Irish economist spurs Irish patriotism

first_imgAccording to Irish economist and author David McWilliams, one solution to Ireland’s recent economic problems may come from the Irish but not from Ireland, it would come from what he calls the “great Irish tribe.” McWilliams gave a lecture titled, “Ireland, Europe and the Irish Diaspora – Re-imagining Ireland in the 21st Century,” in the Rare Book Room of the Hesburgh Library on Friday. McWilliams said Ireland’s current economic turmoil amidst the general problems of the Eurozone requires something drastic, but he believes this solution could be provided by the people worldwide who identify themselves as Irish. “The future of Ireland needs another shock, and that’s where you come in, where the diaspora comes in,” McWilliams said. He said the possibility of enlisting the self-identified Irish in places like the United States, Canada and Australia first came to his mind due to the comment of a mentor. McWilliams said he was assigned a very experienced Israeli mentor while working for a Swiss bank in Israel. One day, this mentor said he noticed that he dealt with many ethnically Irish people when working with American companies and asked McWilliams whether or not the Irish had any mechanism for bringing these people back to Ireland. McWilliams said he hadn’t given the subject much thought before then, but he didn’t think there was any such effort. “We’ve done nothing but repel the tribe as far as I can tell,” he said. McWilliams said he has since begun working on various projects to make use of the Irish overseas and his reason for coming to Notre Dame was to propose his ideas. “[Notre Dame] is an incredibly powerful place to start these projects. Notre Dame is a huge resource for the Irish in America and a brilliant center for Irish connections. You can use Notre Dame to champion some of the ideas and feed into its network of alumni,” he said. “This could be a huge project which Notre Dame could be involved in.” McWilliams said there are three elements of his overall proposal, a program resembling the “Birthright Israel” program, allowing Irish ex-patriots to vote in national elections and reaching out to the ethnically Irish based on town records. McWilliams said during his time in Israel he learned about the birthright program, which provides free 10-day educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults from 60 different countries. McWilliams said he is hoping to create a similar program for Irish young adults. The goal of the program is to instill a strong emotional connection with Ireland and their Irish heritage in the young adults, McWilliams said.”Emotional things that happen to you as a kid stick with you. Imagine as an American what it would mean to visit Ireland when you’re 15,” McWilliams said. McWilliams said he has seen Polish, Italian, American and other ex-patriot groups line-up to vote in their nation’s elections while living overseas. Similarly enfranchising Irish citizens who are living abroad could help to alleviate problems of provisionalism and clientalism present in current Irish politics, he said. McWilliams said those who have lived abroad for a while might have a better perspective on what is good for the Irish nation as a whole. McWilliams said he is also leading an effort to use town records and town gossips to trace the emigration stories of the world’s ethnically Irish and then reaching out to them with their own history. “We can email you, everyone’s contactable nowadays, with a Google Maps image of the specific field from which your relative emigrated from Ireland,” he said. “With tech we can bring all this together.” McWilliams said this idea that Ireland ought to do more to engage the ethnically Irish of the world, his “diaspora strategy,” was not initially as well received as it is now. He said the idea progressed through the three stages of reception from “open ridicule” to “violent opposition” to “everyone claims they were already on your side.” “The idea was fist considered risible, something to be laughed at, but now everyone has a diaspora strategy,” he said. McWilliams said this effort could be very successful because Ireland has one of the best “brand” names in the world, but it all depends on the cooperation of the Irish diaspora. “The power of the diaspora can be forged to improve the ‘product’ of Ireland, a country with the most powerful ‘brand’ in the world because every member of the diaspora is a salesperson for the ‘brand,’” he said. “We can only do this if we work together.”last_img read more

Ecobank Mobile App Named Official Bank Service Platform for Okpekpe Race

first_imgThe organisers of the Okpekpe International Road Race, Pamodzi Sports Marketing has named Ecobank Mobile App as the official Banking Service platform for the 2018 edition of the race slated for Saturday, May 12  in Okpekpe, Edo State.Mike Itemuagbor, Chief Executive Officer of Pamodzi Sports Marketing and Chief Promoter of the Okpekpe International Road Race said the Ecobank Mobile App is the most ideal and suited for the Okpekpe 10km Road Race being an app that has been adopted across Africa.Itemuagbor observed that the Ecobank App would adequately cater for over 5000 local and international professional athletes expected at the competition and also sports enthusiasts and government officials from across the continent. According to him, “The Okpekpe Road Race is a global competition. It is therefore natural we look for a bank with a service platform that has international appeal. This informed our choice of Ecobank Mobile App”.“We have a long partnership with Ecobank based on the bank’s African appeal which best suits our dream to become one of the most sought after long distance race in the world. Our athletes come from all over Africa and they have testified that Ecobank products best suit them, enabling them access their funds at any point in time, especially during the competition as they do not need to carry cash or source foreign exchange”.In his comment, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Charles Kie, said the Ecobank Mobile App is a game changer for African banking by using digital technology to combat many of the financial inclusion barriers faced by those on the continent.He said Ecobank’s strategic mission is built around using mobile banking to deliver innovative, efficient and cost-effective services to every African.“Our app not only removes the barriers that have financially excluded so many Africans but offers next generation functionality to help them send money, make withdrawals or pay for goods and services. Customers can use the app on their mobile to instantly open Ecobank Xpress Account, which doesn’t have any account fees, paperwork or minimumbalance requirements, or to send and receive money across 33 African countries,” he said.The Ecobank Mobile App launched in 2016 has over 4 million users registered and has consummated over one billion dollars transaction value.The Okpekpe international 10km road race has set the pace for other road races in Nigeria and West Africa. It is the first road race in West Africa to be designated by the IAAF as one of the leading road races around the world since the classification was introduced in 2008.For three years since 2015, the race was organised under the prestigious IAAF Road Race Bronze Label and now it is the first road race to be granted a silver label status in West Africa.The race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, a leader in sports marketing, sponsorship, hospitality and Rights Acquisition business in Nigeria in conjunction with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the Edo State Government.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Kassab asks city for tax break

first_imgThe developer who plans to build apartments on the site of downtown Vancouver’s Burgerville restaurant has asked the Vancouver City Council for the same state tax break that helped spur millions of dollars worth of development on the fringes of Esther Short Park. Elie Kassab has asked city leaders to limit property tax assessments to the land beneath his proposed 92-unit apartment complex and its ground-floor commercial spaces, while allowing him to forego taxes on the upper three stories of the buildings for the next 12 years. That would save him an estimated $93,000 annually, or about $1.1 million total, according to a city consultant’s analysis.Without the property tax break, it wouldn’t be possible to build his planned apartment complex near the Interstate 5-Mill Plain Boulevard entrance to downtown Vancouver, said Kassab, a local developer and president of Prestige Development. “It won’t pencil out without it,” Kassab said.He needs the backing of a majority of the seven-member city council to get the tax break he’s asking for.At least one city council member expressed concern about encouraging downtown rental units. City Councilwoman Jeanne Stewart said owner-occupied condominium units might be better than rentals, because condos bring more stability to downtown.But the market potential of apartments has changed since state legislators passed the multifamily tax abatement ordinance, said Councilman Pat Campbell.“There are younger people and people who have lost their homes that are looking for a place to live,” he said.Other downtown projects that took advantage of tax abatements include the Heritage Place, a $17 million condominium and retail development across from Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver. Tax abatements also helped build the apartment units in the $100 million Vancouvercenter on the east side of the park.last_img read more