Wall Street guru brings fintech secrets to South Africa

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Nov. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The man whose real life story was portrayed by Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio in the mega Box Office movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, will be in South Africa in December. Jordan Belfort, “The Real Wolf of Wall Street,” will take part in the intensive Phenom Sunrise, a technological forum held in Cape Town. The conference aims to unleash the “business beast” in 200 entrepreneurs from over 20 countries, and provided with the help of TAFFDs, a Global Nongovernmental organization registered in the USA as a nonprofit corporation that serves as a futuristic Think Tank endeavored to the education and engagement urgency to help people understand the benefits and challenges of technology applied to high–affected industries and disciplines across the world.

Phenom Ecosystem, a high–tech digital space where services, products, and solutions are organized around users' needs, will host the event. The forum organizers have invited Jordan Belfort to share his knowledge and experience with the trailblazing participants, motivate them to achieve their goals, and teach his approach to life, business, and finance. Belfort's focus at the conference will be to demystify complicated money technologies such as Blockchain and digital currencies.

Belfort's main task is to simplify all that tech jargon that today's generation of entrepreneurs needs to decode in order to grow their portfolios in technology–based businesses,” said the organizer of the workshop and the CEO of Phenom Platform Ltd, Yaroslav Gordeev. “Not only will the participants learn from the man who inspired the Martin Scorsese–directed big–screen drama, but they will also get to meet him and have a chat. The experience has to be real. We want our participants to take the fintech lessons home but also be able to look at their pictures with the real Wolf of Wall Street and remain motivated in their entrepreneurial pursuits. The participants will also listen to other experienced entrepreneurs and tech experts and find out about the future of the African and global markets. They will have a chance to learn about the most innovative digital products and expand their passive income opportunities.”

Belfort has urged all the participants to be ready for a life–changing event. “I'm finally coming to Cape Town after so many years. Prepare to be blown away – it's going to be an outstanding event. I will teach about entrepreneurship, sales, and how to take your life and business to the next level,” said Belfort.

The conference will be held at the Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel, Cape Town on December 8–12, 2021. The ultimate training session with Jordan Belfort will take place on December 9, 2021.

About Phenom

Phenom is a high–tech digital space where services, products, and solutions are organized around users' needs. Phenom Ecosystem is a decentralized system of digital products that unites thousands of people worldwide. It helps users benefit from blockchain technology and get a profit by monetizing their time and smartphone resources.

About TAFFDs
The acronym "TAFFD's" stands for Transdisciplinary Agora for Future Discussion. The name was coined by the founder who believes that a single–based approach in understanding reality will lead to ideological supremacy. Hence, they should be an "Agora" (Greek word for Marketplace) where ideas from this multidisciplinary field are "Transdisciplinary" "Discussed" and applied for a better "Future," which starts now.

Media contact:
Victoria Ustimenko–Laskina
Global Head of Markets at TAFFDs
pr@taffds.org
victoria.ustimenko@taffds.org


CEDEM AG donates immunity boosting products, PPE to Ghana’s Maamobi Polyclinic

ACCRA, Ghana, Nov. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CEDEM AG, a Swiss–based global nutraceutical company, has made a donation to Maamobi Polyclinic within the Ayawaso North Constituency of the Greater Accra Region of the Republic of Ghana.

Rasha Oudeh, CEO and founder of CEDEM AG, who presented the donation items to the polyclinic while on her business trip to Ghana, said she was very happy to be in the country as she considers Ghana to be one of the most stable countries in Sub–Saharan Africa to invest in, especially as it has a business friendly and peaceful environment that is conducive for trade and commerce.

The donated items included Vitamin C, Vitamin Ions, Paracetamol, face masks and hand sanitizers.

Ms. Oudeh said: "what we offer the world, we embody within. Our values unite us and drive us forward and they "inspire us to inspire people" to maintain their wellbeing and be healthy. Our vision stems from our essence, of which we aim to be every person's partner in wellbeing."

