September and we will be expanding our tennis courts by the end of the year. These buildings will be flexible-use and include more classrooms to accommodate our expanding enrollment size. We also have plans for a vendors’ mall, which will allow local businesses to sell directly to AUA students on campus. Our state-of-the-art campus is one of the most modern in the Caribbean. The campus has universal Wi-Fi access and all the classrooms have built-in learning resources, including HD monitors. The classrooms also have Echo360 lecture capture integration, which allows our students to review their lectures long after they are over. We have a Simulation Lab that has some of the top medical simulators, including Harvey® and SimMan®. These resources help prepare students for clinical rotations early in their education and give them opportunities to use some of the latest medical technology available. The library is open 24 hours and contains computer terminals for student use and extensive online resources. Our campus has everything that medical students need and a little extra to facilitate their education. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 71 | 71
Expanding with Visions of Achievement When the American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine was established in 2004, AUA President Neal Simon and the founding group of American physicians and medical education professionals, with participation from Dr. Ramdas Pai of the world-renowned Manipal Education Group, created AUA as a comprehensive, cuttingedge university. Their vision was to be an active participant in helping to meet the health care needs of diverse communities in the United States and globally. That is why AUA is committed to breaking down the barriers that have prevented under-represented minorities from obtaining the medical education required for physician licensure in the US and Canada. AUA admits talented students from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. President Simon believes that the student body makes 72 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• May/June May/June 2013 2013 72
for a better medical education experience with a diverse student population. When AUA moved to its new US$60 million campus in 2009, it represented a major step forward for the university. In 2012, the build-out continued with two new lecture halls, 20 breakout study rooms, and a new student lounge. In 2013, there will be a US$20 million, totaling more than 17,000 sq. ft., expansion of the campus, including two new academic buildings, recreational facilities, and a vendors’ mall. Despite these campus expansions, AUA still believes that medical education is a partnership between the institution and its students. Classrooms have been built to foster an open dialogue between
American University Of Antigua
students and professors. Classes are accompanied with small breakout sessions to develop learner-teacher connections. Currently, the campus incorporates the latest digital learning technology, sophisticated simulation labs, and custom-designed laboratory facilities that give instant access to a vast array of medical resources. Simulators such as SimMan® 3G, SimBaby™, Harvey®, and a birthing simulator help prepare students for their clinical rotations. The classrooms’ integrated learning systems, such as Echo360 lecture capture and Blackboard Learn™, allow for highdefinition immersion instruction on or off campus. AUA recently completed the second phase of our campus expansion. The build-out included a third-floor library expansion, study space, new classrooms, and additional small breakout rooms. In addition, land has been set aside and architectural plans registered for student housing to be built on campus property.
As enrollment steadily increases, two new academic buildings are being constructed to accommodate the need for more classroom space. One of the academic buildings will include space set aside for flexible use. The buildings will also include a student union and a large hall. These buildings should be completed by the Fall 2013 class. There are more projects on the horizon that will help benefit Antiguan businesses. There will be a vendors’ mall on campus with space exclusively reserved for local businesses. This will give local businesses greater access to the AUA community and give AUA students a chance to get a taste of what Antigua has to offer. AUA is proud of its achievements; the recent additions to the new campus reflect its continued commitment to exceeding the educational needs of its students and continuing to further enrich the Antiguan community. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • May/June2013 • May/June2013 | 73 | 73
American University Of Antigua STAYING ATOP OF THE MEDICAL FIELD is a US$100 million development that incorporates state-of-the-art diagnostic and operating room equipment. It has served the Antiguan community since 2009. The facility features 185 beds, five operating theaters, an electronic records system, a 16-slice CT scanner, and a full endoscopy suite. AUA students receive early clinical training from MSJMC that allows them to be more fully prepared for clinical rotations when they move to the United States.
American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine is at the forefront of technology and medical research in the Caribbean. AUA’s campus was built with the latest advances in medical school technology. Universal high-speed Wi-Fi service allows students to work from their laptops, tablets, or smart phones throughout campus. The library includes a vast collection of electronic resources including thousands of articles, research papers, best-practice guidelines, and more. Any of these can be accessed from dozens of computer terminals set aside exclusively for student use. Each classroom has HD televisions, which allow students to follow their professor’s presentations from anywhere in the room. At AUA, students can take the classroom anywhere with an Internet connection. Blackboard Learn™ gives students access to lecture notes and additional materials to extend their education. Echo360 lecture capture service allows students to re-experience their classes. When they study for their exams, for example, they can replay the lectures to see if they missed anything. AUA includes a suite of high-tech laboratories that make students feel as if they are already participating in their clinical rotations. The Center for Simulated Learning is equipped with the latest training simulators for students and physicians, including SimMan® 3G, SimBaby™, Harvey®, and a birthing simulator. These simulators include the latest interactive software, incorporating challenging clinical scenarios. The Anatomy Lab includes computer stations and video systems that provide instant access to Adams Atlas, V.H.Dissector™, and prerecorded prosect demos. These systems can also project lectures and live demos on the five HD monitors. AUA is proud to be affiliated with one of the most modern hospitals in the Caribbean: Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC). MSJMC 74 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
Beyond Antigua, students and faculty have been leading a number of different research initiatives in the United States and elsewhere. In 2012, students presented their research at distinguished conferences across the United States, including, but not limited to, the New York Osteopathic Medical Society Eastern Regional Conference, the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual National Meeting, the American College of Physicians Regional Conference in Baltimore, and many others. Not only did they participate in these conferences, but students have also had their research published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, Pediatric Clinics of North America, and The Neurologist. AUA student Prathap Jayaram was the first author of research on hemodynamics (blood movement) and the effects of an anomaly of the vertebral artery, a major artery in the neck. The project was presented at two international conferences: the American Association of Anatomists annual meeting in San Diego and the American Association of Clinical Anatomists annual meeting in Toronto. Other projects by AUA students have included research on topics such as anesthesiology (in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic), emergency medicine (in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic), and the cellular basis of diseases (in cooperation with Tulane University). AUA Provost Dr. Seymour Schwartz has published extensively. He is probably best known for his textbook Principles of Surgery, which is considered by many academics to be the definitive textbook on the practice of surgery and is still used in most U.S. medical schools. In 2012, he co-authored the book Holystic Medicine: The Patron Saints of Medicine, an insightful examination of the patron saints of medicine and why they are associated with certain diseases or conditions. AUA faculty members have long established themselves in the international medical community through their groundbreaking research and publications. In 2012, faculty members have presented at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., and the Blackboard BbWorld Conference in New Orleans.
