Young Digi Innovators Awarded Grants

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Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis delivers remarks during a ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs at Rosewood Resort, Baha Mar, on Thursday, 17th November 2022. He attended the Digi Innovators Award ceremony where twelve Bahamian entrepreneurs collectively received $900,000 grant funding from the Inter-American Development Bank for their proposed solutions for various sectors in the public service using digital platforms. The solutions addressed several issues in a cross section of government services including agriculture, public transportation, job placement and the environment. Award winners are pictured with the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Secretary Wayde Watson, and IDB Country Representative, Daniela Carrera Marquis. (BIS Photos/Anthon Thompson)

Twelve young entrepreneurs are the recipients of a $900,000 grant funded by the Inter-American development bank (IDB). The search for innovators and entrepreneurs in the digital arena was launched in August of this year, following the government’s bid to improve on the country’s ability to deliver the highest level in Information and communications technology while conducting business with the public and other partners.

After receiving proposals from innovators throughout the country, twelve applications were successful. Proposals sent represented a cross-section of solutions to address several areas to boost the government’s capacity to more efficiently do business. Some of the solutions addressed issues in the public transportation sector, agriculture, environment and job placement.

The recipients received their awards during a ceremony, held at Rosewood Resort, Baha Mar, on Thursday, 17th November, at which Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis gave the keynote address.  The event was hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.  Project Leader of the Ministry’s Digital Transformation Unit, Jayde Knowles served as the moderator.  In attendance were Parliamentary Secretary Wayde Watson and IDB Country Representative, Daniela Carrera Marquis.

Prime Minister Davis congratulated the award recipients and told them that their ideas will make the country better.  He also said that this move by the government was the first of its kind for the country. He commenced his remarks by congratulating the award recipients and thanking  the IDB for providing the grant. He said that the innovations presented by the entrepreneurs were of the type needed to advance the country’s capacity to provide top notch service.

“First of all, I wish to recognize and congratulate the recipients of these grants for presenting your ideas and for being successful in receiving funding for your innovations,” said Prime Minister Davis. “I also wish to acknowledge and thank the IDB for supporting these types of initiatives. Your efforts to assist countries such as ours, is a testament to your commitment to helping us reach our potential.” The Prime Minister said these innovative ideas will promote transparency in government transactions, reduce costs, improve the way government does business and minimize bureaucracy, among other things. 

Parliamentary Secretary, Wayde Watson also echoed the Prime Minister’s sentiments after congratulating the awardees. He said that this move by government to improve ICT speaks to its commitment to providing the highest level of service to its citizens. IDB Country Representative, Daniela Carrera Marquis said these innovations will help to streamline the government’s current processes, in addition to several other benefits.

“The innovations presented by these entrepreneurs will also reduce bureaucracy when doing business with the government, they will increase transparency, promote advancement of technology in the public service and increase savings.”

By: BETTY VEDRINE/Bahamas Information Services

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