Accompanied by Sheikh Dr. Ibrahim Ibn Saana, PhD, a Public Health Pharmacist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ms. Oudeh added: "we are happy to shoulder our corporate social responsibility, and we are committed to making a difference in the healthcare sector through this modest donation. It is our hope and desire to help boost our Ghanaian brothers' and sisters' immunity and maintain their wellbeing, especially as the Covid–19 pandemic continues to affect the lives of people across the globe."

A Principal Nursing Officer at the Emergency Unit of the Mamobi Polyclinic, Ms. Mary Yost, received the items on behalf of the administrator of the facility, Helen Tettey.

Ms. Oudeh said the donation to the facility was the first phase of donations the company would make to health facilities, including the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).

The CEDEM AG founder and global business magnate said CEDEM AG believes in Africa and its future. It already operates in other African countries such as Nigeria, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Uganda and Ethiopia.

CEDEM AG, established in 1991 with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, has several branches worldwide, including in Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland and Jordan. Its multi–cultural teams' expertise and presence are spread around the world through dedicated affiliates and key partnerships in almost 30 countries.

Its team relentlessly operates under the latest quality standards to develop health solutions for people's needs. In all its work, CEDEM AG strives to be innovative, passionate and deliver the best quality.

Contact:

Dana Abu Sham
dana.abusham@cedemag.com
+962 7 7652 4125

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0ab92ce8–4a16–45f1–869e–82a033d37e48


Mother of Summits: Sweet and Sour Diplomacy, but Nothing Cooked!

By Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury
SINGAPORE, Nov 22 2021 – It has been said that when Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war. The summit of the leaders of world’s two strongest powers, the United States and China, came face to face at long last. Albeit virtually. Still, this was undoubtedly the “mother of summits” this year. There were two telephone conversations earlier, but according to US officials this nearly four hours of summitry was far more “candid intense, and deeper interaction”. If there was one single take-away from this meeting, it was the establishment beyond all reasonable doubt of the incontrovertible fact that the US and China were indeed the two most influential global state actors. The decisions between the two, represented by their leaders, would profoundly impact the rest of humanity far into the future.

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury

Given that in terms of deliverables, the consensus among all analysts was that nothing significant was expected, the event was important in that it put to rest the bickering between the subordinates that was pushing the world towards a precipice. It was about time the supreme political masters, Joe Biden of the US and Xi Jinping assumed the reins of control of the most important relationship of our times. Both sides were intellectually convinced that the stiffest possible competition between the two was on the cards. The challenge was to manage this in a way to prevent a conflict that would be catastrophic. This was one point on which, luckily, there was understanding on both sides.

There was not much on anything else. Prior to the meeting that Biden was focussed on writing the rules of the engagement of China “in a way that is favourable to our interests and our values and those of our allies and partners”. Unsurprisingly, Xi and the Chinese did not play ball. Both sides basically emphatically stated their positions on issues and showed nary an inclination to concede an inch to the other. In the end, as was expected, there were no breakthroughs. The irreconcilable positions remained in- tact, with a vague call by both sides for more cooperation.

A virtual meeting is bereft of the positive influences of informal chats, banquets, and the opportunity of developing personal camaraderie. Still, both leaders exuded friendly demeanours, and Xi called Biden “an old friend”. On Taiwan, the dialogue was tough. Xi reminded Biden of the US position on the Peoples ‘Republic being the sole legitimate government of China , reinforced by here communiques issued in 1972, 1979 and 1982. Following the talks the White House clarified that the “One China’ was also guided by the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances committing the US to opposing” unilateral efforts to change the status quo”. Xi made it clear that Taiwan for China was a “core issue”; it was a province of China, and any support to its independence was akin to playing with fire. “Whoever plays with fire will get hurt” was a message he strongly underscored.

