PM SETS OUT TOP THREE PRIORITIES: Economy, education and crime leading government agenda

PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis speaking at the Bahamas Business Outlook yesterday. Photo: OPM

PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis speaking at the Bahamas Business Outlook yesterday. Photo: OPM


Tribune Staff Reporter


PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis said his administration will focus on three key areas over the next 12 months: the economy, education and crime.

Mr Davis gave a glimpse into his government’s agenda for 2023 while addressing the 32nd annual Bahamas Business Outlook at Baha Mar yesterday.

He said when his administration assumed office, it inherited an economy in severe recession, a government deeply in debt and schools in disrepair.

However, he said that even though these challenges remain serious, his administration is finally moving in the right direction.

And for the next 12 months, he said, much focus will be placed on the economy, education and crime.

“We will continue to pursue growth in GDP and revenue, maximise the amount of investment in the country, and maintain efforts to reduce our debt.”

“ That said, we will put a particular focus on reducing the ‘cost of living’ and making efforts to lift people out of poverty,” Mr Davis said.

 “Even though the inflationary pressures are largely the result of global events and foreign economies, we will do whatever we can to ease the burden on Bahamian consumers.

 “Last October, we were pleased to have our efforts recognised by one of the international ratings agencies, who acknowledged that in the last year, our country has made substantial progress in our economic recovery and fiscal performance.”

 With respect to education, Prime Minister Davis acknowledged it is a main contributor to national development and how “we build our nation.”

 He said it is for this reason, the government will place greater focus on the work officials have already started.

 “Our teachers and administrators are working hard, despite facing serious challenges. But now more than 100 teachers have been recruited, and for the first time in years, teachers are seeing an increase in salaries and benefits, along with a retention bonus,” he added.

 “We conducted more than 200 repair projects at our schools, to make them ready for reopening. But as extensive as the infrastructure repairs were, it is far more difficult to repair the damage done by years of interrupted schooling.”

 “And, so our Learning Recovery Task Force is taking a multi-layered approach to making up for lost time.”

 He said the government has added security officers in junior and senior schools to make school environments safer for students and staff.

 He added: “BTVI and Urban Renewal are working together to engage students across our islands in the Smart Start programme, which provides training and job readiness certificates for those who didn’t graduate due to the pandemic.”

 Mr Davis also spoke to the government’s third priority—crime—saying “too many of our young men are in a crisis” and referenced his recent meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House this week.

 He said the two discussed a number of issues, including illegal maritime migration and gun smuggling.

 “We agreed to broaden and strengthen the already strong partnership between our two countries in fighting these scourges, which do so much to threaten and undermine our society. If we can make our borders more secure, and reduce the flow of guns into our country, we will take big steps forward in national security.”

 In closing remarks, Mr Davis invited Bahamians to partner with the government for the sake of advancing the country’s interests.

 “Once again I invite you to partner with the government, especially around the priorities which I have set out,” he said.

 “There are entrepreneurial opportunities in economic development, education and criminal justice. For example, could you create a new business offering education in literacy, numeracy and finance? What enterprise might you create to support the rehabilitation of former prisoners? What business can you operate that helps to uplift the poor and provide opportunity?

 “This 50th anniversary of independence also presents an opportunity for you to consider or reconsider how you would like to do business in the next 50 years.”


Flyingfish 2 months, 1 week ago

Uh I hope he has agriculture, energy, and transportation as a part of that portfolio.

Because a people who can't feed themselves shall not prosper, a nation that cannot find a source of energy can't be productive, and workforce that spends quarter their wage on fuel each week and spend 1 hr in traffic shall not advance economically.

People are struggling to find good and cheap produce, when in the past we once grew 2 times our need. If we don't become self sufficient again we are only going to keep draining our coffers dry and when something bad happens we end up in famine/begging for food. Davis need to invest in agricultural companies, startups, and BAMSI.

Now when it comes too energy the solution is more difficult however we must become as self sufficient as possible, It only takes America saying NO during a global shortage to leave us up the creek. Although, renewables(solar) is the obvious answer it would be wise to only use it to lessen the cost of energy. Due to our location in the Hurricane belt full reliance on solar would be risky, however we can't keep losing millions of dollars on fuel when we have the sun

Last, is transport, which needs to shift towards public transportation. Although we have the Jitney system, we need to seriously upgrade it for it to be viable. In this day and age the Bahamian people can't keep spending so much on gas (a foreign resource) to get around, we are just poorer because of it. Eliminating it and replacing it with reliable and widespread public transport would help enrichen so many households.

So we need route maps, proper jitney stops, timetables etc, so Bahamians can trust taking the bus. Thus we'll end up with less traffic, less road wear, less expenses, less accidents, less pollution, more productivity.

I pray to GOD please, give the Government wisdom


carltonr61 2 months, 1 week ago

The greatest blind threat to our nation is the gaping wound caused by the effect of gambling illiteracy. This illiteracy has closed banks, destroyed the middle class and sustains the poverty combined effect is economically multiplied on the cost of Social Services and decay of our moral religious and family fabric. And the monste chickens are roosting according to Sir Franklyn Wilson. But this government is lazy. Any gambling review from Australia, Canada Gambling Commissions would give the impacts on nutrition social and community destruction. Women are morally abandoning their children due to gambling preoccupation and uncontrolled compulsive behavior to spend each dime and conversation toward that end.


John 2 months, 1 week ago

Obviously this is just your opinion and hardly cold substantiated facts. Real statistics will show gambling among Bahamians has declined over the last two years. And web shops are mostly passive about promoting their products. There’s basically just one web shop that has highly aggressive advertising campaigns.


John 2 months, 1 week ago

Again how much does this article apply to The BaHAMAS? Australia’s culture is very much different from The BaHAMAS and so are their gambling habits. Australia has to pay a price for wiping out an entire population.


