St Helena is the untouched tourism jewel of the South Atlantic, becoming more accessible thanks to a new airport offering charter and commercial flights. Dr Niall O’ Keeffe, Innovation Manager for St Helena and Chief Executive Officer for Economic Development and Kirsty Joshua, Quality Systems and Information Officer of Enterprise St Helena, came to Brussels on 30th November 2016 for OCTA Innovation’s BRUZZ on St Helena.
Dr. Niall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive for Economic Development, Enterprise St Helena and Innovation Manager of St Helena and his assistant, Kirsty Joshua travelled from St Helena to Brussels to be there on the 30th of November 2016 for BRUZZ, OCTA Innovation’s event on Business, Innovation and Creativity. We took this opportunity to make two videos, St. Helena Innovation and St Helena Tourism.
It was great meeting the St Helena team whose mission was focused on deepening relations with EU partners and strengthening innovation links for sustainable growth. Dr Niall O’Keeffe stated that with support from the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) St Helena is to systematically capture the knowledge and information available to the community through various networks and also by working in closer cooperation on the island.
Investment has been put in to support the process where all sectors are represented, all information shared and where ideas are tested, followed through and prioritised for the benefit of the sustainable growth of St Helena’s economy.
Dr. Niall O’ Keeffe, Innovation Manager for St Helena and Chief Executive Officer for Economic Development, describes the island as one of the rare opportunities left where the economy has not yet been exposed to the wider world. St Helena is mustering all the support it can get on-island and off-island, to ensure that it is a great and positive story and show how tourism can enhance the well-being of everyone in the community.
With a tourism offering encompassing adventure, particularly marine-based, extraordinary heritage & culture and beautiful diverse landscapes, St Helena is expecting discerning visitors from all around the world to take the opportunity to explore an island previously only accessible after a five-day sail.
Kirsty Joshua, Quality Systems and Information Manager for Enterprise St Helena, simply says her island is a “beautiful and pure place”, offering so much to visitors.
She very much supports learning from the tourism experiences, strengths and best practices of other small islands including the group of Overseas Countries and Territories.
St Helena’s Diana’s Peak National Park is a testament to the island’s pristine environment; a home to most of St. Helena’s endemic wildlife.
Of the 60 known native species of plant, 45 occur nowhere else (including the white ebony flower). Of 1100 land invertebrates, 400 are unique to the island. At least six unique land birds once occurred on St Helena, only one (the wirebird) survives today. Ten shore fishes are found only around the island, and 16 more are found only here and at Ascension.
The community of St Helena is a very resilient one. Because of its isolation, everybody must develop the skills required for the island’s sustainably, innovative development and survival. With support from the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories, we are to systematically capture the knowledge and information that is available to the community through a series of networks and also by working in closer cooperation on the island.
We are doing with multiple methods and systems, primarily overseen by the Governor and the Government. Investment has been put in to support a process where all sectors are represented, all information shared, and ideas tested, engaged and prioritised for the benefit of sustainable growth of St Helena’s economy and in particular, of the tourism sector which we are working to promote.
Since 1502, the remote island of St Helena in the South Atlantic was accessible only by sea. Over the centuries, we have been visited by many of the great minds of renown in social, political and scientific spheres. Captain Cook, Captain Blight, Darwin, Napoleon, Dinizulu, Halley and many others came to our shores. In the coming months, people from all over the world will be able to visit the island by air. It is great opportunity for us to develop a sustainable economy.
What we want to do is to make sure that we develop the economy for the benefit of all in an innovative way. This is very challenging but by working in partnership with the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories, we hope to systematically develop a process whereby each aspect of the environment we develop is monitored, measured and supported. It is one of rare opportunities left in the world, where the economy has not yet been exposed to the wider world and we are going to muster all the support that we can get, on-island and off-island, to ensure that it is a great story and positive story and show how tourism can enhance the well-being of everyone in the community.
