20 March 2015Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden was recently announced as winner of the garden of the year award at the 2015 International Garden Tourism Awards, the South African Botanical Institute (Sanbi) announced on Wednesday.The award was presented by the International Garden Tourism Network (IGTN) in Toronto, Canada.The Garden Tourism Awards are presented to organisations and individuals “who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction,” IGTN said in a statement on Tuesday.In consultation with a global jury network, nine awards were announced by the IGTN, and garden tourism related events from Japan, UK, Thailand, Brussels, British Columbia, Dubai, Netherlands, USA as well as South Africa were honoured.“Scooping the garden of the year award has once more underlined the important role that Kirstenbosch plays in contributing to the country’s tourism figures and, having hit the one million visitors in a year in 2014, this award is a further boost for potential visitors,” Sanbi said on its website.‘Flagship garden’Kirstenbosch is high on the list of “must visit” attractions for both local and international tourists.“We strive to offer visitors a unique experience at Kirstenbosch,” curator Philip le Roux said. “As the flagship garden of Sanbi we are proud to be recognised at these prestigious awards. Our garden offers many unusual experiences and showcases the diverse Cape Floral kingdom in a very accessible way.“The addition of the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway [known as “the Boomslang”] has added to the attractions of the garden. More recently, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom acknowledged that Kirstenbosch is one of the country’s most important tourist attractions.“We are also very proud to announce that we exceeded 1-million visitors in one year for the first time in the garden’s history in 2014. This represented an increase of 27% on the previous year.”‘Garden tourists’With tourism the world’s fourth-largest industry and garden tourism a significant part of it, the awards were inaugurated in 2011. Garden tourism awards are presented annually to organisations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction.“It is estimated that there are 250-million ‘garden tourists’ worldwide and significantly more if garden festivals, events and garden shows were included,” said Dr Richard Benfield, chair of the International Garden Tourism Network. “These awards highlight the world’s most dynamic garden experiences and garden tourism’s limitless potential.”International Garden Tourism award winnersGarden of the Year: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, South AfricaGarden Festival of the Year: Hokkaido Garden Show Daisetsu and Related Garden Movement of Hokkaido, JapanGarden Event of the Year: RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, United KingdomFlower Festival of the Year: Chiang Mai Flower Festival, ThailandFlower Event of the Year: Tapis de Fleur, Visit Brussels, BelgiumDestination of the Year: Victoria, British Columbia, CanadaNew Garden Experience of the Year – The Moselle Award: Dubai Miracle Garden, United Arab EmiratesMedia of the Year: GardenTours.com, The NetherlandsPerson of the Year: Paul Redman Executive Director, Longwood Gardens, USASAinfo reporter
What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#Android#Apple#e-commerce#Google#iOS#Mobile Payments Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces jon mitchell Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement This post has been corrected.Wednesday’s update to Google Now adds functionality similar to the new Passbook in iOS, and this is a key point of competition. You may not use them yet, but these scannable passes are going to be everywhere, and you’re going to want the phone that handles them the best. Mobile platforms compete on convenience. Now that Android and iOS are both highly refined, the choice between them comes down to which one fits more seamlessly into your everyday life. Passbook, which came out with iOS 6 this year, was the first feature of iOS that stepped into the realm of check-in and check-out at real-world businesses, a transaction that’s becoming more digitized all the time.Many Android phones already had near-field communication (NFC) built in, which can handle that task among others. Apple never bothered with a hardware solution for that. It seems to think that if tickets, coupons, vouchers and such can be securely delivered to the phone, but it’s all software, it no longer matters what phone a person is using. Google seems to be coming around to that idea.The new Google Now feature has barcodes only for flights (starting with United Airlines), but it’s a natural place to put passes of all kinds.The really cool part about Google Now’s feature is that it can use your phone’s location to automatically pull up the boarding pass when you’re at the airport. Passbook can do that, too. But Google Now is more proactive about reminding users of things like appointments and alerts than iOS is, so it’s more expected behavior on Android.This reminds me of the geofencing in Square Wallet, which blows my mind every time. Square has built its app to wake up when you approach the location of a business you frequent, so your Square tab opens automatically and closes when you leave. You don’t even have to take your phone out of your pocket. That is convenience.Beyond passes, Google would love for us to pay for things directly with Google Wallet. Square would like us to pay with Square Wallet. Apple hasn’t yet turned its huge collection of credit cards into a real-world payment system, but I’m convinced it will.The smartphone is becoming an increasingly critical ticket to real-world experiences. Whether one platform figures it out and locks it up, or we end up using different services for different things, the most convenient mobile passes and payments will win.Correction: This article originally stated that Passbook was not location-aware, but it is, in fact. Thanks to readers for the correction.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.
