Saint Lucia Citizenship Investment Programme makes top three in the 2022 CBI Index

Castries, Aug. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — St Lucia took third place in this year’s instalment of the CBI Index – which ranked 13 countries with operational citizenship by investment programmes.

Seen as an industry voice and reliable source for those looking to vet CBI programmes around the world, the CBI Index is published annually by the Private Wealth Management magazine, a publication of the Financial Times, and in partnership with CS Global Partners.

This year, St Lucia was ranked alongside Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Cambodia, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, St Kitts and Nevis, Turkey, and Vanuatu.

The CBI Index ranked these jurisdictions across nine pillars including Freedom of Movement, Standard of Living, Minimum Investment Outlay, Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family and Certainty of Product.

Having recently welcomed Mc Claude Emmanuel to the position of Chief Executive Officer of its CBI unit, St Lucia was recognised its affordable minimum investment outlay, reasonable mandatory travel or residence requirements and ease of application processing.

“This recognition means a lot to us. The CBI Index is a globally recognised report that has been assessing CBI programmes for the last six years and not only will investors gain insight into our programme but it also gives us an opportunity to improve aspects of our programme to increase our scores next year,” said notes Mc Claude Emmanuel, CEO of St Lucia’s CPI Unit.

Investors can become a citizen of St Lucia in as little as 90 days by investing only a minimum of US$100,000 through its National Economic Fund, and busy entrepreneurs are not required to stay in the country for prescribed periods of time.

There weren’t many significant changes in the minimum investment outlays since the 2021 CBI Index, this was reflected in no change in the order of the final scores.

There were also no changes from the 2021 CBI Index to scores under the Mandatory Travel or Residence Pillar – Caribbean nations continue to rank highly in this area.

The country scored 87% overall.

St Lucia scored 9 out of ten for Due Diligence, Citizenship Timeline, and Family.

A very important aspect of any CBI programme is its ability to vet applicants and ensure that only honest individuals who can account for how they make a living are accepted into the programmes.

“We are on an ongoing drive to continuously enhance the due diligence processes of our programme as we are very keen to protect its integrity and value,” noted Mc Claude Emmanuel.

With ongoing geopolitical tensions, special attention is now being given to jurisdictions that offer CBI programmes. The international community is concerned that these programmes may offer boltholes for suspect characters looking to evade the law.

International respect is vital for any CBI programme to thrive, and a layer of ongoing monitoring is becoming a key pillar of reputable CBI Units such as that of St Lucia. Caribbean nations are setting global best practices when it comes to advancements in due diligence processes.

The Citizenship Timeline Pillar looks at the average time taken for citizenship to be secured by the applicant. One of the key merits of CBI programmes is their ability to provide a rapid route to second citizenship; St Lucia was awarded top points for its short turnaround times, which takes three months for citizenship to be granted from the date the Authorised Agent is notified that the application has been accepted for processing.

The CBI Index recognises that the rise of increasingly complex family relationships is driving investors to seek programmes that allow for a more diverse range of family members to be included under a primary application.

As an additional layer of nuance to its scoring system, this year’s CBI Index also draws a distinction between family members who are allowed to apply with and obtain citizenship at the same time as the main applicant and those who can apply at a later stage and because of the main applicant has already received citizenship.

Multiple family member categories were considered, with points being awarded for adult children, parents, grandparents and even siblings. Additional merit was also given to programmes with provisions for family members of the main applicant’s spouse. Additionally, the degree of flexibility within each of these categories can differ radically from programme to programme.

St Lucia scored 8 out of 10 in the Certainty of Product pillar. This pillar encompasses a range of factors that measure a programme’s certainty across five different dimensions: longevity, popularity and renown, stability, reputation, and adaptability.

Longevity measures the age of a given programme while Popularity and renown evaluate the number of applications and naturalisations under each programme per year, as well as a programme’s eminence in the industry.

The reputation of a programme was determined by the amount of negative press or the number of scandals it has been linked to, affecting investors’ broader perceptions of the countries in which they invest. Just as important, however, is evidence that programme funds are being utilised for social good. Points were awarded for a jurisdiction’s transparent use of CBI funds, for example for the development of domestic healthcare, education, tourism and other infrastructure. One of the main ways that investors can become citizens of St Lucia is through its Economic Fund which Mc Claude Emmanuel has said will “benefit all St Lucians by investing in social interventions and assisting the country to be food secure as assistance will be given to local farmers.”

