Junior Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valarie Garrido-Lowe has posited that more should be done to foster the growth of the cassava producing sector. She made these comments at a recent meeting with executives of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), where the minister indicated that such diversification would improve the livelihoods of Indigenous peoples.Garrido-Lowe suggested that derivative products of cassava, an Amerindian staple, are ideal due to its financial and health benefits: “[There are] financial benefits of cassava; we can explore cassava snacks like cheesy cassava, garlic cassava, curio cassava; we should explore these things so that well packaged snacks into our supermarkets from the cassava here that is so healthy, because it doesn’t have gluten.”Junior Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs MinisterValarie Garrido-LoweShe noted that communities are capable of producing value-added products and have a more modernised cassava industry, pointing out that there are intentions to engage the University of Guyana on developing the industry: “We could talk with IAST (Institute of Applied Science & Technology) and try to get something going.”She further added that the rights of Indigenous peoples are likely to be better advocated as the NTC will see the establishment of its Secretariat, which she explained, will be given financial support from the Inter-American Development Bank.“People expect so much from us because we have promised so much but we will fulfil promises but we will go so many at a time and I am sure that you will get your secretariat from where you will be able to function properly with staff and I am happy to hear that IDB will be supporting financially,” she noted.Meanwhile, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock told the NTC that subventions aside, they should think “outside the box” in attaining finance from other avenues. He suggested that the NTC could solicit funds from Indigenous Communities, in rotation, to fund its work in advocating its causes.“If the NTC gets itself really organised, I am certain that every month, each one of these villages could contribute $10,000 to your purse,” he noted, adding that the NTC can then go into negotiations with the bank in development projects relating to cottage industries that will sustain livelihood of the Amerindian communities.“If you have cassava – 6 bottles of casreep every month, you add 6 families, change them every month, you will get $10,000 coming into your coffer… what we would like to move away from, is that dependency syndrome…when you work and sweat for what you need, you have more value for it,” Allicock noted.He also noted that Indigenous communities should assume responsibility of many vehicles which were allocated in the past are currently in need of repairs. He however added that his government and ministry would continue efforts in supporting: “economic development, respect to ourselves, and to have an education system that would allow other Guyanese to understand how we live,” Allicock said.Meanwhile, the many concerns raised at the recently concluded National Toshaos Conference will be addressed at the upcoming NTC executive meeting in October.
Given the importance of continuous evaluator training, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was solicited to facilitate a two-day training session that will equip local procurement officers with the necessary best practice skills and knowledge of tender evaluation.This workshop, which commenced on Wednesday, will complement ongoing training sessions done annually by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).According to Chairman of NPTAB, Berkley Wickham, evaluators find themselves in the spotlight of scrutiny over their recommendations now more than ever, especially with the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC)International Procurement Consultant, Dr Julian Laskiwhich allows contractors to protest bids coupled by public audit.To this end, Wickham told the evaluators that such training will prepare them for what is to come as Guyana moves towards attaining 21st Century Public Financial Management, of which Public Procurement is a principal business area.“… The Procurement Act and its regulations in Guyana will soon be changed. In fact, the recommendations for change is already with us; and among other areas, there will be new methods of procurement. An evaluation criteria will become more specific and perhaps little more complicated… [This] is not intended to scare you but in the real world of Guyana, you will find that while in the past the evaluation process may not have been challenged, you should never confuse poor but untested past practice with proper practice,” the NPTAB Chairman posited.Meanwhile, IDB Procurement Specialist, Ivan Gaviria, emphasised the need for increased training for local evaluators ahead of the impending changes to economic conditions.“With everything that is upcoming in the country – big changes, looking towards the future and also just ensuring that public procurement and the processes therein, evaluations etc, are maintained with the principles of fairness, impartiality and transparency, I think the workshop is going to be very beneficial,” Gaviria asserted.The two-day workshop, which is being held at the Marriott Hotel, is being facilitated by International Procurement Consultant, Dr Julian Laski, who will be looking intoA section of the participants at the IDB Tenders Evaluation Workshop at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesdayvarious best practices in tender evaluation to improve the participants’ capabilities.He emphasised that the training session will serve as a learning environment where the participants will get to see mistakes so as to not repeat them in executing their duties.While there has been much controversies over years surrounding the local procurement process, these were heightened in recent time following the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission.According to the Procurement Act, among the key functions of the Commission are to monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with the law, and monitor the performance of procurement bodies with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works.Back in August, based on a report filed by Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, the PPC found that Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson breached procurement laws with the award of a consultancy contract to Dutch firm LievenseCSO for the feasibility study and design of the new Demerara River crossing.The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) recently submitted the findings of the PPC to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for criminal investigations to be carried out. It was reported that Minister Patterson was questioned on the matter during a visit to SOCU’s Headquarters on Monday.