American University Of Antigua
Professor Deborah Gerrity presented “A Biopsychological Approach to Prevent Transmission of HIV” at the AIDS conference and Professor James Rice presented “Examination Challenges in a Caribbean Medical School and the Study of ‘Decision Fatigue’ in Examinations.” Dr. Naira Chobanyan, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, has more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, The Journal of Carcinogenesis, The Journal of Evidence-Based Oncology, and The European Journal of Oncology. Chair and Professor of Pharmacology Dr. Hani Morcos completed a research paper on “The Effects of Simvastatin (Zocor) on the Memory of Alzheimer’s Disease [Patients],” which made headlines in The Washington Post as well as on several health news sites in the United States and around the world. He found that nNOS (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) levels were significantly higher in the hippocampus and cortex statin, which is the result of high cholesterol. As AUA expands its campus, it continues to encourage innovation in its technology, faculty, and students. AUA can only expect further greatness. BusinessFocus • May/June2013
INTERVIEW WITH AUA’S SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER DICK WOODWARD Administration in any institution is always a challenging task staying abreast of the operations of the institution, its image, marketing and of course recruitment. Once can only imagine the magnitude of responsibility and tasks that befall the administration of any university. Taking the opportunity to peer into the administrative role of an institution, Business Focus received the opportunity to speak with Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management & Chief Operating Officer Dick Woodward, who has been at AUA for seven years. He now works in two areas: academics as SVP for Enrollment Management and operations as COO. As SVP for Enrollment Management, he is responsible for overseeing marketing, new student recruitment, and is regularly involved with student affairs. As COO, he is responsible for day-to-day business routine of the company including finance, IT, administration, and registrar.
Business Focus: Why have you decided to remain in the field of education? What is your specific role within the institution? Dick Woodward: I have been with AUA for seven years. In my tenure, I have seen hundreds of our graduates go on to do great things in the US and Canada. What makes this career so rewarding is that you are giving people the chance to fulfill their dreams of becoming physicians. When I see their smiles at commencement as they hold their MD degrees in their hands, that’s what makes me fulfilled. I am the Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management & Chief Operating Officer. That means I work in two areas: academics and operations. On the academic side, I oversee marketing and new student recruitment and I am regularly involved in student affairs. On the operations side, I am responsible for the day-to-day business routine of the university, which includes finance, IT, administration, and registrar. BF: There is a perception among mainstream institutions that offshore institutions are diluting or lowering the standards of the medical field. How does AUA measure up to its mainstream counterparts or rebuff such beliefs? 76 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
DW: Our curriculum is based on US medical schools, and we have a similar two-semester schedule. Our faculty is composed of professors that have taught in US medical schools as well as renowned universities abroad. Our Provost Dr. Seymour Schwartz wrote the essential textbook on surgery, which is still being used in US medical schools. With that said, we give our students more pre-clinical opportunities than many US medical schools. When our students graduate, they are more prepared for their residencies than are some of their US counterparts. Most of our graduates are filling primary care residencies; many of these residency slots are left unfilled by US medical school graduates. There have been articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal recently about the dearth of US medical school graduates joining the primary care field. In some areas of the US, people must drive over an hour to see a primary care physician. We are fulfilling a need that mainland schools are not. BF: There are a number of medical schools in the Caribbean, as well as on the island. Why should students consider AUA over the longer-established schools in the region? DW: To start, we are the only medical school in Antigua and one of the few in the Caribbean to be recognized by the Medical Board of
American University Of Antigua
California, approved by the New York State Education Department, and provisionally accredited by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions. Compared to other schools with all three of these qualifications, our tuition is much lower. We also have a high number of hospital affiliations in the US for clinical rotations. We strive to have an affordable tuition while providing a high-quality medical education. Also, if you think about it, we have only been around for nine years and managed to achieve these three qualifications that have taken decades for other Caribbean medical schools. Imagine what we can do in the next nine. BF: When recruiting, how does AUA select its prospective students? DW: We take a holistic approach to evaluating prospective students. First off, we do not require the MCAT for admissions. We require it only for matriculation. Studies have shown the MCAT has been generally ineffective in predicting personal and professional characteristics of future physicians. We want our students to become compassionate physicians, and the only way to see if an applicant can become one is by examining the entire candidate. Most important, we want to see that they have a passion for medicine and that they can thrive in a rigorous medical education program. Medical school is a serious commitment and we want to ensure that everyone who wants to enroll knows this before applying. BF: After completing studies at AUA, do students have to meet additional requirements to become a practicing professional? DW: Students have to fulfill the same requirements that US and Canadian medical school graduates do. Before they graduate, students have to pass the USMLE Steps 1 and 2, which qualifies them for the residency match. After they match, graduates go on to residency training in July. When they complete their residencies, they can go on to practice anywhere in the US or Canada. We currently have graduates practicing throughout the US and Canada.