Lastly, adaptability reflects a programme’s ability to rapidly respond to, and sometimes even predict, the needs of applicants and the industry.

St Lucia continues to offer a popular programme with consistently high application volumes, stability with no caps on the number of applications or specific calls to end the programme, and adaptability both in respect of changes to keep the programme functioning during Covid-19 and its swift response to the Russian invasion.

St Lucia, along with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis scored seven out of 10 in the Freedom of Movement pillar. St Lucia has access to 15 of the 20 key business hubs assessed in the 2022 CBI Index.

Lastly, St Lucia scored six out of 10 for its decent freedom, GDP growth and GNI scores.

Download the full CBI Index here, to get further insights into the CBI industry and a full evaluation of the CBI programmes of the 12 other jurisdictions in the rankings.

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Farmworker arrested for alleged possession of pangolin skin near Okahandja

A 34-year-old man was on Friday arrested after he was allegedly found in possession of a dried pangolin skin at Farm Irene in the Hochfeld area near Okahandja.

Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson in the Otjozondjupa Region, Inspector Maureen Mbeha on Saturday told Nampa that the suspect is a farmworker at the commercial farm.

The skin worth N.dollars 50 000 was allegedly found inside his house on the farm, and it is reported he had intentions to sell the skin, said Mbeha.

“Reacting on a tip-off from a member of the general public, we successfully arrested the suspect and recovered the skin from him on Friday afternoon at about 15h00,” she said.

The suspect is now expected to appear in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of possession of controlled wildlife product without a permit, said Mbeha.

Police investigations in the matter continue.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Shangula inaugurates new Nkurenkuru PHC Clinic

Health and Social Services Minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula, recently inaugurated the Nkurenkuru Primary Health Care (PHC) Clinic in the Kavango West Region, which is the first phase component of the envisaged Nkurenkuru district hospital.

The state-of-the-art facility which opened its doors to the general public in May this year is the first government-funded clinic to be constructed in the town of Nkurenkuru.

It offers services such as screening, monitoring and treatment of common illnesses, growth monitoring and promotion, expanded programs on immunization (EPI), antenatal and postnatal care, family planning services, and dental services.

The Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) section of the clinic will offer voluntary counselling and testing services and will host an adolescent-friendly room with its own private entrance.

In his address, Shangula said a staff structure of 40 positions for the clinic has been approved, which include two medical officers or doctors, 15 registered nurses, 10 enrolled nurses, one pharmacist and three pharmacist assistants, as well as support staff.

“The completion of this project is part of the government’s effort to improve the delivery of health care services in all regions of the country,” he said adding that as a responsive government, resources were mobilised to build this clinic and ensure that it is staffed and supplied with the required supplies and equipment.

The facility, he said is now in the hands of the community and urged them to make use of the services available to improve the quality of life of the residents of the town and the region. “Let us not vandalise or damage in any way, these valuable assets,” he advised while calling on members of the public to report any acts of vandalism or theft of state assets to the relevant authorities.

Meanwhile, the minister announced the completion of several projects and clinics including an outpatient department and infectious disease facility at Okahao District Hospital, and a maternity waiting shelter at Outapi.

The completion of these projects, he noted was made possible with the support of partners, despite spending most efforts and funding on combating the outbreak of COVID-19, over the past two years.

Kavango West Governor Sirrka Ausiku on her part expressed gratitude to the Ministry for finally completing the clinic and called on the Ministry to complete similar facilities that have been long overdue.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

CDC committed to helping Namibia build resilient health systems

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Namibia Country Director Dr Brian Baker has reaffirmed CDC’s commitment to supporting Namibia in improving health facilities and building resilient health systems that can withstand health emergencies and outbreaks.

Baker was speaking in Rundu recently during the official handover of an oxygen-generating plant donated by the CDC Namibia to the Rundu hospital.

He said the donation is one of the many ways the United States government is supporting Namibia to build a better future for the people of Namibia.

CDC and Namibia, Baker highlighted, have over two decades relation where CDC has worked hand in hand with the government especially the health ministry to fight the HIV and tuberculosis epidemics and recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From the moment the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Namibia, CDC was ready to support the Ministry in any way possible, helping with laboratory testing, assisting with messaging to the public, joining Namibian experts to ensure the best treatment to patients, and working with the Ministry to closely monitor the ups and downs of the pandemic,” Baker said.