[vemba-video id=”van/sc/2019/04/22/bang_40f95716-d8b6-47de-aa54-81fdfc7bd55f”]Video: Mark Medina discusses the teams upcoming game 5Since giving up a 31-point lead last week in a Game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors have won back-to-back games in Los Angeles, including a 113-105 win on Sunday. The win gives the team a 3-1 lead in the series and the opportunity to wrap things up on Wednesday at Oracle Arena.Assuming the Warriors win the upcoming game versus the …
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Former Sky and Lovefilm executive Nick James and former Zodiak Media chiefs Rod Henwood and Marc Antoine d’Halluin are creating an SVOD service for quiz show fans.The trio have created Inquisitive Media (stylised InQuisiTiVe Media), whose interactive on-demand service IQTV is first launching in the UK before an international rollout follows.D’Halluin left Zodiak upon its merger with Banijay Group two years ago and later turned up at France’s M7 Group as chairman.Rod HenwoodFormer Zodiak UK boss Henwood took on the same role at the merged business, but exited Banijay UK in 2016.Henwood is chairman of the company, with James and d’Halluin co-founders.Programming deals have been struck with BBC Worldwide, Channel 4 and Banijay Rights, allowing subscribers to watch a variety of game shows such as Mastermind, Celebrity Mastermind, A Question of Genius, Only Connect, The Weakest LinkAt launch in July, IQTV will cost £3.49 (€3.93) per month. The first month will be offered free.There is interactive playalong technology built in to the service, meaning viewers can compete in individual episodes.Henwood told DTVE sister title TBI he and the co-founders have financed the company along with unnamed personal connections, and that a new funding round will happen “just before or after launch to support more marketing investment”.“This is a unique proposition in the world of SVOD, addressing an important gap in the market. Intelligent quiz shows represent an attractive, untapped genre for a niche SVOD service,” he said in a statement. “They have significant and very loyal audiences, their brands are enduring, their hosts are highly recognisable with a strong social media following, and they have had a relatively limited airing on multi-channel television.“While there has been a well-documented focus on scripted content and millennial audiences, older viewers and non-scripted passion genres represent a real gap in the VOD landscape.”BBC Worldwide UK television sales and business development director Jonathan Newman said: “SVOD is the perfect medium for harnessing the potential for re-discovery and celebration of classic content; this new venture promises to demonstrate exactly that.”Karla Berry, Channel 4’s transactional distribution manager, sold classic British gameshow Countdown – the first show to air on the terrestrial channel in November 1982 – to Inquisitive.“Through our agreement with IQTV we’re delighted that true gameshow fans in the UK and the Republic of Ireland can discover and play along to classic episodes and comedic moments made famous by the much-loved Richard Whiteley and his number crunching co-host Carol Vorderman.”
Youssef Tuma, managing director, Accenture Communications, media and technology, talks to DTVE about his company’s latest research into consumer behaviour and the market impact of changing patterns of content viewing. What are the key changes that are now taking place in the way people view content, according to Accenture’s latest research?Consumers are choosing video over other forms of content, watching all lengths of video on all types of devices, and seeking out video wherever and whenever it is convenient for them. Video will make up 70% of all global internet traffic by 2018*. While the TV set remains the principal device for premium content, overall viewing is rapidly fragmenting across multiple devices and formats. Accenture’s research** shows that the diversity is growing, with more than half of the devices in use for video consumption today being either PCs, tablets, smartphones or other multiplatform devices.As consumers spend more time watching online videos, short form video is now a firmly entrenched content form supported by a sophisticated ecosystem that rivals more traditional media. At the same time, viewing of longer form video on non-TV devices is growing. Looking forward, consumer viewing of live events on mobile devices out of home is gaining momentum. On demand, time shifting and binge watching on all platforms are trends that are now very much in play, driving a rising need for media companies to understand and leverage context to influence how a consumer selects, engages with and consumes content.*Accenture Research analysis based on Cisco Visual Networking Index Global IP Traffic Forecast and Service Adoption (2013–2018)** 2015 Accenture Digital Consumer SurveyWhat impact will the use of data likely have on the video business and what challenges and opportunities does the availability of massive amounts of data have for content companies?In the same way that web-scale platform companies constantly mine and leverage data to enhance and target offers, TV and video services need to engage consumers with predictive and personalised interactions based on past behaviour, behaviours of similar consumers, and real-time interactions that create a genuine sense of intimacy for every individual. The collection and interrogation of data can also unlock the power of a creative workforce: a key source of differentiation in the digital market. Once a media organisation becomes more mature with its use of data, it can—and should—be harnessed to better inform decision making about content, from curation to commissioning.Promoting the collection and consolidating analysis of viewing data, user preferences, recommendations and ratings—as well as data from social media and other sources—can greatly increase the accuracy of decisions to, for example, recommission a second series or new season and support decision making about curation, discovery, and recommendations. This capability is not only contained to consumer applications; the factors that underpin successful digital and social marketing are also all grounded in the ability to gather and use more data more intelligently. Extending digital reach, engineering higher loyalty and elongating the time consumers want to spend on each digital channel visit depends upon an appropriate operating model which, enabled by data, provides video businesses with fresh insights, improved consumer offers and relevant suggestionsHow will ‘digital natives’ disrupt the market, how much of a challenge do they pose for traditional media companies and do they have any weaknesses?‘Born digital’ players such as Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook are vying to become ‘go-to’ providers for the new digital video ecosystem. They’re marshalling their uniquely digital heritage that gives them inherent understanding of how digital consumers behave and what they want, alongside mastery of the capabilities to target and serve them effectively. These digital natives can deliver digital experiences and enable capabilities at global scale. They’re adept at highly personalised targeting, analytics and actionable insight, retail transactions, aggregation and optimised distribution—and can use those capabilities far more effectively and efficiently than (most) video content providers today.However, traditional content providers such as cable and broadcasters still, for the time being, command a hefty slice of consumer loyalty. Consumers in the 2015 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey trust broadcasters and cable companies more than others to deliver a quality video over the internet service to their TV screen. That loyalty is very important, but it can’t be taken for granted. As technical innovations continue to develop quickly and consumer behaviours continue to evolve rapidly, traditional players have no time to lose in acquiring and developing the new digital capabilities they’ll need to compete in the longer term.Why is scale so important for media companies as consumption patterns shift? How do you define optimal scale?Increasing the number of digital subscribers is important in the face of what is likely to be relatively low average revenue per user (ARPU) and a fairly inelastic market for non-aggregated OTT that makes anything other than marginal price increases unlikely to be acceptable. Scale is critical for both ad-driven and subscription digital business models in order to collect sufficient volumes of data that will allow for the creation of meaningfully sized consumer segments to attract marketing budgets whose effectiveness can accountably be measured. Scale is also important in order to collect sufficient amounts of engagement data to create statistically relevant models with significant digital segments that enable high-value capabilities such as hyper-targeting and highly contextualised digital interactions.Before they decide on which business model they will pursue to compete in a digital world, it is imperative that content providers first implement strategies that will allow them both to acquire and support sufficient scale. This is required to promote significant interactions with their platforms so they can better understand the behaviours of their digital consumer base. Then if they are enabled by cloud platforms, for example, they can harness and handle any unpredictable demand that will underline those interactions.Which types of traditional media organization stand potentially to gain from the changes taking place and which are more vulnerable? What should the winners do to consolidate their advantages and, conversely, is there anything traditional business who do not want to compete through technology can do to arrest their decline or protect their business?The ability to engage, retain, and monetise consumers in the digital world requires an efficient operating model that combines agile product development and a strong technology delivery capability. That’s a prerequisite for developing, testing, learning, and reacting to consumer demands as content-based features (discovery, consumption, and interaction) are shipped into digital products.Content providers and broadcasters face some far-reaching choices. They need to decide—and decide quickly—between two clear strategic options. They may choose to build their own platform (comprising both the right technology and supporting organisation) on which to ride the waves of disruption. If not, they will need to partner with others who possess the relevant capabilities and, in doing so, hone their abilities to successfully and sustainably their content on partner platforms. It’s a highly strategic choice that will determine the future of content providers’ businesses. It is also a choice they need to make very soon—before consumers make it for them.