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June2013
78 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• April/May May/June2013 2013 78
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF ANTIGUA COLLEGE OF MEDICINE http://www.auamed.org
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
Antigua & Barbuda Stands out at Cruise Shipping Miami
Representatives from Antigua and Barbuda recently attended the Cruise Shipping Miami (CSM), trade and convention show in Miami, Florida, one of the largest cruise trade events internationally, showcasing the world’s leading cruise destinations. Antigua and Barbuda continued to stand out as one of the Caribbean’s leading cruise ports of call, as the destination received excellent reviews on its newly redesigned booth display. The booth, which was designed by the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, featured unique selling points and attractions of the destination that would appeal to the cruise market, and was impressive to numerous participants as well as trade partners at the show. Leading cruise industry partners were also impressed with the upcoming plans the Antigua & Barbuda delegation shared for enhancing the country’s cruise tourism product. The island’s official delegation was led by the Hon. John Maginley, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr. Conrad Pole, General Manager Antigua Pier Group, Mr. Colin James, CEO Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA), Mr. Nathan Dundas, President Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association, Mr. Sylvester Brown, Chairman St. John’s Development Corporation, Mrs. Charmaine Spencer, Marketing Manager (ABTA), Mr. Dave Joseph, Owner of Wadadli Adventure Park and local tour operators from Coral Island Tours and Wadadli Cats. The delegates conducted a series of productive meetings with several executives of the cruise lines, which included: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL), FCCA Operations Committee, Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America, 80 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
Norwegian Cruise Lines, MCS Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Lines. Coming out of his meeting with cruise line officials Minister Maginley noted, “The biggest challenge we face as a cruise destination going forward in this industry is trying to encourage passengers to come off the ships to spend more on-island. We have seen a notable increase in the average ‘Crew Spend’ up from $54USD to $74USD, however ‘Passenger Spend’ has decreased slightly. We have to continue to diversify our product offering so visitors will participate in more on-island activities and events”. It was evident at CSM that within the cruise industry the destination continues to put forward a strong product. ABTA CEO, Colin James, credited this to the on-going successful one-on-one meetings with cruise executives and also to the increased visibility of the destination within the cruise magazines. The cruise lines were pleased to hear of the upcoming improvements for the Port of St. John’s. Sylvester Browne, Chairman St. John’s Development Corporation shared the designs and new plans for the city to the excitement of all the cruise lines. The trade show provided good opportunities for the tourism officials to promote and share product enhancements. As noted by Mr. Nathan Dundas, President of Antigua & Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association, “CSM presented a great opportunity to reconnect with our cruise line partners and offered the destination the chance to share specific information on our beach enhancement initiatives and improved tours and attractions for visiting passengers”.
Beaches Project on Steady Ground
The Beaches project by hotel magnate Gordon Butch Stewart is actively on the negotiation table and is among several capital projects expected to spur economic activity in the country this year, Minister of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration Hon. Harold Lovell said. Minister Lovell said another round of discussion took place recently, and he reported to the media, during the Fiscal Quarterly Review, “I have to say those discussions are looking very hopeful.” The minister said the current trajectory suggests a year-end start. He listed other projects, such as the State Insurance Corporation funded construction of a new home for the Treasury Department, which is under way; and the ADOMS office complex, due to begin in two-to-three weeks as investments that would stimulate the economy. Minster Lovell also said there is also expectation that the real estate option of the Citizenship by Investment Programme, which is awaiting the governor-general’s assent, will be utilised. The CIP should be operationalised no later than the first half of July, Minister Lovell said. Asked about the Willoughby Bay proposal, whose perceived delay was highlighted by the investor in the press this week, Minister Lovell said investment is a balancing act that must take into account the country’s and the investors’ interests. The minister told the media two groups are claiming ownership of the 28 acres in question. “On the one hand, there is Elvis Wyre, who
claims to be the rightful person to put this project forward. On the other hand, there is Dr Alvin Edwards, who also claims to be the person duly appointed to carry out any project or any development on this land. You would appreciate that under the circumstances, we must proceed with caution,” the minister said.
Russian Diplomats visit Barbuda
He also disclosed that the Wyre faction, which is proposing the development, including a hotel, water park and championship golf course, has requested 300 acres of Crown lands.
“Antigua and Barbuda, in the past, has had good experiences and bad experiences,” Minister Lovell said. “Judgment must be based on mature deliberations and experience. We want investment but, at the same time, we cannot sell ourselves short.”
Local Barbuda officials Mr. Kelvin Punter and Mrs. Dorcas Beazer-Williams, were on hand for the Barbudan welcome. Barbuda also hosted a day of racing, as sailing participants sailed to the sister isle. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. John Maginley noted, “Russian Business Sailing Week continues to be a prominent feature to Antigua’s sailing calendar and it grows year upon year. This has been one of our more strategic collaborations, as it showcases the destination’s world-class sailing conditions but also allows Antigua and Barbuda to build on its relations with Russia, which is now one of the world’s leading emerging markets.”
Minister Lovell said, in that regard, government would have to ascertain if 300 acres of adjoining land were available, and, if so, would it be prudent to make same available. The minister acknowledged that the project could be beneficial, but he said due diligence is paramount.
primarily from Russia.
Russian Ambassador Vladimir Polenov and Russian Consul Andrey Dryakin were greeted and presented with a pictorial souvenir of Barbuda on a recent courtesy visit to Barbuda. The Russian delegates were on island for the recently concluded Russian Business Sailing Week of activities. The sailing event, now in its fourth year, takes place every year in March and attracts as many as 200 high net worth business people
While in Antigua, the businessmen paid courtesy calls to the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Tourism and Leader of the Opposition all of whom gave their commitment to work with the group.