“Suresh Kalmadi’s conduct has tarnished the image of the country,” was how CBI described him while opposing the bail plea of the former CWG Organising Committee chief arrested on charges of cheating, conspiracy and corruption in the award of games related contracts. “We are opposing the bail plea (of Kalmadi) as other co-accused in this case had already been denied bail by this court. Investigation is going on. Kalmadi’s conduct has tarnished the image of the country,” CBI prosecutor told Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh. Kalmadi was arrested along with OC Joint Director General (Sport) A.S.V. Prasad and OC Deputy Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal on April 25 for allegedly awarding an illegal contract to a Swiss firm for Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system for the mega sporting event last year causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer. CBI submitted Kalmadi constituted a committee of “handpicked persons” to push for a selected brand. – With inputs from PTI
Influential players in Chelsea’s English Premier League title success:N’GOLO KANTE(Reuters Photo)The midfielder was a priority signing for Chelsea and he joined from surprise champion Leicester. The France international soon demonstrated his ability and was recognized by his peers as the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year, for his ceaseless energy and intelligence. He is the first player since Eric Cantona in 1992 and 1993 to win successive championships with different clubs in the English top-flight.EDEN HAZARDCHAMPION SELFIES!!! #ChelseaChampions ??? pic.twitter.com/hMVQqsEHfD- CHAMPIONS! ??? (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2017The Belgium playmaker sparkled as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea won the 2015 title, but underperformed last season as the Blues finished 10th. A change in management and formation under Antonio Conte, not to mention the presence of Kante, has given Hazard more freedom going forward and less defensive responsibility. He has thrived with his highest goal return – currently 16 – and consistently influential performances.DIEGO COSTA(Chelsea FC Photo)The striker enjoyed a hot streak in front of goal in the first half of the season, but his goal return has slowed since his head was apparently turned by a lucrative offer in January from China. Yet the Spain international has still scored 20 times, emulating Didier Drogba and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as the only Chelsea players to have achieved that feat more than once. As good as the former Atletico Madrid player was at times, Chelsea may welcome a big fee for a player who is 29 in October and at times more liability than lethal.advertisementDAVID LUIZCHAMPION SELFIES!!! #ChelseaChampions ??? pic.twitter.com/hMVQqsEHfD- CHAMPIONS! ??? (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2017Eyebrows were raised when the Brazil defender was re-signed from Paris Saint-Germain. Many thought Chelsea had done well to sell Luiz for 50 million pounds (then $84 million) in 2014, particularly after his poor showing at a home World Cup. But two years on Luiz is a more mature player, more disciplined and the central position in the back three is tailor-made for a player who is so comfortable on the ball that he can saunter forward into midfield and can spray passes out from the back.
Users of the Hagley Park Health Centre in South West St. Andrew are hailing the reopening of the refurbished facility, which has been closed since 2015.The centre, which serves approximately 27,000 residents in 14 communities, was renovated at a cost of $42 million and now boasts new and improved features such as covered walkways and awnings, new sanitary facilities, air conditioning, fire-safety features, and access for disabled persons.Some of the communities served by the centre include Olympic Way, Waltham Park Road, Seivwright Gardens, York Avenue, White Wing, Majesty Gardens, Hagley Park Road, Delacree Park and Seaview Gardens.In an interview with JIS News following the official reopening ceremony on July 4, community member, Nicole Tallo, said the renovated facility is more comfortable for persons who need healthcare.“The facility wasn’t that nice, but the renovation is very nice right now. Before the renovation, the bathroom was not so nice. Now it’s very good,” she says.Ms. Tallo says that prior to the reopening, she had to travel much farther to access healthcare services.She expresses gratitude to the stakeholders who were integral in completing the project. “We thank them for doing this for the community,” she tells JIS News.For her part, Senior Public Health Nurse, Charmaine Vassell Shettlewood, who used the facility as a child, says she is pleased with the renovation work.Mrs. Vassell Shettlewood, who was also a member of staff at the facility in 2009, tells JIS News that the improvement will boost the inpatient experience and overall service delivery.In his address, Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the Type Three facility, which offers a range of healthcare, as well as pharmacy services, will allow community members to “access good public healthcare at the primary level”.“You will get medication more promptly, and that’s important, because waiting time is a challenge in the system and we are trying to correct that by offering more options under the NHF [National Health Fund] programme,” he said.Dr. Tufton urged community members to utilise the services at the facility instead of hospitals, which are usually located farther.He encouraged Jamaicans to adopt healthy lifestyle practices and focus on a preventative approach to health, rather than a curative approach.Stressing the importance of improved health facilities for both the patients and medical staff, former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said it will allow the staff to be in a better position to treat more patients.“They will have more comfortable workspaces, which will positively impact their output,” she said.Mrs. Simpson Miller urged the community members to protect the facility. “It is here to serve you the citizens of this community and surrounding areas. You have a responsibility to protect it, watch it and ensure that it is not vandalised. Please ensure that you help to keep it in excellent condition,” she said.Chief Executive Officer, NHF, Everton Anderson, said the Fund is involved in partnering with all stakeholders to improve healthcare in Jamaica.“Whether it be through our pharmacies, through our individual benefits programme, we recognise that for health to improve, it has to be a partnership,” he said.He pointed out that in a few months, the Fund will be moving to provide a world-class pharmacy service at the health centre.“Our Senior Vice-President has toured the pharmacy and is… working with the community to ensure that every patient gets their prescription filled promptly at this health centre,” he said.In her remarks, Regional Director, South East Regional Health Authority, Maureen Golding, said the facility has been serving the communities for more than 50 years.She noted that all primary-healthcare facilities across the region will be upgraded and renovated on a phased basis. “This is the third healthcare facility that has been completed over the last 12 months,” she said.The project was financed through the NHF. Ground was broken for the renovation works in February 2015.The facility provides mental health, child health, medical/curative, pharmaceutical, dental and maternity services. The centre, which serves approximately 27,000 residents in 14 communities, was renovated at a cost of $42 million and now boasts new and improved features such as covered walkways and awnings, new sanitary facilities, air conditioning, fire-safety features, and access for disabled persons. Story Highlights In his address, Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the Type Three facility, which offers a range of healthcare, as well as pharmacy services, will allow community members to “access good public healthcare at the primary level”. Users of the Hagley Park Health Centre in South West St. Andrew are hailing the reopening of the refurbished facility, which has been closed since 2015.
Organisers of the upcoming MoBay City Run say one of their main goals is to assist with the certification of more early childhood institutions through the provision of resources facilitating this. Founder and chief organiser, Janet Silvera, notes that the first few years of a child’s life constitute the formative period when basic learning and development occur. “As almost every psychologist has pointed out, it is extremely important to get it right in the early stages of a child’s life. This is why our aim is to get even more of these institutions certified, so that we can get trained and qualified teachers in these schools,” she said. Organisers of the upcoming MoBay City Run say one of their main goals is to assist with the certification of more early childhood institutions through the provision of resources facilitating this.They say this focus is against the backdrop of the Government’s targeting of all early childhood institutions, including unregulated basic schools, for certification in order to, among other things, attract qualified teachers.Founder and chief organiser, Janet Silvera, notes that the first few years of a child’s life constitute the formative period when basic learning and development occur.“As almost every psychologist has pointed out, it is extremely important to get it right in the early stages of a child’s life. This is why our aim is to get even more of these institutions certified, so that we can get trained and qualified teachers in these schools,” she said.Ms. Silvera was speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank at the Agency’s Regional Office in Montego Bay on April 20.Meanwhile, Montego Bay Branch Manager for the City Run platinum sponsor, Courts Jamaica Limited, Glendon Lowe, said the organiser’s focus is one of the main reasons spurring his company’s decision to double its support for this year’s renewal.“This fits right into our message of education first… something we have been doing for many years in communities throughout Jamaica (because) early childhood is one of the most critical areas in our education system. It is also worth noting that of the over 100 certified early childhood institutions in the country, a third of them are in western Jamaica,” he said, while speaking at the Think Tank.Acting Director of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Western Jamaica Campus, Patrick Prendergast, said the institution is happy to endorse any undertaking that prioritises the development of education.In this regard, he too has commended the MoBay City Run’s organisers for seeking to support the expanded early childhood certification thrust.Mr. Prendergast, whose students have been among the beneficiaries of proceeds from the event since its inception in 2014, noted that a number of the early childhood institutions which were assisted following last year’s staging were able to gain certification.“We are unreservedly a part of this event which has become more of an institution in western Jamaica, going into only its fifth year,” he said, while speaking at the Think Tank.Ms. Silvera, who said she and her organising committee were moved by testimonials from some of the early childhood beneficiaries in 2017, assured that “we will try to do even more this year”, in support of the Early Childhood Commission’s target of certifying about 300 basic schools by 2019.The MoBay City Run, which is slated for Sunday, May 6, beginning at the Old Hospital Park on Gloucester Avenue, has raised and disbursed over $15 million to needy beneficiaries since 2014. Story Highlights
Speaking to participants at the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation’s Strategic Leadership Retreat at Moon Palace in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on June 6, Mr. Holness said Jamaica is seeing a return to sustainable periods of significant economic growth not witnessed in the country in years. Story Highlights For the 2018 calendar year, the economy grew by 1.9 per cent. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the local economy has been experiencing consistent growth for almost 18 consecutive quarters. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the local economy has been experiencing consistent growth for almost 18 consecutive quarters.Speaking to participants at the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation’s Strategic Leadership Retreat at Moon Palace in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on June 6, Mr. Holness said Jamaica is seeing a return to sustainable periods of significant economic growth not witnessed in the country in years.For the 2018 calendar year, the economy grew by 1.9 per cent.The Prime Minister argued that if the economy continues to maintain this level of growth and achieves two per cent growth [for the year], then Jamaica will be on a trajectory “to its true growth potential, which is about five per cent”.“It shows that there is a certain level of sustainability in what we [the Government] are doing, and even though we have had some shocks, we can still recover and keep growing. It is still a good sign that something right is happening within the economy to keep generating quarter after quarter growth,” Mr. Holness said.The Prime Minister noted that one of the benefits that has arisen due to these current periods of sustainable growth is employment. He said that statistics would show unemployment to be down to eight per cent and stated that this was not by accident, but a product of deliberate policies enacted by the Government.He said the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, which falls under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, is one key area which the Government has focused on to contribute to the increase in employment.The programme provides educational and job opportunities for persons aged 18 to 24 who are not employed or enrolled in any school or training initiatives.“Over 10,000 youngsters are in the programme and are cycling through… that is, they have completed a year or so and they have graduated from the programme and a new batch is coming in. I am sure agency heads who have participated in the programme can testify to the transformative effects that the programme has had and how it has now opened up the minds of the young people who have participated, and now you are creating a workforce that is work-ready,” the Prime Minister said.“So, the deliberate programmes that we have put in the place, such as the HOPE programme, have done a lot to increase employment both in terms of the short-term apprenticeship-type programme and also ensuring that the labour that we have is at a level of training that they can access the employment that exists in the economy,” he added.The Strategic Leadership Retreat is a four-day event aimed at aligning the work of the Ministry with portfolio agencies, create a greater level of synergy to deliver higher quality of work and service, and to motivate and build greater relationships with internal and external stakeholders.The event is themed, ‘Connected & Focused –Leading for High Performance’.