Meanwhile, Baker called on Namibians to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying: ‘Getting vaccinated against COVID is important for several reasons. It protects people from being infected, but also, protects people from becoming very sick if they do become infected.”

He emphasized that there is clear scientific evidence that the vaccine protects people from being hospitalized, from becoming sick enough to need oxygen, and most importantly, it protects people from dying.

“In addition to protecting individuals, COVID-19 vaccination helps reduce the spread of the virus, meaning that it is also protecting your community members, including your family, friends, and loved ones. It is estimated that the COVID vaccine saved over 20 million lives across the world last year alone,” Baker noted.

Health Minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said it is through the support and cooperation of partners that Namibia has brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control such that all Covid-19 regulations have been lifted.

“Let us continue to work together until we no longer record Covid-19 cases in Namibia,” Shangula said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Namibian cup kicks off

The 20th edition of The Namibian Newspaper Cup kicked off at Oshakati, in the Oshana region on Friday, after a two-year hiatus due to restrictions enforced on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Executive Director in the Ministry of Sport Youth and National Service Erastus Haitengela said the tournament plays a very important role in developing future national team players for both football and netball.

“We just witnessed our netball team the Desert Jewels in the African World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa, and soon we will see some under 20 footballers representing Namibia at the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) tournament in South Africa soon,” he said.

Oshana Region, Governor Elia Irimari in his remarks, said sports have the potential to enrich the lives of Namibians hence the need for developmental tournaments of such nature.

“Let me assure you that this tournament promises serious competition and colourful matches in both football and netball competitions. I, therefore, call on other corporates to support sports to help us achieve success in sports,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the field of play, football was dominated by draws as four of the first five matches ended in one-all draws.

Karas kicked off the defence of the title with a one-nil victory over Kavango West, while Otjozondjupa versus Kavango West, Outjo versus the Zambezi, Kunene versus Hardap and Oshana versus Erongo all ended in a draw.

In netball, game one saw Omaheke account for Hardap 25-15, while in game two Oshikoto triumphed over Kavango East 20-18 and in game three Otjozondjupa accounted for 30-16.

In game four, Khomas accounted for the defending champions Erongo via 28-21 and Ohangwena beat Kavango West 22-14 in game five. Game six saw Oshana 30-25 against Kavango East.

The tournament continues until Sunday when new champions will be crowned.

Below are some of the results for the matches that were played until the early hours of Saturday;

Match No 6: Oshikoto 0-0 Omaheke

Match No 7: Otjozondjupa 1-1 //Kharas

Match No 8: Zambezi 1 – 0 Kavango West

Match No 9 : Hardap 1-2 Ohangwena

Match No 10 : Kunene 0-1 Omusati

Match No 11: Khomas 3-1 Erongo

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Khomas through to Netball semi finals

Khomas Region became the first region to qualify for the netball semi-finals of the ongoing Namibian Newspaper Cup which is currently underway in the Omusati Region.

Khomas beat //Karas 36-07 before accounting for Kavango West 40-08 before they completely overwhelmed Oshikoto 42-15 to effectively seal their spot in the semi-finals.

The previous day they had beaten defending champions and traditional rivals Erongo and Otjozondjupa 28-21 respectively.

Khomas’ runaway train now awaits three teams from the following four; Oshana, Omusati, Erongo and Hardap region to join them in the semi-finals.

Kavango West and Kavango East, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, //Karas, Kunene and Zambezi are effectively knocked out of this year’s competition.

Khomas captain Louise van der Westhuizen told Nampa that they are enjoying the tournament so far, with their main aim being to win the trophy.

“There is a little bit of pressure for us to win the tournament but we are taking it one game at a time. We are now looking forward to the semi-final match,” she said.

In the men’s tournament, Group C participants Erongo are the first team to be officially eliminated after they lost 1-3 to Khomas in the early hours of Saturday.

Erongo leaves the tournament with one point following their one-all draw against Oshana in their three-team group.

The group will be decided later on during the day between Khomas and Oshana as only one team can qualify from Group C.

Group A is also evenly balanced with Zambezi and //Karas in the driving seat with five points apiece after three matches.