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
MILL REEF DONATES TO MSJMC
The Mount St. John’s Medical Centre received a big boost for its Life Support Training Program with a donation of USD 12,130 from the Mill Reef Fund for the purchase of the necessary equipment for classes in Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. The equipment will be used in hospital training programmes for both clinical and non-clinical staff; training that is vitally important for both respiratory and cardiac arrests. Musette Morgan, member of the Mill Reef Fund commented: “The Mill Reef Fund is pleased to lend MSJMC our support as they continually seek to improve professional training and to provide services to those in need of medical assistance. Equipment and training for Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support are essential for saving lives here in Antigua and Barbuda and we commend the medical centre for establishing this as a priority.” In accepting the donation, Cheryl Weaver, Risk Manager at MSJMC said, “If the right kind of treatment can be given to a heart attack victim within seconds after he or she is stricken, the chances are good that a life can be saved.” Weaver added, “In-hospital cardiac arrest is an emergency situation which requires teamwork and the appropriate sequential actions to rescue the patient. The hospital has been offering this training since 2009”. Jacqueline Jno-Baptiste, Clinical Education Manager at MSJMC said, “Having a core in-house programme can only translate into better care for our patients and families - Our plan is to work through AUA for them to provide certification for our trainers who will in turn train others in the hospital. This training saves lives and that’s what we’re in the business of doing.” 82 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
DORBRENE O’MARDE PUBLISHES HIS FIRST NOVEL
Dorbrene E. O’Marde regards himself as a citizen of the Caribbean. He is known as a cultural activist who has been an actor, playwright and director; has penned several poems and short stories; written on the social and political issues of the region - including extensive articles on cricket and education, and has crafted cultural policies. He has written calypsoes for many leading artists, conducted writing/judging workshops and judged calypso competitions in Antigua, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla. Dorbrene finally found the time and patience to produce two important pieces of work in 2012. The first, a novel ‘SEND OUT YOU HAND’ which he describes as a contemporary political love story was published by Hansib Publications/London. The second is a full length biography of King Short Shirt [Sir McLean Emanuel] titled ‘NOBODY GO RUN ME’, in celebration of that artiste’s 70th birthday and his 50th anniversary in calypso performance. Publication is scheduled for May, 2013. Earlier this year, Dorbrene was joined by relatives, friends, and writers at the historic museum of Antigua and Barbuda for the launch of the novel. One of his mentors, Dr. Cuthwin Lake dubbed the novel as “exciting reading and mature thinking wrapped in a Caribbean flavor”. He suggested that it “affords an unambiguous road map if not a blueprint of that way forward into an economic, social and cultural wholeness, underpinned by strong, bold progressive visionary political leadership and a programme of simultaneous regional education and sensitisation to achieve true independence and sovereignty”. He reminded the audience that this dramatist and cultural commentator was actually a student
of science who later became involved in hospital administration and health systems management, making important contributions to the development of systems and policies throughout the region. Feature speaker at the launch - avid reader, economist and sports commentator, Franki Mwalimu Kwame Tafari (King Franki) alerted the audience to the fact that “there is a certain immediacy, a certain now-ness emanating from ‘SEND OUT YOU HAND’ that gives it a sort of futuristic, almost prophetic aura. Dorbrene is not writing to chronicle the past but to posit concrete ideas towards the unity that is the inevitability of Caribbean existence; in fact he is more than sending out his hand, he is standing up and being counted in the pantheon of those who have fought dearly for the unity of our beloved region. Implicitly, he is aware of the pitfalls that have beset previous attempts at unity and offers then not so much of a solution, but a viable vehicle that can start us on the journey towards that dearly desired goal”. ‘SEND OUT YOU HAND’ is available from the author, local bookstores and at KING PROGRESS MUSIC SHOP in the VC Bird International Airport.
The Value Every Moment commercial reignited the LIME brand in Jamaica and across the region last year and features international recording sensation IEye. The vibrant, youthful and catchy television commercial received rave reviews by the general public. The Jamaican market achieved increased mobile subscriber base of over 100,000 and a massive upswing swing in brand affinity. “As the region’s value brand, our goal is to delight our customers through our messages and products. The entire LIME team is delighted to be recognised by the industry as we continue to strive for excellence. We thank our agency partners for their great work,” said Grace Silvera, Regional VP, Marketing and Communications, LIME.
DIGICEL OPENS REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS IN JAMAICA
O’Marde is presently working on a compilation of his essays and speeches tentatively titled ‘IF YOU LOVE YOUR CHILDREN…’ which he hopes will be available by the end of this year.
LIME WINS REGIONAL ADVERTISING AWARDS
After opening its doors to over 1300 employees in its Group and Jamaica operations, Digicel has now officially opened its Regional Headquarters in Downtown Kingston, Jamaica.
LIME has copped gold in the advertising industry’s regional award for its popular “Value Every Moment” commercial. A first for the company, the brand secured the prestigious ADDY gold award in the television category and silver in the radio category. In addition, the company was also awarded another silver award, for its recent Christmas Jingle. Presented by the Caribbean Advertising Federation’s (CAF), the ADDY Awards are the advertising industry’s most comprehensive and prestigious competition recognising creative excellence across all media categories.
Since its launch in Jamaica in 2001, the Digicel Group and Jamaica offices operated from two separate offices in New Kingston. When the company decided to combine both operations under one roof and set out to find a location for its Regional Headquarters, its Chairman and Founder, Denis O’Brien picked Jamaica – where Digicel started its operations nearly 12 years ago. With Digicel known for always seizing the opportunity to do things differently, its design team was tasked with conceiving a facility that, as much as possible, made use of alternative energies and was environmentally friendly. This move is also in line with the company’s global commitment to green initiatives, and what has resulted today, is the “greenest office building in the Caribbean”, which makes use of solar and wind power, and other environmentally-friendly and energy-saving features. BusinessFocus • May/June2013
HEALTH & WELLNESS
BLEPHAROPLASTY (Eyelid Surgery)
THE BUSINESS OF BEAUTY IN AN ANTI-AGING CULTURE – Part 2
Photo courtesy Frank Steig, M.D.
