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Entrepreneur and music exec of Dominican heritage, Riki Bleau, makes Powerlist of the UK’s most influential people

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London, Tuesday 22nd November 2022: The son of Dominicans, music executive Riki Bleau, is the only Dominican to make it to the 2023 Powerlist, an annual directory of the 100 most influential people of African or African Caribbean heritage in the United Kingdom.  First launched in 2007, the Powerlist highlights the work of Black leaders in several professional sectors.

“It’s really an honour to be on this esteemed list.” says Bleau. He adds, “as the son of immigrants it makes me proud to have achieved this and I hope that it can inspire not only UK citizens of Dominican descent, but born-and-bred Dominicans too that there really is no limit to your talent and that there is a reward for your efforts.”

Bleau was listed under the category Media, Publishing, Entertainment and Sports, joining the likes of footballers Raheem Sterling whose roots are Jamaican and Marcus Rashford whose family hails from St. Kitts; as well as actors Sir Lenny Henry (of Jamaican heritage) Idris Elba OBE (of Sierra Leonian/Ghanian heritage), Michaela Coel (of Ghanian roots), and Daniel Kaluuya (whose family is from Uganda). Also under this category are Grime Artist and Philanthropist Stormzy, whose roots are Ghanaian; Akala– a poet and activist with a Jamaican background, Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief, British Vogue and European Editorial Director of Vogue, who was born in Ghana before migrating to the UK and Vanessa Kingori MBE, Chief Business Officer, Condé Nast Britain and Vogue European Business Advisor, who was born in Kenya and raised in St. Kitts. Influencers on the chart also hail from or have roots in countries such as Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Barbados, Guyana and more.

Apart from the top ten on the list, the other awardees are ranked in no particular order and are organised under the following headings, Arts, Fashion and Design; Business, Corporate, Financiers & Entrepreneurs; Politics, Law and Religion; Public, Third Sector and Education; Science, Medicine and Engineering and lastly, Technology.

Bleau, who was born in London, is the son of Joseph and Edmay Caprice-Bleau from Scotts Head.  He got his start in music at Channel U, a then ground-breaking youth culture platform in the U.K.

Finding his niche in publishing, Bleau signed platinum-selling producer, writer and artist Labrinth, genius producer Naughty Boy, noted singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé and megastar Sam Smith.  A testament to his success is his 2011 publisher of the year Ivor Novello Award presented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Bleau is also part of the management team of Afrobeats superstar Wizkid and Jamaican Dancehall phenom Popcaan, and is founder and co-president of his Sony Joint venture label Since ’93 Records.

Over the decades, Bleau has cemented himself as a curator of Black British music, lifestyle and culture and his influence and reach have grown steadily.  His experience in the international space can be of great benefit to local industry players and he is actively looking forward to making his mark on the Dominican music industry having already begun the process by meeting with Executive members of the Association of Music Professionals (AMP), Discover Dominica CEO Colin Piper and Minister for Trade Ian Douglas.

Regarded as a leading authority on Black influence in the UK, the Powerlist is open to Black Britons across the globe as well as Black UK residents. Previous winners of Dominican heritage include Commonwealth Head Baroness Patricia Scotland and Professor Laura Serrant, a leading nursing educator in the UK. Sir Lewis Hamilton (Grenada) and Dame Pat MaGrath (Jamaica) are two esteemed, previous awardees with Caribbean roots.

The top ten Powerlistees for 2023 are Dame Sharon White (Chair John Lewis Partnership), Dean Forbes (CEO, Forterro, Partner at Corten Capital), Anne Mensah (Vice-President of Content UK, Netflix), Tunde Olanrewaju (Senior Partner, McKinsey and Company), Steven Bartlett (Entrepreneur and Dragon, Dragon’s Den), David Olusoga (Historian; Joint Creative Director of Uplands Television Ltd.), Lord Simon Woolley (Co-Founder/Director, Operation Black Vote & Principal, Homerton College, Cambridge University),  Paulette Simpson CBE (Executive, Corporate Affairs and Public Policy, Jamaica National Bank; Executive Director, The Voice Media Group), Richard Iferenta (Partner, Vice Chair, KPMG) and Dr Sandie Okoro (Group General Counsel, Standard Chartered Bank).

The Powerlist 2023 is published by Powerful Media and is sponsored by PwC, BP, the Executive Leadership Council, The London Stock Exchange Group, Meta, and Mastercard. The 2023 cohort was celebrated on Friday October 28th at the Powerlist Black Excellence Awards hosted by Colin Salmon at London’s Savoy hotel.

Click HERE to view the full list.





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Dominica observes International Day of People with Disabilities 2022

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Dominica joins the rest of the world in observing International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPwD) today.

The annual observance of the IDPwD on 3rd December was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution 47/3.

