Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has made tremendous strides as an Independent nation over the last 37 years, and in his September 19, independence day speech, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said as the country looks toward the next 37 years of nationhood, these gains must be protected, consolidated and built upon for the benefit of the next generation.
“Over the last thirty-seven years our Nation has had remarkable growth and success, and some tremendous national achievements,” Prime Minister Harris said in his National Address to mark the 37th Anniversary of Independence. “Our rate and level of development have caught and surpassed many other nations that would have embarked on their journeys decades before us.”
Prime Minister Harris noted that 37 years after gaining Independence, St. Kitts and Nevis is among the best places to live, and proudly stands as the best run, best managed small island state anywhere in the world.
“As a Nation we had the lowest Debt to GDP ratio in our sub region. We were the first to outdo the Debt to GDP target of 60 percent by 2030 set by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). We had the highest reserves in the region and the best fiscal outcomes in the region. Our per capita income remains the highest in the OECS and among the highest among our peers in the Hemisphere, excluding the USA, Canada and Mexico. We ranked high on the United Nations Quality of Life Index. Indeed, we are number one in the sub region and tower above many larger and older independent states in the wider Hemisphere,” Dr. Harris said.
Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Harris implored us all to not take for granted the achievements made over these years, and further urged societal leaders to do all they can to consolidate these gains.
“We have much to be proud of from where we have come: our heritage, our struggles; our shared sacrifices and our successes but we have yet much to accomplish. As we look toward the next thirty-seven years, we have much work to do if we are to increase the inheritance for our children coming after us. The reality of the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic gives us new cause to revive energies towards agriculture and food security, not just for our survival, but for opportunities for further economic expansion and diversification. We must ensure that in the near term, our independence is defined by positive transformations,” the honourable prime minister added.
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is observing its 37th Anniversary of Independence under the theme, “Resilience, Innovation and Security for Independence 2020”.