By Avonelle H. Pole
Dr. Richard O. Gregory, on his website www.instituteforaestheticsurgery. com, writes that “our appearance affects the way we feel about ourselves, how others view us, how we perform in our job, even our social life.” In this anti-aging culture, men and women are experiencing the life-changing effects of plastic surgery, redefining beauty and the saying “beauty is only skin-deep”. Plastic cosmetic surgery has come a long way. The advancement in technology alone provides a broad range of facial surgical options and rejuvenation procedures that are safe and effective, and women (as well as men) are choosing a combination of these options to correct or enhance their looks. As we age, our skin undergoes a number of changes affecting its texture, volume and appearance. What can we do to help reverse this? There are many options that deliver excellent results and make the process of aging easier to tolerate. Plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Stieg, whom we met in Part 1 of “The Business of Beauty”, and Jenny Kim, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Dermatology Division at the University of California, both recommend fillers or lasers as well as high quality skin care products. “Injectable like Botox, Hyaluronic 84 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
fillers Collagen, Acid
(Restylane) and Juvéderm for the aging face, are now designed to create a fuller, more youthful appearance, instead of targeting only wrinkles or fine lines,” Dr. Kim writes in Science Daily. “In addition, facial rejuvenation with lasers is now more targeted, resulting in quicker results and less downtime. Couple these treatments with the wide range of high-quality skin care products that are now widely available, and patients can see dramatic results for many problem areas.” While skin fillers are the most widely used procedures to rejuvenate the skin, the newest fillers work as volumisers to replace the plumpness of the face lost with aging. Similar to how a balloon deflates over time, the face loses its roundness or fullness — the sign of a youthful appearance — with age. Dr Stieg uses the example of an egg to illustrate this point. Dermatologists are also using Hyaluronic Acid to add volume (fullness) or change the shape of the lips, and soften signs of aging around mouth. Results typically last about 6 months or longer. They recommend not overdoing it, and advise people to try to be realistic with their expectations as the lips need to be proportional to other facial features. Lip augmentation is not recommended for people with severe sun damage or deep wrinkles, those allergic to Hyaluronic Acid products, or those who have a history of severe or multiple allergies, bleeding disorders, are on blood thinners or aspirin therapy. Although most facial volume loss occurs after age 40, some people start noticing this change in their late 30s. When this happens, areas of the face that were once full, get depressed and are made more prominent by shadowing or darkening, making the face look older. Dr. Stieg agrees that sun protection products do make a difference, not only to initial colouration, but as to long-term skin conditions. He strongly recommends good basic skin care — sun protection, moisturisation, nutrition, not smoking, and also daily skin care with agents that actually maintain good skin thickness and smoothness.
“When those things are done, usually one can avoid the more aggressive surgical, mechanical or laser procedures,” Stieg insists. “And when it finally comes to the surgical facial rejuvenation procedures like facelift or removing upper eyelid skin to prevent drooping, less surgical intervention is needed, and you get a more predictable and longer lasting result.” He admits that he rarely recommends laser treatment, and has not used mechanical dermabrasion for facial aging in over 20 years. New laser technologies offer another alternative to rejuvenate the skin with fewer side effects than earlier lasers. Laser Skin Resurfacing is a procedure that uses lasers to create a new, smooth skin appearance. First, the face is cleansed of oils and an antibiotic ointment is applied. The laser is then used to “ablate” or destroy the outer layers of skin which have been damaged by age, sun, acne, wrinkles, or pigmentation problems or spots. The destruction of the older layers of skin prompts the body to generate a new layer of skin cells which are unaffected by the previous skin condition. It’s important to point out that some lasers may be inappropriate for darker skin complexions. “Here again,” Dr. Stieg explains, that “while the CO2 lasers — one of the earliest gas lasers to be developed — might have a more dramatic effect, they are associated with discoloration and scar effects in the 32 per cent range. The “new” low energy lasers have either low-end results or some unacceptable complications. There are some really great results, but there is a fairly narrow therapeutic window, and your laser surgeon needs to be very well skilled and experienced.”
Dr. Kim envisions that as laser technology continues to evolve and provide dermatologists with more options, lasers could even produce significant skin tightening or effectively target oil glands to improve acne, decrease oily skin and reduce large pores. So what does the future look like? Beauty companies are increasingly determined to bridge the gap between make-up and skin care by creating formulas infused with collagen, DNA-repair enzymes and retinol derivatives. Online treatment visualisers now allow patients to see their possible results of Botox cosmetic or Juvéderm before they even have a treatment. And you no longer need an appointment to have your Botox — many treatment centres are offering “express” services to their customers, and you are in and out in 20 minutes! Another area of research for its potential anti-aging properties is stem cell technology. While this is an exciting area of research, the efficacy and safety of this technology has not been tested in large clinical studies. Some women are also turning to cryotherapy or freezing of the skin to look younger. Two minutes of extreme cold for ten minutes will cost you $65 a session. And the newest filler introduced and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for facial rejuvenation — Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) — is said to restore facial volume and promote collagen production, lasting for up to a year! Avonelle H. Pole is a Public Relations, Marketing and Events Management Consultant. Part 1 of this article appeared in the February/March issue of Business Focus.