This year’s observance aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

Former Executive Director of the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD) and Chairperson of the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities, Nathalie Murphy who spoke during a live interview on State-owned Radio DBS said part of today’s focus is to find innovative ways sports can be used in reducing inequality among persons with disabilities.

“The United Nations is asking the world to come together to find joint solutions to address these issues and try to find solutions to ensure that persons with disabilities can really live normal and rewarding lives,” she said.

Murphy called on Dominica in particular to pay attention to the issues affecting persons with disabilities.

“Unfortunately we didn’t organize any elaborate observation this year because of various reasons, but all we are asking is that world and Dominica in particular continue to pay attention to the issues affecting persons with disabilities and that we can come together as a country and try to find joined solutions in reducing inequalities that exist presently,” she indicated.

Furthermore, she explained that at the moment the world is going through a number of crisis including that of climate change, Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine War which all these crisis affect persons with disabilities in a significant way.

This year IDPwD is observed under the theme: “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world”.





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Message for International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022

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Senator Floyd Morris, CARICOM Special Rapporteur on Disability

Every year, on December 3, the world recognizes International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The observation comes within the context of persons with disabilities being the world’s largest minority group and the fact that most of these individuals are marginalized in their society. The United Nations and all its States Parties have established this day therefore to celebrate the talents and abilities of persons with disabilities, whilst highlighting the barriers in society that continues to marginalize these individuals.

The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fueling an accessible and equitable World.” The theme recognizes that for us to create an accessible and inclusive world, there must be the development of transformative solutions. Implicit in this theme is the appreciation that modern technologies have a preeminent role to play in building an accessible and inclusive society. In my 2019 journal article entitled “An Inclusive, Equitable and Prosperous Caribbean: The Case of Persons with Disabilities” I delineated how we can make life better for persons with disabilities in the Caribbean. In this context, I advocated the need for greater use of modern technologies. Similarly, in another journal article published in 2020 and entitled “Accessible and Inclusive City: Can Kingston Jamaica Measure Up?’” I argue for cities in the Caribbean to become more accessible for persons with disabilities. Again, modern technologies have an indispensable role to play in creating this accessible and equitable environment.

But whilst there is this recognition that modern technologies must play a quintessential role in this transformative development trajectory of the region, there are some existential challenges. Persons with disabilities throughout the region are unemployed with data from the 2017 Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) suggesting that between 80 and 90 per cent of the population of persons with disabilities in the Caribbean are unemployed. This economic barrier has contributed to persons with disabilities in the region being among the poorest. Thus, most of these individuals cannot afford modern technologies to assist them in participating and being included in the mainstream of society.

The issue is further problematized when we look at the 2022 World Report on Assistive Technologies, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). Data from the report is showing that up to 85 per cent of persons with disabilities in developed countries have access to some form of assistive technology. Conversely, in the developing countries, only between 3 and 10 per cent have access to this innovation that seeks to bridge the interactions between persons with disabilities and those without. One can therefore understand the major challenges that persons with disabilities are having with access to education, access to employment, access to public facilities and access to information, as modern technologies are paramount to these development indicators.

Governments within the Caribbean and other stakeholders, must therefore establish progressive policies that will facilitate transformative solutions such as modern technologies that will include persons with disabilities in the mainstream of Caribbean Society. I wish for all my brothers and sisters with disabilities in the Caribbean, a happy International Day for Persons with Disabilities. And remember, disability does not equate to inability.





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DLP candidate Dr. Cassandra Williams sees ‘key role’ for south east in helping Dominica become the Caribbean’s breadbasket

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DLP candidate for La Plaine Constituency, Dr. Cassandra Williams

Dominica Labour Candidate for the La Plaine Constituency, Dr. Cassandra Williams has said that Dominica is well positioned to become the breadbasket of the Caribbean.

She made the statement while addressing supporters at her official launching ceremony held at Carib Junction in Delices on Thursday.

“I believe that Dominica is well positioned to become the breadbasket of the Caribbean and the communities of the south east have a key role to play in increasing production and strengthening our food systems,” Dr. Williams said.

According to her, the communities in that constituency are well-known for bay oil, toloma, farine and plantain production.

“We must open new avenues for La plaine, Delices and Boetica to develop these into world class products,” she indicated. “We will work vigorously to increase participation and production in profitable farm enterprises with the view to increase the capacity of farmers including our youth through improved technology, resilient infrastructure and best practices.”

Furthermore, Dr. Williams said the DLP will explore new markets for farmers and improve processing and production methods.

She also plans to encourage the decentralization of agricultural services to make greater use of the La Plaine Agricultural Training Centre and the La Plaine Cultural Station.

The 22-year old Dominica Labour Party  government recently announced that it had set the goal of increasing the contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to $700M by 2030.





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