With a tourism offering which encompasses adventure, particularly marine-based, extraordinary heritage & culture and beautiful diverse landscapes, we expect discerning visitors from all around the world to take the opportunity to explore an island previously only accessible after a five-day sail. There is much work to be done to bring St Helena to its true potential and to achieve this we will focus on supporting projects which bring about sustainable and incremental growth.
Established as a statutory body at arm’s length from the St Helena Government, Enterprise St Helena (ESH) is responsible for tourism and the economic development of the island, and is the lead body responsible for promoting and enabling private sector development. ESH is focused on promoting the growth of the economy of St Helena, through the development of existing businesses, and the promotion of the island to new investors and developers. ESH is funded by the Government of St Helena and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). In accordance with its policy of transparency, ESH publishes all of its policies and procedures for the public to view on their website. ESH has 6 key areas of activity in promotion of economic development. These are:
- Tourism Promotion
- Up-skilling Saints
- Helping Saint Businesses
- Financing Saint Businesses
- Attracting Investment
- Fisheries Development
Enterprise St Helena works to align its core offering of professional and financial services to meet the needs of key sectors, identified for their growth potential. To meet these objectives, Enterprise St Helena oversees the St Helena Hospitality Upskilling Initiative and St Helena Tourism to promote the tourism industry and upskilling of people living on the island.
The central message is that St Helena is open for business, and with investor friendly policies in place, it’s now easy to invest in the island. The current development-friendly investment policy was developed with the intention of opening the Island’s economy to foreign investment and tourism. It:
i Makes the economy accessible to all potential investors by being an attractive destination to do business and encouraging a diversity of investors;
ii Ensures maximum benefit from development for the island’s economy and people;
iii Sets parameters for development to safeguard what is important for the people of St Helena;
iv Assists the locally based private sector to compete effectively and efficiently in an open economy.
We are proud and honoured to bring to an audience in Brussels the highest-level representatives from St Helena to outline opportunities for propelling innovation for development of this remote island. The Island of St Helena is one of the most isolated places on Earth. For centuries, this isolation has been driving the need for sustainable living, self-sufficiency and innovative solutions. To live and to operate business in this environment requires significant energy, knowledge, innovation and creativity.
Innovation comes in many forms on St Helena. In waste management, renewable energy – including an EU-funded bio-digester plant – community driven creativity, biodiversity, marine protection, transport improvements and tourism opportunities.
The high-level speakers scheduled at BRUZZ St Helena are: Lisa Phillips, Governor of St Helena; Roy Burke; ;Chief Secretary of St Helena; Robert Midwinter, Director of Enterprise, St Helena; Kedell Worbys MBE, St; Helena’s Representative to the UK; Janice Panton MBE, Head of OCTA’s Executive Committee and Montserrat’s Representative to the UK; Jean-Paul Joulia, Head of Unit, DG Devco, European Commission and Niall O’ Keeffe, Innovation Manager for St Helena.
OCTA Innovation’s Bruzz on 30th November 2016 puts the spotlight on innovation as a necessity in St Helena, one of the most isolated places on Earth. Niall O Keeffe, Chief Executive for Economic Development in St Helena, has initiated the event. He is working closely with the St Helena Government, the private sector and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) to bring about the island’s economic transformation.
High-level speakers scheduled for the St Helena Bruzz are:
- Lisa Phillips – Governor of St. Helena
- Roy Burke – Chief Secretary of St. Helena
- Robert Midwinter – Director of Enterprise, St. Helena
- Kedell Worbys MBE – St. Helena’s Representative to the UK
- Janice Panton MBE – Head of OCTA’s Executive Committee and Montserrat’s Representative to the UK
- Jean-Paul Joulia – Head of Unit, DG Devco, European Commission
- Niall O Keeffe – Innovation Manager for St. Helena
St Helena’s isolation has been driving the need for sustainable living, self-sufficiency and innovative solutions. To live and to operate business in this unique environment requires significant energy, knowledge, innovation and creativity.
Innovation comes in many forms on St Helena. In waste management, renewable energy, community driven creativity, biodiversity, marine protection, transport improvements and tourism opportunities. An OCTA Innovation pilot project will build a bio-digester, converting agricultural and household waste into bio-energy.