There seemed a glimmer of hope on one front, though. In the past China has refused to be drawn into any nuclear arms control agreements given that its arsenal was far smaller than those of the US and Russia. But recent significant qualitative improvements of its capabilities have been worrying the US. At the meeting China showed willingness to talk on the subject. However, there is no possibility of agreements beyond the rim of the saucer because the Chinese will naturally demand steep cuts in US numbers which will be unacceptable to Washington. However, there could be forward movement through diplomatic engagements on matters such as Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), will the positivity that would entail.

There is a fundamental difference in the approach of China and the US to negotiations. The US believes in a kind of “a la carte” method of choosing areas where it believes there is scope for collaboration while competition, and even confrontation, continues others. The Chinese on the other hand reject this as “cherry picking” and see the agenda as a comprehensive package. What is the use of understanding on one subject, while differences on another cam lead to war? Unless this basic divergence is resolved, negotiations are unlikely to be able to yield any worthwhile results. Discussions will continue to be both sweet and sour, as the summit deliberations were, but nothing seriously palatable will get cooked!

Xi has in the meanwhile has consolidated his own power in China to a point that he may be set obtain a third term of office. More importantly, he is viewed as the navigator in the journey towards national rejuvenation leading to China becoming a modern fully developed nation by 2049 which will bring him yet closer to the status of the Great helmsman, Chairman Mao Zedong, himself. All these were the outcome of the Sixth plenum of the Chinese Communist Party which met last week and adopted a “historical resolution” that buttressed Xi’s power and position.

Incidentally, in the history of the party this was the third historical resolution. The first was adopted in 1945 under Mao four years prior to the revolutionary victory, and the second by the ‘reformist” Deng Xiaoping. While Mao was the one who restored a sense of pride among the Chinese people enabling them “to stand up” and Deng made them rich through his reforms, Xi, by the dint of this “thought” (which supersedes “theory” in Chinese political lexicon) gave them strength and shared prosperity. In an abstruse political milieu where the count of numbers means a great deal, a Xinhua communique on the meeting mentioned Xi’s name at least fourteen times, compared to seven of Mao and Five of Deng. That tells a lot.

Consequently, it is now all but certain that Xi will be elected to an unprecedented third term in office as party General Secretary at the 20th Party Congress next year. There is also some talk that he may assume the title of “Chairman” as well which will bring him at par with Mao. The plenum also elevated Xi Jinping Thought to 21st Century Marxism, completing the process of “Sinicization” of Marxist philosophy. Xi has been pragmatic in welding the conservatism of Mao, but shunning his repressive methods, with the reforms of Deng, correcting the “capitalist excesses”, and bringing China on a socialist path that would lead to a “modern society” with “shared prosperity “. Small wonder that many Chinese observers are beginning to see him as a “Philosopher King” in the mould of Plato in the West and Confucius in the East, a perfect mix for the cauldron of power and authority. An interesting footnote is that the Chinese Communist Party formally announced its third “historical resolution”, cementing Xi’s powers hours after the Summit, though it was leaked earlier, which pointed to a thought-through calibrated set of actions.

Nowhere the same degree, Joe Biden also seems to have achieved a modicum of success of his own despite powerful head winds. He has managed to create a sense of cohesion among America’s allies, though his path has had numerous pitfalls and bumps. Importantly he has managed to secure the passage into law of the massive legislation in terms of the US $1.2 trillion bill on a revamp of infrastructures, to “build back better”, a campaign pledge. This for him is no mean achievement, proving that persistence pays. But for him and his Democratic Party the future is not as rosy as that what appears to be for his Chinese counterpart. A Republican win in the Presidential race is a distinct possibility. That could lead to turmoil and backlash in US domestic politics, requiring the identification of a common foe to rally the nation. China is the obvious candidate. If, consequently, the “ultimate red line” for China, such as on the issue of Taiwan is crossed, a catastrophe could follow.

Surely the Chinese have made those calculations. From now to then, China and Xi will, while seeking to avoid an immediate conflict, be preparing to, in the words of the Global Times seen as a State media outlet, “to deal with the biggest storms in the world, the most powerful and comprehensive siege from the US and its allies”. Halfway down this decade it will be high- risk for one to wager too much in favour of peace!

Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury is the Honorary Fellow at the Institute of South Asia Studies, NUS. He is a former Foreign Advisor (Foreign Minister) of Bangladesh and President & Distinguished Fellow of Cosmos Foundation. The views addressed in the article are his own. He can be reached at: isasiac @nus.edu.sg

This story was originally published by Dhaka Courier.

 


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Enernet Global acquires KPS Power Africa

NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Enernet Global Inc. ("Enernet"), a distributed energy service company whose mission is to decarbonise the world's supply chains, acquired KPS Power Africa ("KPSPA") to accelerate presence in African mining.

Enernet's global footprint enables it to provide tailored energy solutions for mining, commercial, industrial, remote community and utility customers across its operations in Australia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Sub–Saharan Africa. KPSPA finances, builds, owns and operates hybrid power plants for the mining sector in Africa. The transaction provides Enernet with a portfolio of projects and expert team to rapidly scale the business.

"The combination of KPS Power Africa's deep roots in mining and power in Africa combined with Enernet's world–leading expertise on renewable hybrid plants and competitive capital enables us to bring a unique solution to mines across Africa," said Paul Matthews, Enernet and KPSPA's CEO. "Mines are under increasing pressure to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and their CEOs must report to investors and the market on their ambitions to reduce CO2. Together, we finance, build and operate cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power solutions for customers across Sub–Saharan Africa."

"The acquisition of KPSPA by Enernet Global is a great strategic move which allows both companies to advance hybrid power generation within mining in Africa. KPSPA has increased its exposure to the renewable energy market and Enernet Global its presence in the African mining industry, which is ideally positioned for renewable hybrid system," said Ben Zikmundovsky, KPSPA's General Manager.

Enernet and KPSPA deploy distributed on– and off–grid generation projects that integrate renewable energy, battery storage, cogeneration and existing thermal or grid supply. System design and operational optimization are underpinned by Enernet's patented technology platform.

Selling energy and services through power purchase agreements, systems are delivered at no capital cost to customers and tailored to their specific energy needs. This lowers costs, adds energy resilience and independence, and dramatically reduces emissions mines in Africa.

About Enernet Global Inc ("Enernet")
Enernet is a distributed energy service provider that finances, builds, owns and operates microgrids and drives the adoption of renewable energy, battery storage and energy efficiency solutions that displace CO2 emissions. Built on the company's proprietary software platform, Enernet's Energy–as–a–Service offering benefits on– and off–grid customers by providing less expensive, more resilient power solutions at no capital outlay for customers.

Enernet has operations in Australia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Sub–Saharan Africa, where it focuses on power solutions for sectors that include island development, mining, commercial and industrial, remote communities, agriculture, utilities and hospitality.

About KPS Power Africa ("KPSPA")
KPS Power Africa specialises in designing, building, owning and operating power stations for African mining operations. As a leading contract power supplier to the mining sector, KPSPA provides independent power generation services with the benefit of over 30 years' experience in African mining.

Servicing all of Africa, KPSPA's purpose–built power generation systems include design, construction, operation and maintenance, reducing customers' capital and maintenance requirements. Capabilities and expertise cover multiple technologies and deliver benchmark reliability and fuel efficiency for our customers' mining operations.

Media contact:
Paul Matthews
Enernet Global Inc.
Office: +1 541 292 6422
Email: pmatthews@enernetglobal.com


It’s Time to Find Solutions to the Gendered Consequences of the Pandemic

A profound shock to our societies and economies, the COVID-19 pandemic underscores society’s reliance on women both on the front line and at home, while simultaneously exposing structural inequalities across every sphere. Responding to the pandemic is not just about rectifying long-standing inequalities, but also about building a resilient world in the interest of everyone with women at the centre of recovery. Credit: UN Women

By Megan O’Donnell, Shelby Bourgault and Lotus McDougal
WASHINGTON DC/SAN DIEGO, Nov 22 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects across the globe, but the data and evidence show that women have borne the brunt of the crisis. While inequalities in health, economic power, and other areas existed long before the pandemic began, the pandemic has widened these gaps.

