Executive Council met yesterday afternoon with just one item on the Open Agenda – the Investment Strategy April 2019 – which had been deferred from the previous meeting held on 16 April.

The Investment Strategy seeks to encourage investment where it contributes to the Sustainable Economic Development Plan goals. It is concerned with the practicalities of investment and sets out the process for investors to access incentives.

Both resident and non-resident investors have and continue to provide key contributions to the St Helena economy. In future, investment by both types of investors will contribute to economic growth and development.

Council noted that Enterprise St Helena is also in the process of developing an Investment Prospectus which will also help potential investors in terms of identifying properties which represent an investment opportunity.

Executive Council was pleased to approve the Investment Strategy, a copy of which can be found on the Investors page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/investors/

ExCo

24 April 2019

Personnel from the Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Directorate (ENRPD)  and the Saint Helena National Trust (SHNT) recently had the opportunity to take part in the St Helena ‘Train The Trainer’ (TTT) Course.

The TTT course, delivered by Leigh Morris (a consultant working for the Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD), was a four-day programme targeted at people working in the environmental/land-based sector on St Helena. The course is designed, regardless of people’s previous experience, to develop their skills to become more confident and effective communicators, trainers and teachers, through an immersive, interactive programme.

The 12 participants on the course included people who will take the lead in delivering the TTT course on-Island in the future. The course saw participants taking part in discussions, teaching observations and a range of classroom exercises on the following topics:

  • Lesson/session planning
  • Presentation skills
  • Reflection and self-analysis
  • Learning styles & adapting training to suit different styles
  • Engaging with audience’ use of questions
  • Teaching a practical skill
  • Team Teaching

The final day of the TTT Course took place on Wednesday, 3 April 2019, at ANRD, Scotland, with participants each delivering their second individual micro-teach session to the rest of their class, on aspects of their work. The session’s topics ranged from calibrating a knapsack spray to calculating gross margins for crops, and from grading timber to how to record weather data.

Agricultural Development Officer, Andy Timm, commented:

“Overall, it was a brilliant course, and I am confident that the participants learnt a lot and will use the skills and knowledge gained in their current job roles.”

The participants will receive their TTT certificates from Acting Director of ENRPD, Darren Duncan, at a presentation at Scotland on 1 May 2019.

Notes to Editor

The need for the TTT course was a key recommendation of the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) carried out in 2018, the full report of which is available on the SHG website here: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Agriculture-Training-Needs-Analysis-Report-Oct-2018.pdf

TTT Course Tutor, Leigh Morris, developed the course when he was based at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), to better enable botanists and horticulturists to pass on their knowledge and skills. He developed the TTT Course further in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), who subsequently used the course to train staff across all their gardens. Leigh has previously delivered the TTT course at RBGE, RHS, and at other botanic gardens around the world.

#StHelena #ANRD #Training #Upskilling #ENRPD

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SHG
23 April 2019

The UK Home Secretary has opened a scheme to compensate members of the ‘Windrush generation’ who were unable to prove their right to live in the UK.

The scheme, which was designed in consultation with those affected and will have independent oversight, is the latest step in the UK Government’s commitment to right the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation.

It will provide payments to eligible individuals who did not have the right documentation to prove their status in the UK and suffered adverse effects on their life as a result. These could range from a loss of employment or access to housing, education or NHS healthcare to emotional distress or a deterioration in mental and physical health.

The scheme is open to anyone from any nationality who has the right to live or work in the UK without any restrictions or is now a British Citizen, and arrived in the UK before 31 December 1988. It is also open to anyone from a Commonwealth country who arrived and settled in the UK before 1973. Certain children and grandchildren of those arriving before 1973 and some close family members may also be eligible to apply.

People who were wrongfully detained or removed from the UK could also be able to make a claim.

St Helena Government is not aware of any St Helenians who have been affected by Windrush or who would be eligible for compensation. However, in the event that anyone has been affected, please do refer to the scheme guidelines for further information.

Further information on the Windrush Compensation Scheme including the guidelines and claim form can be found here: http://www.gov.uk/windrush-compensation.