BusinessFocus • May/June2013
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Widespread participation for consultations on Convention on the Rights of the Child The youth had their say on March 20, day two of the public consultation to finalise the country’s second, third and fourth reports on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). A small group gathered at Simon Bolivar Centre, with Dr. Ermina Osoba, the CRC consultant, Chief Welfare Officer Cindy Price and other social workers, to discuss the United Nations Convention and its implication for strengthening policies pertaining to the general welfare of the youth in Antigua and Barbuda. The inclusion was welcomed by one 16 year old, who noted that the youth are often absent from the discourse about matters affecting them. A day earlier, adult stakeholders examined the document, suggesting enhancements, noting missing data and inaccurate information, Antigua and Barbuda ratified the convention in 1993. There was subsequent ratification of optional protocols, including
Heritage Quay, St.John’s , Antigua, West Indies • 562-5301 86 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
the Convention on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the convention concerning the prohibition and immediate action for the elimination on the worst forms of child labour. The second, third and fourth Consolidated Periodic Report will seek to indicate, as far as possible, the gains made in implementing the principles and provisions since the initial reporting period, between 2004 and the preparation of the report in 2013. The deadline for submission is May 31. “The report has to be sent to cabinet for approval before it can be submitted to UNICEF, for review to ascertain whether Antigua and Barbuda has met any of the recommendations from the concluding observations,” Chief Welfare Officer Cindy Price said.
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June2013
events2013 events 2011
REGIONAL TRADE SHOWS AND CONFERENCES
IF YOU HAVE MISSED THIS YEAR’S EVENTS, ENSURE TO PENCIL PLANS FOR ATTENDING NEXT YEAR. LOOK OUT FOR NEW DATES.
BARBADOS MANUFACTURERS EXHIBITION (BMEX) 2011
THE CURTAIN BLUFF FANTASY TENNIS CAMP 10 -13 June 2011 Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre, Bridgetown, Barbados BMEX is the premier annual exhibion for the Barbados Manufacturers Associaon to promote products April 29 to May 3, 2013 and services “Made in Barbados” and is an opportunity for Barbadian and Caribbean Manufacturers and Three former touring pros -- Tracy Austin, Taylor Dent and Johan Kriek -- will headline the first annual entrepreneurs to establish garner links. Curtain Bluff Fantasy Tennisand Camp nextnew spring. Designed for active adult tennis players ranging in skillsFor further info: www.bmex.bb from recreational to tournament level, the event will include five days of world class instruction and play, a welcome party, tennis exhibition and ample opportunities to enjoy the island of Antigua. For more&information visit http://www.curtainbluff.com/ TRADE INVESTMENT CONVENTION (TIC) 2011
June 15-18 2011 • Hya� Regency • Port of Spain, Trinidad Business Opportuni�es begin in Trinidad and Tobago at the Crossroads of the Americas! The Trade & Investment Conven�on (TIC) is the Caribbean’s largest business-to-business event. TIC brings together manufacturers, service providers, exporters, buyers, distributors, wholesalers and ANNUAL CARIBBEAN SHIPPING EXECUTIVES CONFERENCE investors in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean’s largest economy. It’s a unique forum that really works! TIC connects Buyers and Sellers to create new business partnerships! More than US$400 million May 13 to 15, 2013 in deals over the last decade! For further info: www.�c-�.com 12th Annual, Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference Freeport, The Bahamas CARIBBEAN FASHION WEEK (CFW) For Further information visit http://www.caribbeanshipping.org
18 - 21 June 2011 Naonal Indoor Sports Centre, Jamaica The Caribbean region’s largest, best produced, most recognised and internaonally respected fashion event. For further info: www.caribbeanfashionweek.com
INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTSEXHIBITION OF THE CARIBBEAN (ICAC) BMEX BARBADOS MANUFACTURERS 29TH ANNUAL CARIBBEAN CONFERENCE
June 27 to 30 BMEX Manufacturers Exhibition 23 – 252013 June- Barbados 2011 Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica Innovation through inspiration... An annual gathering of over 500 accounng and finance professionals and business leaders from the BMEX continues to focus on providing opportunities for local manufacturers to display and promote Caribbean to be hosted by the Ins�tute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ). The conference products while increasing business and consumer awareness in the local, regional and international martheme, “Third to First, Going the Distance”, will highlight the cri�cal issues that need to be addressed ket. An added opportunity is the launching and/or conduction of research on new products. if accounng and finance professionals in the region are to remain relevant in a changing global VENUE: Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St Michael environment. For Further information visit http://www.bmex.bb
For further info:www.icac.org.jm
TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN 22-26 June 2011 Hya Regency, Miami, Florida The 2011 edion Taste of the Caribbean is expected to be a much improved and larger event with TRADE AND of INVESTMENT CONVENTION more teams, a consumer oriented food fair, greater desnaon markeng opportunies, television June 12 tonew 15, 2013 coverage, compeon categories and the involvement of more junior chefs. Hyatt Regency For further info:Trinidad www.caribbeanhotelassociaon.com The Trade and Investment Convention is the region’s biggest business-to business event, bringing together manufacturers, service providers, exporters, buyers, distributors, wholesalers and investors at a CANTO – 27th ANNUAL CONFERENCE & TRADE EXHIBITION unique forum. 10-13 July 2011 Toraricahttp://www.ttma.com/events/trade_investment_convention_2013/ Hotel, Paramaribo, Suriname For Further information
The Caribbean Associaon of Naonal Telecommunicaon Organisaons (CANTO) was founded in 1985 as a non-profit associaon of telephone operang companies in the Caribbean. Now with over 104 members in 31 countries, CANTO is the leading telecommunicaons trade organisaon in the Caribbean and is also recognised internaonally for its leadership in the industry. For further info: www.canto.org 88 |
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
MAJOR MOVES Marlon Rawlins has taken up the position of Financial Sector Expert with the World Bank in Washington. Rawlins is the former Country Manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia, and was the first Antiguan to be appointed to the position in the Bank’s history in Antigua. As a Financial Sector Expert, Rawlins’s duties will include providing guidance to a team of project managers, whose focus is to strengthen financial sectors in low to middle-income countries around the world. He will join the FIRST Initiative team whose role is to support economic growth and poverty reduction in low to middle income countries by promoting robust and diverse financial sectors. Rawlins is a graduate of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Accounting. He is also a winner of the British Chevening Scholarship which he took up in 2002 to pursue a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in International Banking and Finance at University of Birmingham. The banker has also worked as an examiner at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and as the country manager of RBTT, Antigua. Rawlins is also a founding member of Myst Mas’ troupe, which started in 2008, the same year he served as chairman of the Carnival Development Committee.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has elected a new president and vice-president. J a m a i c a n businessman Dave Cameron has been elected president of the West Indies Cricket Board, at the Annual General Meeting. Cameron, who previously served as vice-president, won 7-5 to ensure the change of guard in one of the Caribbean’s most prestigious bodies.