One 2 months, 1 week ago

All talk. People don't change. If we want change the people must vote for leaders who haven't been indoctrinated by the political class. What reason does the political class have to change? They get paid and prosper regardless. There is no incentive for them to put in the work and take on the risk to make changes. If we want improvements we should demand freedom of information. All government activities should be documented a posted publicly so they can be held accountable. All contracts and deals should be publically posted for a competitive bidding process open to all. Politicians shouldn't be allowed to use the country's resources to enrich themselves or increase their personal power. Politicians' salaries should be capped at the country's average wage. Then give them the opportunity to earn performance bonuses based on KPIs the people care about. For example reduction in poverty, reduced murders, increase in the average grades. This incentivizes them to actually make improvements because if they do they get paid more.


Sickened 2 months, 1 week ago

I will be happy to hear the PLP say very clearly "We will mark our 50th anniversary with a pledge to stop corruption for a year". That's a big ask but it would help our economy and the people if they would resist for a year.


John 2 months, 1 week ago

Government must take the blinders off when it comes to crime. When a small country has been losing over 100 young men to murder for over four decades, something is wrong with that picture. And when a number of armed force officers are included in the murder count, both as victims or accused, that makes the situation more troubling. Bullets are wiping out future generations of the country. Who wants young Bahamian men dead? . . As for the economy, this government must explain why, despite a growing economy, Bahamian ownership and involvement is dwindling, by leaps and bounds. Why are the hotels and cruise ships moving into the water sports industry ? They will give all sorts of lame excuses but the bottom line is they want to exclude Bahamians even more and hogg even more for themselves. If they are not stopped and put under control, the only things the tourists will leave in The Bahamas are heaps of garbage and piles of sewerage. No profit, no benefits . And whilst the cruise lines and hotels rake billions, Bahamians will only get minimum wage jobs. . .


John 2 months, 1 week ago

As for education, the one fit all model that cause a lot of students to leave the system with a ‘D’ average has to be changed. Persons are still being taught European history and by 9 th grade students who are not academically inclined should be directed down an education path that will support and supplement their career potentials. Not be kept in school for another three years being taught mostly that, that is irrelevant.


Sickened 2 months, 1 week ago

Absolutely agree. I suspect that more than half of what our kids are taught and asked to memorize are things that they will never be asked to discuss or know in their lifetime. Our curriculums need to be reduced to and focus on the most important and relevant information. History for one needs to focus on recent events and then move back from there. Why we still spend 3 months learning the names and dates of hitlers propaganda chief is beyond me, especially when the kids haven't even been taught about 9/11 or the gulf war. and in Science spending months memorizing the elemental chart when they don't yet know how plastics and nylon is made. Show them something cool and then explain how it works and which elements are involved.


Bobsyeruncle 2 months, 1 week ago

I've always felt that The Bahamas would greatly benefit from establishing a couple of vocational schools, where the not so academic students could attend. Establishing apprenticeship programs like this, where students can learn specific hands on trades and attain a formal accreditation, can only benefit the country and the economy. Not to mention the real sense of pride these 'not so academic' students would have.


John 2 months, 1 week ago

What you said this genuinely or ‘tongue in cheek’ use the US car industry as an example. Japanese cars, not long ago, could hardly enter the US market because of lack of acceleration speed, safety and emission controls. Today Japanese and other foreign vehicles outsell American cars, why? Well in Detroit and Kentucky and a few other places, the ‘not so academic’ students had no problem going into the car plants and working an assembly line job. So as the prices of vehicles increased, so did the wages for these workers. Many were Black or rural, white Americans. So the car manufacturers decided, “employment will no longer be based on skill, but a college degree will be required to work in our plants. Some say this policy was directed at preventing Blacks from qualifying for the high paying assembly line jobs. So many Black families, for the first time, saw family members going to college and getting degrees. Along with rural Americans. But this didn’t prevent the big three car manufacturers from shutting down their US operations and moving overseas. But because they already had degrees, the persons who would normally work in the car plants were able to get other high paying jobs. And because if decisions they made decades ago, US car manufacturers are still struggling to maintain market share and remain competitive with foreigners car manufacturers.


SP 2 months, 1 week ago

PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis said his administration's top three priorities are way out of touch with the reality and top three priorities of the Bahamian people.

The top three priorities should be Illegal migration, getting rid of low-skilled employed ex-pats, and vocational/domestic training for the under-educated.

If these three areas were resolved crime would be significantly impacted and the economy would be automatically drastically boosted.

Pindling said "he didn't know the people were suffering" and 30 years later Wilchcombe said this week "They didn't know the level of people suffering"

We don't need these fat useless politicians that have no idea of the hardships faced by the general populous.


mandela 2 months, 1 week ago

If the Bahamas survives the next 50 years it will be recognized by name only and unrecognizable by culture.


John 2 months, 1 week ago

That is the intent of some people but not only will The BaHAMAS survive and maintain its culture, Haiti will finally be able to break the economic and political chains brought on it by The US and France. Haiti will become a powerful economic nation and the entire Caribbean block will have increased economic power. Because of the hundreds of years of abuse, these countries may choose not to do trade with certain countries but opt for trade with Africa and countries in South America . This will weaken the economies of some countries drastically and strengthen that of others. The rest will be revealed.


TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

Short version translation: The "Brave" premiership says to prevent would be investors, residents and potential cruise visitors from getting all the wrong perceptions - the premiership's security enforces and tough sentencing judges are to become more visible when dealing with social problems like locking up and jailing the homelessness, the mentally challenged, and for the less serious offenses such as the shoplifting for groceries and bread basket items.
  Has you been paying close enough attention, ---- Yes?


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