Signing of Letter of Agreement - Entrepreneurial training for Minerals sector

Apr 17, 2018

REMARKS

 

Bruno Pouezat, UNDP Resident Representative

ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme

Signining of Letter of Agreement for Training on Entrepreneurial Skills

JBDC’s Garmex Free Zone, Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston

Tuesday, 17 April 2017- 9 a.m.

 

  • Acting Commissioner of Mines, Mr. Leighton Williams
  • Dr Oral Rainford, Principal Director for Policy, Planning, Development and Evaluation in the Ministry of Transport and Mining
  • OR Mr. Denis Miller, Director, Ministry of Transport and Mining
  • Mrs. Valerie Veira, CEO, Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC)
  • Mr. Harold Davis, Deputy CEO, JBDC
  • Members of the media, ladies and gentlemen,

A very pleasant morning to you all.

I am honoured to share in this important occasion to mark the implementation of the Training Workshop on Entrepreneurial Skills under the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, a programme initiated by the African, Caribbean  and  Pacific group  of states,  financed  by the  EU and  UNDP, and implemented by UNDP.

We are very excited about this Programme’s impact on economic development and social well-being in Jamaica. A reliable, sustainable supply of quality minerals and other raw materials is essential for a well-functioning economy. Development minerals may be under-appreciated, but they constitute the raw material for cosmetics and toothpaste, paint and construction aggregates, not to mention simple plates and cups, all indispensable products in construction, manufacturing, crafts, tourism and agriculture. As a result, the careful mining and quarrying of Jamaica’s rich endowment of natural resources will impact multiple areas of national development such as tourism, urban and regional planning, agriculture and housing. 

Today's start of the entrepreneurial and business workshops is an excellent opportunity for the participants, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), the Government of Jamaica as well as the European Union and UNDP to continue to work together to achieve the programme's goal of enhancing the business skills in the Development Minerals sector. Business and entrepreneurial skills are critical to the advancement of businesses and contribute to the Government’s aim of boosting support to SMEs. These workshops seek to enhance the skills and lives of about 120 persons in the quarrying sector throughout the island. 

UNDP congratulates the Government of Jamaica, in particular the Mines and Geology Division for their contribution to this Programme, which builds on UNDP support for the extractive industries that goes back to the “Exploration and Development of Non-Metallic Minerals” project in the 1980s.

The main focus of the present programme is to improve the capacity of key public, private and community stakeholders engaged in the development minerals sector to advance Jamaica’s economic development. In partnership with the EU and the Government, UNDP sees opportunities to help Jamaica to strengthen the policy, legal and institutional frameworks of the Minerals Sector and to ensure that exploration and extraction operations are environmentally and socially sustainable. 

UNDP is committed to providing support to Jamaica in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Minerals Industry can play a significant role in eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities and exclusion by providing sustainable livelihoods where people live, at the community level, and will contribute to the country’s efforts in achieving Goal 1: No Poverty; Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Partnerships are essential for addressing development challenges locally and globally. UNDP partners with local public, private, civil society organizations and International Development Partners, including through South-South and Triangular Cooperation. A hallmark of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme is its emphasis on South-South Cooperation. A lot can be achieved through transfer of knowledge and technical expertise and sharing of best practices, lessons learned and experiences among countries involved in the programme.

We are very happy about our partnership with the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC). They will do a great job in executing the training workshops across the island.

Finally, I commend the European Union, the main financier of this programme, the Government of Jamaica and all other partners for this opportunity to join forces in this important initiative. I convey UNDP's best wishes for the success of the workshops and for our continued collaboration to “make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”. Thank you.

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