Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey said she has been appointed to Chair a Cabinet Sub-Committee called Innovate 242, which will focus on a range of opportunities for all of the islands of The Bahamas, through tech-tourism, eco-tourism, agri-tourism, film-tourism, business tourism, heritage tourism, executive education and smart cities downtown development.
“During a recent trip to Ottawa, Canada, led by the Deputy Prime Minister, we advanced our agenda for Innovate 242 and have since partnered with the Kanata North Technology Park, also known as Hub350 to advance our e-Bahamas revolution agenda,” Minister Moxey told the 2023 Grand Bahama Business Outlook, March 16, 2023, at the Grand Lucayan Resort.
“Hub 350 is Canada’s largest technology and innovation hub and will be collaborating with The Bahamas, as we become a player in the innovation and technology sector that can herald transformational opportunities, including new jobs, new service, new industries and new markets. It will also advance The Bahamas as a digital society, inclusive of smart technology.
“In our Blueprint for Change, Grand Bahama has been designated as the home of maritime and logistics, the home of events and entertainment and the home of innovation and we are well on our way to achieving all of this.”
The Grand Bahama Minister said efforts have also been made to establish, revitalize new and existing Sister City relationships for business, cultural, educational, tourism and humanitarian exchanges. She said much progress has been made to establish relationships between Ottawa, Canada and the Bahamas, as well as Princess Town, Western Ghana, and to renew The Bahamas’ relationship with Concord, North Carolina and Miami Dade, Florida, that have invited Bahamian creative groups to be a part of the Miami Goombay Festival this coming June.
Minister Moxey pointed out to the Seminar participants that while Grand Bahama is still in recovery mode, the island is well on its way to getting back up.
“While we work feverishly to redevelop the airport and sell this property, projects are progressing. The island has awakened. Construction is on the rise, airlift and cruise arrivals have increased, the new cruise port is about to start, downtown Freeport is busy, for the first time in over 20 years. So we can honestly say that our economy is improving.
“This Davis/Cooper Administration is strategically focused on rescuing our economy. An economy that will empower our people and provide an environment of sustained economic development. As the Minister for Grand Bahama I recognize that there will always be a bit of frustration among the residents. But progress in all of its many forms, takes a lot of effort. It takes many meetings, many follow throughs and things you don’t get to see.”
Minister Moxey outlined a number of accomplishments the administration has attained in Grand Bahama, in spite of the challenges the island has faced in the past decade or more. Those accomplishments include: the eventual development of a first-class Grand Bahama International Airport; the work already underway for the construction of a new Carnival Cruise Port in East Grand Bahama, with landside contractor request for quotes opened and published, final reviews of food and beverage vendors in progress, with awards for those contractors expected to take place this month; the $400 million re-investment into Grand Bahama Shipyard; repairs to the Fishing Hole Road bridge; completion of the Administrator’s Complex and Magistrate’s Court in Eight Mile Rock; completion and prospective opening of the Holmes Rock Primary and junior school in West Grand Bahama; and upcoming ground breaking ceremonies for the island’s new hospital, with a much-needed Oncology Center for Grand Bahamians.
“We can see that there is progress,” said Minister Moxey. “We have accomplished much over the past few months, with so much more that has to be done. Yet we must acknowledge that these are no small feats, considering what we have been going through.
“Progress is many things. But two things that it is not are linear and stagnant. Progress takes winding turns and the insertion of an intense amount of sweat equity. It is ever changing and ever growing.”
Minister Moxey noted that through innovation, events and entertainment, and Maritime and Logistics, her Ministry will help to shape the future of the island of Grand Bahama. With its prime location just 68 miles off the coast of Florida; its infrastructure, major transshipment hub, tax benefits, and truly diverse economy, Minister Moxey added that Grand Bahama is well positioned to become the fastest growing economy in The Bahamas.
“Everyday I’m reminded of the struggles and hardships, which the people of Grand Bahama have endured and I am motivated by our strength. Grand Bahamians refuse to be broken. We refuse to lose heart. Instead, we continue to press on with unrelenting determination. So, after hitting rock bottom because of Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and immediately followed by the COVID-19 pandemic, to be where we are today once again proves our resiliency. Resilient? Yes we are. But now we want to soar. We want to achieve that elusive potential that we often talk about.
“And Grand Bahama, I still believe that this is our time; our time to be GRAND! And it is happening… right before our eyes”.