His running mate Emmanuel Nanthan, the Windward Islands Cricket Board chief, also took the post of vice-president after beating Barbados Cricket Association president Joel Garner, 8-4. “I am happy and feel extremely blessed to be leading this august body this afternoon,” Cameron told a media conference afterward. “As you know, the election process has been a long one … I travelled my Kingston to Georgetown to ensure that I was able to address the concerns of our stakeholders. “As Emmanuel and I take over the West Indies Cricket Board, we take it over with very, very lofty goals in our minds but also with the understanding of the reason we are here and what everybody in the region is looking forward to.” Cameron comes to the post with over ten years of WICB experience, he campaigned on promises to improve the Board’s financial viability and increase the involvement of the region’s corporate sector. He said he was now prepared for this challenge as well as that of uniting West Indies cricket and charting a path for the success of the regional team. Cameron, at age 42, and Nanthan, 45, represent two of the youngest ever leaders of West Indies cricket.
Alvin G. Edwards, M.D. an Ophthalmologist at MSJMC has been appointed as the new Medical Director at MSJMC. In his new position, Dr. Edwards, in addition to his regular specialist duties, is now responsible for managing the physicians in the hospital as well as working with the management team to continue to develop and implement standards of medical practice and patient care and supporting a positive patient experience in the hospital.
said: “I’ve always enjoyed working at Mount St. John’s and I feel well equipped to take on the role of Medical Director. I’m excited about the possibilities and I’m really looking forward to continuing the good work which has already started at the hospital. I want to build on those strengths to provide our community the best possible care we can give.” Dr. Edwards takes over from Dr. Dane Abbott who served in the role of Medical Director for the past two years. Apart from his work in healthcare Dr. Edwards has a wide interest in the arts and has written a few (unpublished) plays and acted on stage and in film. He is also the author of the book “Once in an Island”.
Senator Mervyn Richards is the former Director of Sports and has served as President of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association and National Youth Football Coach for Antigua and Barbuda. Senator Richards who has pursued studies at the University of Canberra in Australia and the Centre of Excellence/Football in Trinidad and Tobago, in 2012 received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Sports. He is also a National Awardee for Public Service in Sports. He has represented Antigua and Barbuda and the Leeward Islands in both football and cricket. Senator Richards is also a trained telecommunications technician having studied and worked in a supervisory position for Northern Telecom in the USA.
Speaking after his appointment, Dr. Edwards BusinessFocus • May/June2013
MAJOR MOVES Senator Richard Lewis, a former Assistant Director of Education and Director of the Education Management Information System EMIS, is the holder of a Master of Science Degree in Management Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Management Studies. Senator Lewis who co-authored the CaFSET (Antigua) Office Workbook – An Integrated Approach to Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint Plus used in schools across the island, is a trained teacher in Information Technology and a former lecturer at the University of Technology in Jamaica and UWI School of Continuing Studies in St. John’s.
served as a reporter, news editor, and head of News and Current Affairs at ABS Television.
an elite group of professionals who are dedicated to serving their clients, customers and industry.
Senator. Nicholas, who holds a Master’s of Arts Degree in Journalism Studies from the University of Wales (Cardiff) and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of the West Indies, is presently pursuing an Executive MBA with the UWI Cave Hill School of Business.
Terence is currently employed as a Technical Underwriter with the Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd in St. John’s Antigua; a position he has held since December 2007. His introduction to the insurance industry came with the First Domestic Industry and Commerce Insurance Company from 2003 – 2005. He then went into broadcasting for a brief one-year stint, before returning to the Insurance Industry in 2007. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Antigua State College and, writing under a pseudonym, is a regular contributor to the Business Focus Magazine.
In 1999, the new senator was the recipient of the British Chevening Scholarship and is a distinguished past president of the Kiwanis Club of St. John’s. She currently serves as Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and a member of the Regional Council of Anglican Churches and member of the Anglican Clergy Appointment Advisory Committee of the Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba.
Senator. Shawn Marisa Nicholas has been named as a Senator in the Upper House of Parliament, filling the vacancy created by the revocation of the Instrument of Appointment of Senator Elmore Charles.
D. TERENCE DUBLIN has been awarded the professional i n s u r a n c e designation Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®) by The Institutes. This announcement was made by Peter L. Miller, CPCU, president and chief executive officer. The Institutes are an educational organisation that confers the CPCU designation on persons who complete eight rigorous courses and examinations and meet its ethics and experience requirements. All CPCUs are required to maintain and to improve their professional knowledge, skills and competence through their commitment to The Institutes’ CPCU Code of Professional Conduct.