Women have suffered greater economic losses than men during the pandemic. They’ve lost their jobs at greater rates than men and were more likely to see decreases in their income. For example, women comprised 60 percent of job losses between February and April 2020 in South Africa, a study in Chad estimated more women will lose wages as a result of COVID-19 than men (61 percent vs. 57 percent), and a study of 29 countries found that a larger percentage of women lost employment during COVID-19 than men (42 percent vs. 31 percent).

Women business owners also suffered disproportionate losses during the pandemic. Studies found that women-owned businesses were more vulnerable to profit loss and closure during the pandemic. Across South Asia for example, women’s businesses closed at a rate of about 50 percent compared to men’s at 39 percent.

Women’s greater economic losses are in part driven by their role as primary caregivers. The pandemic brought on school closures around the globe which in effect, increased the childcare burdens of women (more than men) and inhibited their ability to engage in paid work.

On the one hand, work from home can allow women to spend more time with children and more easily combine paid work and unpaid care, but on the other hand, it can hinder work-life balance and negatively impact job performance.

Further, very few women workers around the world have the types of jobs that can be done from home, which means that these increased childcare burdens are putting economic empowerment further out of reach for many women.

During the course of the pandemic, research has also revealed a spike in gender-based violence in many places around the world – as lockdowns forced people to stay at home with abusive partners. For example a study from Peru found that both young men and young women experienced an increase in physical domestic violence during lockdown, and that those who had previously experienced violence were more likely to experience it again.

In Zimbabwe, a qualitative study of informal women workers also documents increased instances of gender-based violence due to staying home with abusive spouses.

In Bangladesh, a study on intimate partner violence finds that, overall, 45 percent of women surveyed had experienced intimate partner violence during COVID-19, and that women in arranged marriages, from rural areas, and with lower levels of education were more likely to experience violence.

It’s clear that women’s health and economic standing have been disproportionately hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. But while extensive research and data has begun to paint the picture of just how devastating the pandemic has been for women, there has been very little research to date on what policies or interventions have been effective in addressing and reversing these new and growing inequalities.

Where limited evidence does exist, it suggests that policy measures to respond to the pandemic have not equally reached and benefited women. As world leaders work to pursue a gender-equal recovery, they must ensure that COVID-19 recovery policies in all areas consider the impact on women and are designed to reach and benefit women.

They must not only look at problems — but also fund and implement evidence-based solutions, including those aimed at getting cash into the hands of women who have lost employment and income, addressing their disproportionate unpaid care burdens, and preventing gender-based violence.

Megan O’Donnell is a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development and leads the think tank’s COVID-19 Gender & Development Initiative; Shelby Bourgault is a researcher with the gender program at the Center for Global Development and Lotus McDougal is a researcher at UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Center on Gender Equity and Health.

 


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Corporate Fear Drives Caribbean Vaccine COVID-19 Mandates

The private sector and some government agencies have demanded that staff vaccinate, especially in the tourism industry that drives many regional economies. Credit: Zadie Neufville/IPS

By Zadie Neufville
KINGSTON, Nov 22 2021 – When face-to-face Cabinet meetings resumed in Jamaica following more than a year of virtual meetings due to COVID-19, Ministers lined up to have their immunisation cards inspected.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the Government “has to lead the country towards normality”.

“The way to do it is for every Jamaican to comply with the infection, prevention and control measures that have been established, which will eventually be relaxed the higher the level of vaccination,” he said after the October 12 meeting.

In the current atmosphere, outbreaks, no-movement days that shut down commerce and vaccine hesitancy send ripples through the economy. So, while Jamaica has no national vaccine mandate, private sector companies and some government agencies are already demanding that staff vaccinate.

In addition to several vaccination drives that target employees, Jamaica Private Sector Organisation joined the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association to put their support solidly behind a campaign for a national mandate.