In Group B Ohangwena is nervously awaiting the results between Omusati and Hardap Region to see if they can keep their top spot in the group with seven points.

Omusati has four points but will need to win by four clear goals to make it to the next round.

In Group D, Omaheke is effectively out after drawing their two matches, but Kavango East and Oshikoto have a battle on their hands as the match is a winner take.

In the event of a draw, head-to-head will then take effect to determine who goes through.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Two rhino carcasses discovered on game farms in Otjozondjupa

Two carcasses of female black rhinos were discovered at two different private game farms in the Otjituuo and Otjiwarongo areas of the Otjozondjupa Region this week.

Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson in the region, Inspector Maureen Mbeha on Saturday said the police have launched extensive investigations in both cases.

She said during August this year, an adult female pregnant black rhino was shot and killed at a private game farm near Otjiwarongo.

“Both its horns were removed from the carcass, and we still don’t know the date it was shot and killed or the type of a hunting rifle which was used in the poaching,” said Mbeha.

However, since the animal was pregnant and it was about to deliver, the total loss of N.dollars 1 million has been attached to it, she said.

On 22 August this year again at another commercial game farm situated near Otjituuo in the Grootfontein district, a black female rhino was also shot and killed there by unknown poachers, Mbeha said.

Its large and small horns were all removed from the carcass when the farmworkers discovered the crime scene on Monday, she said.

An estimated loss of N.dollars 500 000 has been incurred in this poaching, and the police are hard at work in examining the types of firearms which were used or the number of suspected poachers who were involved in this case at Otjituuo, Mbeha said.

“So far no arrests have been made in connection with both matters, and police investigations continue,” she said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Lady Luck saves the Zambezi Region

Zambezi Region had their lucky stars to thank after they qualified for the semi-finals of the 2022 Namibian Newspaper Cup competition for the first time via the drawing of lots in Oshakati on Saturday.

After the group stages, Zambezi and //Karas Region were tied on five points each while Otjozondjupa finished third with three points and Kavango West only managed a single point.

This necessitated the organisers to conduct a draw to pick the team that qualifies for the semi-finals as per competition rules.

Normalisation Committee (NFA) Namibia Football Association (NFA) Acting Secretary General Jochen Traut conducted the draw with the assistance of NFA Competitions Manager Tim Isaacks in the presence of officials from the two teams and Nampa.

Traut then drew out the Zambezi who qualify for the semi-finals for the first time after they won one and drew two of their group matches.

By so doing, Zambezi becomes the first team to qualify for the next round of this year’s competition.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Namibia finishes seventh at 2023 Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers

The national senior women’s netball team, the Debmarine Desert Jewels finished seventh at the World Netball African Regional qualifiers at the University of Pretoria (Tuks) Rembrandt Hall on Friday night.

The 2023 Cape Town Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers saw nine teams competing against each other for top honours.

Namibia only managed to win one game in pool A and then missed out on a chance of competing for the top two final qualification spots for the 2023 Netball World Cup.

With their failure to finish in the top two in pool A they were downgraded to compete against Tanzania and Eswatini for positions seventh, eighth and ninth.

In their opening match of the playoff on Friday morning, the Debmarine Desert Jewels narrowly beat Tanzania 46-45 and in their second match on Friday evening against Eswatini, the Namibian girls took a lead of 18-8 at the end of the first quarter. The Desert Jewels took a six-point lead just five minutes in the game and used all their turnover balls successfully.

The second quarter ended with a 35-22 score for Namibia who continued with their dominance but it was not made easier by their opponents Eswatini who scored 14 points in this quarter compared to the eight points in the first quarter.

In the third quarter, Namibia made several unforced errors which started bringing Eswatini back into the game. With just four minutes into the game, Namibia made five unforced errors and Eswatini capitalised on that to reduce the gap to nine points and then two points at the end of the quarter.

Eswatini outscored Namibia with 22 points in this quarter as Namibia had a nightmare of a quarter where they just scored nine points but were lucky as time ran out and they still maintained their lead with a two-point difference with the quarter ending 44-42.

The final quarter saw Namibia struggling with ball possessions in the opening minutes but as the match progressed the Desert Jewels started making use of their plays and won several turnovers which gave them the advantage to increase the score line as the match ended 59-50.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency