New US Ambassador Pushes Sustainable Energy

Monday, 26 October 2009 17:23 BHA News Editor
New United States Ambassador to the Bahamas, Nicole Avant, would like to see greater use of sustainable energy in her new host country.

In her first meeting with the media, Ms Avant revealed that alternative and sustainable forms of producing energy is a particular interest of hers.

"I believe we must lay the groundwork to protect the environment in order to ensure future economic prosperity," said the 41-year-old at her Cable Beach home, Liberty Overlook.

She charged that The Bahamas is "well situated to take advantage of its abundant renewable energy sources; sun, wind, and ocean currents to provide for its own energy needs while developing new technologies and industries to export to the Caribbean region".

Moves in this direction are particularly important for island nations such as The Bahamas which is prone to being threatened by sea level rises associated with climate change, suggested the Ambassador.

"You've got everything here," said Ms Avant. "I think it's very important to get as much information as possible and to focus on that."

She said she would seek to facilitate greater linkages between US companies and The Bahamas to promote sustainable energy use and "intend(s) to support sustainable energy and other progams designed to raise environmental awareness and create new economic opportunities".


Ms Avant, who has family ties to The Bahamas, arrived in the country just over a week ago and presented her credentials to the Governor General at Government House on Thursday.

A former Vice President of two music publishing companies, Interior Music Publishing and Avant Garde Music Publishing, she also has well-established background in education and philanthropy.

She became the first African-American female Ambassador to The Bahamas from the US after serving as the Southern California Finance Co-Chairwoman of Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

In a friendly and informal meeting with the media, she said she has been "honoured and entrusted with carrying out the President's (Barack Obama) foreign policy agenda" and her "number one priority" is ensuring the excellent relationship that has endured between the US and The Bahamas continues.

She noted that The Bahamas and the US have a long history of successful programmes that address the flow of drugs, weapons and illegal migrants into both countries.

Ms Avant plans to work closely with the Government to ensure the continued success of these programmes, whilst also enhancing joint efforts against terrorism.

Building prosperity and economity security for Bahamians and Americans and defending and promoting human rights and democratic ideals is key to her role in The Bahamas, she suggested.

The Ambassador added that she hopes to play a part in expanding educational opportunities, development and investment in her new home.

In response to questions from the press, the mother-of-two told of how women's issues are her "top priority", while music is "in her blood", piracy of intellectual property rights is a "sore spot", and she is a strong believer in literacy programmes.

Although she does not yet know how, Ms Avant said she would love to help develop and promote Bahamian musical talent while she is here.

Ms Avant said her week in The Bahamas so far has been "wonderful", with everyone she and her husband have met having been extremely friendly and welcoming.

"My husband and I have had a great time so far. The way I look at it it's great to be back.

"I haven't been here in a while, but I used to spend alot of time in The Bahamas," she said.

Source: The Tribune
Last Updated on Monday, 26 October 2009 18:28