The groups say that with the low vaccination rates almost two years into the pandemic, Jamaica is being left behind in achieving population immunity, putting the country’s recovery at risk. The groups contend that the social and economic impact will be devastating, and “the ripple effects will continue for years to come”. But even with growing support for a mandate, opposition leader Mark Golding opposes one. Only about 17 percent of the Jamaican population is vaccinated.

Across the region, governments have already implemented mandates. In Guyana, nationals who want to enter any public buildings, including banks, restaurants, supermarkets and schools, must show proof of vaccination. In the twin-island state of Antigua Barbuda, opposition legislators accused House Speaker Sir Gerald Watt of acting beyond his powers after he prevented them from participating in the sitting of the Senate because they did not show proof of vaccination.

With each outbreak, concern for the tourism industry that drives many regional economies grows. Many countries now have vaccination policies for incoming adult travellers. These include Anguilla, Grenada, St. Barts, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and the Cayman Islands.

And even as governments ponder mandates, they are also bracing for civil unrest and legal challenges from workers. In a recent opinion, the Jamaican Bar Association said nothing was preventing the Government or employers from implementing mandates. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States outlined its position in a 16-page document titled: “The Legal Dimensions of Mandatory/Compulsory Requirements for COVID-19 Vaccinations, August 2021”.

According to the report, that countries could legally pursue mandatory vaccination laws.
“Having demonstrated … that mandatory vaccination is constitutionally appropriate given the leeway granted in favour of public health imperatives, it is submitted that employers could justify a requirement in a pandemic context, at minimum where the workplace is a high-risk environment, such as health-care, or essential services, or for workers more at risk at the workplace, such as frontline workers interacting with the public,” the document said.

But while public health legislation specifically addresses restrictions in times of pandemic, those who oppose mandates argue that they are a breach of human rights.

President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, Helene Davis-Whyte, is expecting a national mandate if efforts to boost vaccination numbers fail. She argued for a comprehensive public awareness programme with consultations before such a step is taken and cautioned that a “draconian approach” could discourage some people.

“We are not necessarily opposed, but what we are saying is that you have to do more work because we don’t think that enough work has been done,” she told journalists recently.

And so, armed with their individual legal opinions, governments have been implementing the rules they say will protect their countries. By October 2021, at least seven governments across the region had instituted COVID-19 mandates for government workers.

In August, in Guyana, police were called to evict staff members in the education ministry’s head office who had entered the building without proof of vaccination. Earlier that month, there were mass protests in St. Vincent and Barbados. And in July, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves was hit on the head and injured by an angry protestor during anti-mandate demonstrations in St Vincent.

Barbados, like Jamaica, has not officially backed a vaccine mandate, but Holness acknowledges he may have to make the decision soon. But even with no national mandate in Jamaica increasingly, civil servants find they must be vaccinated to work.

The Ministry of Tourism has raced ahead to vaccinate the 170,000 people who work in the sector. Already workers who come in contact with cruise ship visitors must be fully inoculated.

And as the country eyes a return to full-time school, it’s the turn of teachers and school staff. Medical workers have already been issued a mandate. In the private sector, more than 80 per cent of staff are vaccinated.

In the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, where several companies became hotspots during the height of the first wave, vaccination is compulsory. In Jamaica, COVID-19 restrictions and 14-days of lockdown cost the sector US$42 million (J$5.88 billion) in revenue.

But it is in the region’s tourism industry that mandates have become the norm. Hoteliers and other service providers seek to prevent lawsuits and shutdowns by demanding that staff be fully vaccinated. In the Bahamas, workers and visitors must be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated visitors face a 14-day quarantine. Jamaica is aiming for a 100 per cent vaccinated workforce.

A growing number of countries have instituted vaccination policies for incoming adult travellers. These include Anguilla, Grenada, St. Barts, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and the Cayman Islands.

Meanwhile, the private sector’s desire for a return to normalcy and increased economic activity could push many toward a vaccine faster than any government mandate could.

 


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