#StHelena #WindrushCompensationScheme

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SHG
23 April 2019

The following is a Public Announcement from the Police Directorate:

St Helena Police are currently investigating damage to a boat at the Jamestown Wharf which occurred at around 11pm on Sunday, 7 April 2019.

The boat, which was undergoing maintenance at the time, was hit by a vehicle.

Anyone who may have any information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Police Headquarters on tel: 22626 regardless of how minor they may consider their information.

The community is thanked for their continued assistance.

 SHG
23 April 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

The following is a Public Announcement from Port Control:

Jamestown Wharf

Port Control would like to advise that the Jamestown Wharf will open to the public as normal from 4pm today, Thursday 18 April 2019. All ‘break bulk’ cargo has now been cleared from the Wharf and Port Control would like to thank Merchants and other parties for clearing the area in time for the Wharf to open for the Easter weekend.

Rupert’s Wharf

Rupert’s Wharf and beach is now open to the public until midnight on Friday, 19 April 2019. Thereafter, Rupert’s Wharf including the beach area, will be closed to the public over the Easter weekend for the arrival of the fuel tanker and fuel operations to take place.

Emergency Services will be granted access to Rupert’s Wharf and beach area at all times.

The public will be informed as to when Rupert’s will reopen to the public.

 SHG
18 April 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

At around 9.30am today, Thursday 18 April 2019, a silver ford fiesta car, registration number 2969, belonging to Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc was stolen.

The driver was travelling through the Rock Rose area when they had to stop to remove some concrete blocks obstructing the road. While the driver was removing the blocks a male person took the vehicle.

St Helena Police are investigating the incident and asks any member of the public if they see this vehicle to please report it to Police Headquarters on tel: 22626 or the emergency line: 999. Please do not approach the vehicle or any of its occupants.

This incident is in the early stages of investigation and any information about the vehicle or this incident should immediately be reported to Police.

#StHelena #StHelenaPolice

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SHG
18 April 2019

Executive Council met on Tuesday, 16 April 2019, with three items on the Open Agenda.

The first two items – the Investment Strategy April 2019 and the Rules of Procedure of the Executive Council and the Duties of Members and the Clerk of Councils – were deferred to later meetings allowing for additional information to be provided.

The SHG financial statements for 2017/18 were then presented by the Financial Secretary, these were the seventh set of financial statements prepared in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).  The accounts continue to show an improvement year on year with three qualifications from the 2016/17 financial statements being cleared in 2017/18 and with two legacy qualifications remaining.  In 2017/18 two new qualifications have been given by the Chief Auditor on the fair presentation of the statements.

The Chief Auditor presented his Audit Management Letter, outlining the challenges encountered during the audit and the areas that have resulted in a qualification.  The Chief Auditor also outlined his recommendations arising from the audit and Executive Council noted the responses given by the Financial Secretary as to how these recommendations will be addressed.

After much deliberation, Members supported the Financial Secretary’s recommendation to approve the financial statements and thanked both the Corporate Finance and St Helena Audit Service teams for their hard work in bringing the audit process to a conclusion.

Members were keen to point out the importance of having audited financial statements for greater accountability and transparency on public spending.  Good Governance is essential in a modern democratic society. The financial statements and the Chief Auditor’s Management Letter will be laid upon the table at the next formal Legislative Council meeting and thereafter be scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee.

The meeting concluded at around 12.45pm.

Notes to Editors

The SHG Financial Statements for 2017/18 are now available on the Finance page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/finance/

A photo of the Financial Secretary and Chief Auditor signing the Financial Statements is attached to this report.

ExCo

18 April 2019

In a bulletin issued from the St Helena Statistics Office today, new estimates of the St Helena Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total value of all the goods and services produced on St Helena during a year, for 2017/18 was £42.4 million or £9,220 per person.  When price inflation is taken into account, this is a slight fall of 1.7% from 2016/17.

When converted to US dollars using standard exchange rates, GDP per capita was around $12,230 in 2017/18. Other countries with similar levels of GDP per capita include Croatia, Palau, Costa Rica, and American Samoa.

Government Services contributed the most to St Helena’s GDP, at £18.5 million, or 50% of total Gross Value Added. Wholesale and Retail Trade (including Motor Vehicle Repair and Transport) is the second largest sector, contributing around 19% of total Gross Value Added, and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing is the smallest.

The bulletin shows that the economy grew strongly in 2015/16 by 5.1%, when airport construction was still underway, but it shrank the following year (2016/17) by 7.1% following completion of the majority of the airport construction.

The full Statistical Bulletin can be found on the St Helena Government website here:  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistical-bulletin-no-5-2019-gdp/ detailed data can be accessed in Excel format from the ‘GDP’ file at: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data.

#StHelena #Statistics #GDP #Economy #StatsNews

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SHG
17 April 2019

This Bulletin presents updated and revised statistics of St Helena’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), following on from the previous release of provisional estimates for 2014/15 in the Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin of October 2016. The statistics and indicators presented in this Bulletin can be downloaded in Excel format from the ‘GDP’ file on the St Helena Statistics website at: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data.

Gross Domestic Product

Gross Domestic Product is a key indicator of economic activity used around the world: it measures the total value of all the goods and services produced on St Helena during a year. Table 1 presents estimates of GDP and other key indicators. For 2017/18, total GDP (at market prices i.e. including customs duties) is estimated to be £42.4 million and total GDP per capita is estimated to be £9,220.

GDP for 2014/15 is now estimated to have been £40.2 million, an upwards revision of £6.7 million compared to the previous published provisional estimate of £33.5 million. The revision to the provisional 2014/15 estimates is due to improved estimates of the activity involved in constructing the new airport, the value of owner-occupied housing, and the use of government capital (i.e. depreciation). The revision reflects the difficulty of measuring GDP in a small economy such as St Helena; in particular the impact of large one-off activities (such as the construction of the airport) and the dependence of St Helena’s economy on aid flows from abroad mean that trends and levels of GDP and associated indicators should be used with great caution. In addition, while the new estimates are improved, there are still considerable uncertainties in some of the data sources used in their compilation.

To measure the ‘real’ change in the size of the economy, (i.e. accounting for price inflation), St Helena’s Retail Price Index (RPI) has been used to measure GDP in 2017/18 constant market prices. For 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2017/18 it is measured at £44.2 million, £46.4 million, and £43.2 million respectively. These estimates give a positive annual growth rate in the overall domestic economy for 2015/16 of 5.1% (when airport construction was underway), a larger negative annual growth rate for 2016/17 (-7.1%) following completion of the majority of airport construction, and a smaller negative annual growth rate in 2017/18 (-1.7%), during the period when scheduled airport operations were starting (Chart 1). Using this method to take account of inflation indicates that size of the economy on St Helena was slightly smaller in 2017/18 than it was in 2014/15.

Per capita Gross Domestic Product

The size of an economy, measured using GDP, is influenced by the number of people that live there – large countries will typically have larger economies than smaller ones. For example, China has the second highest GDP in the world (the United States has the highest), some $12.3 trillion in 2017. But it also has the highest population in the world, some 1.39 billion people in 2017. So to provide an estimate of the size of the economy that can be compared with other countries, per capita estimates are used: total GDP, divided by the size of the population. For 2017/18, St Helena’s GDP per capita is estimated to be £9,220, or $12,230.

Compared to other countries, the four countries immediately below St Helena in the global ranking (using 2017 estimates for other countries) are Costa Rica, American Samoa, The Maldives, and Romania; and the four countries immediately above St Helena in the ranking are Palau, Croatia, Poland and Hungary (Chart 2). The country with the highest published GDP per capita in in 2017 was Luxembourg; the country with the lowest was Burundi. The GDP per capita of the United Kingdom in 2017 was $39,720.

Please note that these estimates do not account for purchasing power of different currencies in different economies; further work would be needed to accurately establish the purchasing power of the St Helena pound compared to the rest of the world. It is also important not to compare this figure with estimates of average wages or incomes; GDP measures the combined incomes of both companies and individuals, and GDP per capita estimates are expressed as a ratio to the whole population, including those both economically active and inactive.

Note: St Helena is 2017/18 financial year; all other countries are 2017 calendar year. Data source for other countries: World Bank, World Development Indicators (http://data.worldbank.org).

Sectoral breakdown of GDP

The 2017/18 estimate of GDP has been compiled using the ‘Production’ approach, which is the most common method in countries around the world, but which has not been used on St Helena previously. This approach calculates GDP as the total of ‘Gross Value Added’ for each sector in the economy, illustrated in Chart 3; the contribution of each sector is recorded in 2017/18 basic prices (i.e. excluding taxes on production and customs duties). Government Services contributed the most (£18.5 million, or 50%) with Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing contributing the least. Wholesale and Retail Trade (including Motor Vehicle Repair and Transport) is the second largest sector, contributing around 19% of total Gross Value Added.

Gross National Income

An alternative measure to GDP is called Gross National Income (GNI). GDP is a measure of the total goods and services produced within the territory of St Helena, and GNI is a measure of the value received of the goods and services produced by St Helena’s residents, regardless of where they produce those goods or deliver those services. GNI is derived from GDP, and it should be noted that there are considerable weaknesses in the additional data sources needed to compute GNI; the estimates should therefore be used with caution, and considered to be indicative only.

Chart 4 shows the nominal levels (i.e. without inflation adjustment) of GDP and GNI per capita. Over the four years 2014/15 to 2017/18, the difference between the two has narrowed; there was a larger gap between the two during airport construction, largely due to the non-resident nature of Basil Read, the South African company contracted by the St Helena Government to build the airport.

Notes and Methodology

Revisions: Please note that all estimates published in this bulletin should be considered to be provisional and subject to future revision as additional data sources and clarifications become available (the development of St Helena’s National Accounts is an ongoing program). This bulletin presents revised estimates for 2014/15.

Approach: There are three basic methods of compiling total GDP: the expenditure, income, and production approaches. Prior to 2016, St Helena published estimates based on the expenditure approach, and in 2016 a figure for 2014/15 was published based on the income approach. This Bulletin presents new estimates for 2017/18 based on the production approach, and estimates for 2014/15 to 2016/17 based on the income approach. As far as practicable in a small economy with limited resources, the compilation methods used follow the international guidance published in the ‘2008 System of National Accounts’ by the United Nations.

GDP at basic prices: The income approach estimates at basic prices are derived as the sum of total compensation of employees, the gross operating surplus of companies and non-profit institutions, an estimate of government depreciation, the incomes of sole traders, and an estimate of the rental value derived by households from the owner-occupation of their homes. The production approach estimates at basic prices are derived as the sum of the gross value added of companies, government expenditure, plus an estimate of government depreciation, the incomes of sole traders, and an estimate of the rental value derived by households from the owner-occupation of their homes.

GDP at market prices: For both the production and income approaches, GDP at market prices is derived by adding total import taxes on products and taxes on production to total GDP at basic prices.

Inflation adjustment: Estimates are presented in both nominal and real terms (referred to this bulletin as constant 2017/18 prices). Estimates in nominal terms will change due to both the effect of price changes and because of growth in the size of the economy. Changes in the size of the economy can only be measured using estimates expressed in real terms. Real terms estimates have been calculated using inflation estimates derived from St Helena’s Retail Price Index. It should be noted that this is not the usual recommended method (which is to use a special inflation estimate known as a GDP deflator). This is because the detailed price data needed to calculate a GDP deflator is not available, and because the GDP deflator calculations require GDP estimates derived using the production method – and 2017/18 is the first year that this has been done.

Measurement issues: There are significant measurement difficulties in estimating GDP and related indicators for St Helena. In some areas there are very limited (or no) sources to estimate some GDP components. For 2017/18, an improvement was to obtain data directly from larger companies using a set of questions added to the 2018 Business Survey. Additionally, the recommended measurement framework and concepts are not designed for measuring GDP in small, aid-dependent economies. Estimates are very sensitive to certain recording or classification conventions, which, while appropriate for larger economies, may distort trends and levels in smaller countries. There are further measurement difficulties in calculating GNI; in particular there are very limited data sources to estimate the income received from abroad by resident individuals and companies, and the income transferred abroad by non-resident individuals and companies (for the purpose of the GNI estimates presented in this bulletin, it has been assumed that the net income received from abroad by resident individuals is similar in size to the net income transferred abroad by non-residents).

Per capita estimates: For calculating per capita estimates of GDP and GNI, the population total used is the average of the end of month population estimates for the period, as published on the St Helena Government website.

Currency conversion: For converting from St Helena pounds (£) to United States dollars ($), the average daily spot rates published by the Bank of England have been used.

Data sources: The primary sources that have been used to compile GDP and related measures include the 2018 Business Survey, the 2017/18 Income Tax database, published company accounts, and population estimates published by the Statistics Office. Thanks are extended to all the companies and businesses that responded to the Business Survey, and to the Income Tax Office for their cooperation and help in using the data from tax returns for this purpose.

Technical advice and support: Compiling estimates of Gross Domestic Product and related National Accounts is a highly complex and specialised task which would not have been possible without technical advice and support to the St Helena Statistics Office from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the United Kingdom. Thanks are especially due to Jim O’Donoghue of the ONS Methodology Advisory Service for his expertise and patience.

Questions or comments?

Please get in touch: we are Neil Fantom, Statistical Commissioner, Justine Joshua and Stuart Moors, Senior Statistical Assistants, and Bertina Benjamin, Statistics Assistant. You can find us in person at the Statistics Office on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown, at the back of the main courtyard. You can also contact us by telephone: our direct line is 22138 or via the Castle switchboard on 22470. If calling from overseas, the international dialling code for St Helena is +290. Our general office e-mail address is statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, or you can email team members directly (the format is firstname.lastname@sainthelena.gov.sh).

The St Helena Sea Rescue Service is currently creating a database of all Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) on the Island.

Being able to identify a vessel is important when putting together a response & search plan. For example, if a vessel’s EPIRB is activated but its position is not picked up, some local preliminary investigations to ascertain its last known position could be made, thus enabling Sea Rescue to organise a suitable response.

Beacon activation alerts, received by the Coast Station or Sea Rescue from any Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), contain a unique 15 hexadecimal character string (HEX ID). This HEX ID can be used to ascertain the vessel’s identity.

Recently there have been a few alerts and the Sea Rescue Service has been unable to assist an MRCC in identifying the vessel.

The aim of the database of all EPIRBs and PLBs is to ensure that, upon receiving a beacon alert, this information will be readily available to Sea Rescue and the Coast Station.

Sea Rescue requests that owners of an EPIRB or PLB, please contact any the following persons with the required details:

Simon Wade (Sea Rescue Manager) Tel: 25215 or Email: simonwade@helanta.co.sh

Craig Scipio (Deputy Sea Rescue Manager) Tel: 25215 or Email: craigscipio@helanta.co.sh

Leeroy Caswell (Deputy Sea Rescue Manager) Tel: 25215 or Email: leeroy.caswell@helanta.co.sh

Marco Yon (Emergency Planning Officer) Tel: 25052 or Email: marco.yon@helanta.co.sh

Steve Kirk (Harbour Master) Tel: 22287 or Email: steve.kirk@sainthelena.gov.sh

The details required are:

  1. Name of the EPIRB/PLB owner
  2. Name of the vessel that the beacon belongs to
  3. The beacon’s Hex ID (a 15 digit alphanumeric code written or stamped on the EPIRB/PLB)
  4. The battery expiry date (if known)

In due course, this database will be registered with Cospas Sarsat, who hold the International Beacon Registration Database (IBRD), therefore helping to ensure that this area of maritime safety is at the best possible level.

#StHelena #SeaRescue #RequestForInformation #EPIRBs #PLBs #AltogetherSafer

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SHG
17 April 2019