Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister of Dominica- Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, outlined the areas where the Dominican diaspora can contribute significantly. Speaking during Diaspora Forum 2023, he said that there are ample opportunities through which they can bring prosperity to the country.
During the forum, PM Skerrit said that the diaspora can play an effective role in trade and investment, the creation of businesses, and the transfer of their knowledge and skills.
While encouraging the diaspora to contribute to the country, PM Skerrit cited,” The government cannot do it by all themselves; we need the support, expertise and help of the Dominican diaspora to guide our efforts. You can contribute with your strategic investment in the key areas of the economy.”
Diaspora role toward nation building
PM Skerrit outlined the opportunities for the diaspora to contribute in nation-building. He said that they can support the international airport project of the country.
Prime Minister said that the direct flights from the key target markets of the US and Europe will increase the number of visitors and expand the tourism economy, grow agriculture and open up new ventures. He said that the project will come up with several services where diaspore can invest significantly.
PM Skerrit noted,”Tour guide services, rental and taxes services, luggage and hand delivery, restaurants and bar services, guest houses, and hotels are the areas where your investment is possible. So these are exciting areas where you can play your part.”
He further mentioned the employment opportunities in air traffic control, equipment maintenance, emergency services, customs, immigration and sustainable commercial activities.
Speaking about hosuing, PM Skerrit said that the government is working to make land available at concessionary rates, and high-end homes for new startups to help create employment and drive growth in the economy.
The PM said that in these areas, the diaspora could provide assistance with architectural design. He said that the government is in talks with NCCU- National Cooperative Credit Union. So there is an opportunity for access to land and financing.
In agriculture, the government of Dominica has pledged to contribute $700M to the GDP by 2023 to ensure food security. PM Skerrit said that the diaspora can help in this sector by building a food security plan and combating climate change.
“Invest Dominica Authority can facilitate in necessary procedure to get your agro-enterprise started.”
PM Roosevelt Skerrit welcomes Diaspora
He welcomed the diaspora to the country while saying,” I welcome you all in your country where you were born.” He also extended gratitude for them to take time out of their vacations to attend the diaspora forum in Dominica.
He also wished Independence to the people of Dominica. He said,”I am pleased to meet with you at this platform where we can exchange ideas in the true spirit of the nation-building
PM Roosevelt Skerrit said that the Dominica Labour Party government has always recognized and valued the contribution of diaspora towards the nation, their ideas, investments, and remittance in the key areas of development.
“We don’t take it for granted. This forum is designed with the purpose of hearing your recommendations and deciding together on our best prospects for social and economic advancement,”said the prime minister.
Developments in Dominica
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit further outlined the developments made in the tenure of his government. He said that Dominica boasts one of the best road networks in the Caribbean. The country is making steady progress on the East Coast road Project.
He mentioned that the East Coast Road Project costs over $127 million. He announced that in the next few weeks, the government shall conclude the loan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the complete enhancement of the city of Roseau.
“Minister of Finance will be part of the delegation for the negotiation with the government of Saudi Arabia for the conclusion of the loan of the construction and enhancement of the city of Roseau.”
Prime Minister Skerrit asserted that Dominica boasts the best housing sector in the Caribbean. Thousands of Dominicans are living in clean, quality homes built with the funds of the CBI Programme, said the prime minister.
In the past month, the Dominica government increased the salary of close to 3,000 public officers.
While talking about the business opportunities, PM Skerrit added that support has also been provided to the private sector and small and media enterprises.
He said,” We have also extended support to the private sector, small business owners to keep their staff employed and sustain their business for the best.”
PM Skerrit said that the investment has been made in the agriculture and tourism sector. The accommodations sector has boomed as new hotels are near completion.
Speaking about cable car, he said,” Cable car which will take you up to the boiling lake is under construction.”
The government is also striving towards the construction of a geothermal power plant, which will reduce carbon footprints.
On the international airport, he said that the project is progressing steadily. He added that there are some who said that the airport will never come, now the airport is under construction; they are saying it will never complete, but only God can determine when it will be completed.
He said,” I can tell you, God has never failed Dominica. You will soon fly to Dominica direct from London, direct from America at the airport.”
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit also extended wish on the independence celebration of Dominica. He said,” This past week, we all have been reminded of the richness and vibrancy of the culture and homeland of Dominica.”
He said that there is no other country that celebrates independence like Dominica as their culture, and traditions are so authentic.
Anglina Byron, developed a deep-seated passion for journalism. Anglina is recognized for her tenacity, strength, and unwavering commitment to delivering honest and reliable news across the Caribbean. She covers general affairs of the region.