Ms. Nicholas is the former Marketing and Public Relations Executive of the Antigua Commercial Bank and has worked as Public Relations Manager of the Medical Benefits Scheme. She also
The CPCU professional designation is internationally recognised as the propertycasualty insurance and risk management industry’s premier credential. Those who hold the CPCU designation are among
Senator Lewis currently works as an IT Consultant and is a Director of the Board of Directors of the Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank. He is also Chairman of the UPP St. John’s Rural West Constituency Branch.
BusinessFocus • May/June 2013
Terence is a graduate of the 1996 class of the Princess Margaret Secondary School and the 1998 class of the Antigua State College’s A-Level Department. In 2001, he obtained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (B. Sc.) in Computer Science and Accounting from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. In 2008, he joined the alumni of the Cave Hill School of Business by achieving his Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA). The year 2011 saw him acquiring his Caribbean Certificate of Insurance Practice (CCOIP) designation from the Association of Insurance Institutes of the Caribbean (AIIC). Terence also holds a certificate of proficiency in Conversational Spanish (2009) from the Instituto Venezolano para la Cultura y la Cooperación. Mr. Dublin is a member of the Insurance Institute of Antigua and Barbuda (IIAB) where he has served since 2009. He currently functions in the capacity of the President of the IIAB and is the author of the Caribbean Insurance Administration Certificate Manual (2010) commissioned by the AIIC.
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATION NAME OF COMPANY
SNUBA OF ANTIGUA CORP
CoCo H20 LIMITED
ENGAGE IN THE MARKETING AND SALE OF COCONUT WATER Household items Tourist resort development in Barbuda Developing, marketing & selling of housing & real estate & development of every description and nature Manufacturing & constructing buildings & structures of every description with a patented bau panel systems technology Design & construction of various structures Accounting business
Aaon O’ Brien Donna O’Brien Hollis Walker
Home Perfect Ltd Black Opal Resorts ltd Chapa Bau Limited
Bau Panel Systems Antigua Limited
Construction Innovation & Design Limited (CIDL) Cj Associates Ltd Caribbean Yacht Coatings Ltd All Around Antigua Ltd Cannies Holding Company Limited
Candy Planet Ltd Grand Bay Entertainment Limited Beauty Sea-Spa (Anu) Inc Karema Ltd
Exenzric Digital Inc Gaya Limited Tangill Inc Tamarind Tree Publication Limited Calabash Tree Publications &
Specializing in yacht painting & maintenance Bicycle rentals & trips Holding company with controlling interest in business including a mini mart, craft shop and a guest house Candy, pet supplies and gifts Casino The sale of cosmetics Selling of children accessories, cartoon character products and toys Data capture and data processing Servicing of machinery and supply of cleaning products Restaurant and Bar
Denise Foustin Kwane Simon David Kendrick Paul Khullar George Pigott David Kendrick Isaac Hurst Hazel Spencer
Steve Meyers Constance Wilkins Carole Maloney Janis Hough Philip Hopton Jeffery Lapaint Rufilo Camacho Consuela Brazer-Samuel
Olive Richardson Anthony Velardi Ido Levy Talal Saaud
John f. Gaillard Louis G. Gaillard Tanya Baker Garrick Gill Educational book, book Sir Keithlyn Smith promotion and publishing Lilah Simon Broadcasting and publication Leon Symister BusinessFocus • May/June2013
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATION Broadcasting Limited OCG Associates (Antigua) Ltd ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS Corporation Caribbean Lucky Corporation
NS Manufacturing Ltd QPEP-Promotions Ltd
DH Associates Limited JWK Enterprises Limited
Worldwide Management Services Ltd Densepium Cotton Company Ltd
D & J Affordable Homes Inc Knowledge and Insight (K.A.I) Inc (nonprofit)
Shouls Duty Free Liquor and Perfumery Ltd
ECCU Relief Programme Inc (Nonprofit)
Salty Dogs Pub Company Limited 92 |
BusinessFocus â€˘ May/June 2013
Project Management & architecture Property holding & business acquisition and development and activities related thereto. To manage and operate casino and perform services and activities related thereto Boat Building The company will primarily be involved in events such as festivals, parties and concerts Marketing Conducting variety of sporting activities including tournaments, training camps, coaching schedules etc To provide consultancy and management services To engage in the business of growing & processing cotton into fabric for wholesale & retail distribution Selling & production of homes Religious Organization
To manage the retailing of perfume, liquior and other goods and to perform activities related thereto. To engage in the production of concerts, shows and musical entertainment To manage the ECCU governments scheme to pay BAICO policy holders and to act as trustee in relation thereto Retail/ wholesale import of
David George Akindele Looby Jeanelle Looby Peter Chau Zhanghui Fang
Peter Chau Zhanghui Fang Thomas Hellier Viola Meade Francois Joseph
Johann Hesse Jeremiah Joseph Keith Gill WordsWorth Harris
Sharilyn Cort John Hall Donald Charles
Joseph Weekes Devon Weekes Gail Christian Janice Benjamin Alison Mack Colette Henry Alexandrina Wong Jean â€“Pierre Shoul Marie-Therese Shoul
Zalika Charles Donald Charles Hudson Carr Henry Joseph Nicholette M. Doherty
Robert Dean Laderoute
â€™ with my fully customized android
With our newly upgraded network, you can download boundless applications to suit your every lifestyle and browse even faster (268) 727-2782
for us and for you... welcome to the new home of Caribbean Alliance Insurance
Reaching out from Antigua, our expanding footprint stretches across the Caribbean Region, delivering the same level of unparalleled insurance cover to all our customers.
Rated A- (Excellent) at A.M. Best Company Regional Head Office: Cnr. Long & Temple Streets, P.O. Box 1609, St. John’s, Antigua • +1 268. 481. 2900 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Jun 7, 2013
In an ever evolving world, undeniable is the impact or even the importance that education continues to play. Even in the business world,...