The Commonwealth of Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans. France ceded possession of Dominica to Great Britain in 1763, which then colonized the island in 1805.
Dominica achieved its independent status from the UK on 3 November 1978. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced with one of Mary Eugenia Charles, the first female Prime Minister in the Caribbean. Prime Minister Charles then remained in office for 15 years. Distinctively, some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean.
The current Prime Minister, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit who now governs the 73,607 proud citizens of Dominica is an accomplished leader with a long local, regional and international profile.
Skerrit was educated in the U.S. and served Dominica as the Minister of Education before becoming Prime Minister on January 8, 2004. He earned an international reputation for his national and regional leadership along with his hands-on and sincere approach to international affairs. He is a frequent lecturer at all levels. Lectures include The David Thompson Memorial Lecture: Future of CARICOM and Regional Integration at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados in 2011. More recently, he was Keynote speaker at the 2013 Annual Meeting of Eco-Forum Global in the People’s Republic of China. Skerrit has empowered Dominican citizens and residents by involving them as partners in governance and development, especially the Youth through education and the poor, women, and the elderly through innovative social programmes in housing and settlement.
Working closely beside Skerrit is Education Minister, The Honorable Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Mr. Petter Saint Jean,
And the Assistant Chief Education Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Blaize.
The economy of Dominica has been dependent on agriculture, primarily bananas, in years past. More recently a shift in economic drivers has increasingly seen that tourism is a way forward economically for Dominica. As the government seeks to promote Dominica as an "ecotourism" destination there is a growing emphasis in this direction. Moreover, Dominica has a valuable offshore medical education sector.
In order to diversify the island's economy, the government is also attempting to foster an offshore financial industry and plans to sign agreements with the private sector to develop geothermal energy resources. Stepping up economic growth efforts, in 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy including the elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company, and tax increases. These measures were implemented to address an economic and financial crisis and to meet IMF requirements. Sadly, in 2009 and 2013, the economy contracted as a result of the global recession and growth remains anemic as Dominica reviews new growth options. The Eastern Caribbean Dollar, coded the EC$, is the official currency of Dominica.
The Commonwealth of Dominica is known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean". Dominica is a spectacular show of lush and varied flora and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system. It is the most mountainous of the Lesser Antilles and its volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, the second-largest, thermally active lake in the world. Along with its dazzling beauty, Dominica is also subjected to the ongoing threat of flash floods and the destructive hurricanes during the late summer months of the Caribbean region.
Dominica is an island located in the Caribbean between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean about halfway between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. Its climate is tropical and moderated by northeast trade winds and subject to heavy rainfall. Its rugged mountainous terrain is volcanic in origin.
The Commonwealth of Dominica is governed by a parliamentary republic with a common law based legal system based on the English model. English is designated as the official language. Other languages spoken in Dominica are French patois.
Upon a country's full independence from the United Kingdom, Anglophone Caribbean or Commonwealth Caribbean traditionally becomes the preferred sub-regional term as a replacement to British West Indies.
The independent island-nations that are considered as Commonwealth Caribbean include:
Anglophone Caribbean also refers to the independent English-speaking countries known as the "Mainland Caribbean". These include:
The Anglophone Caribbean makes up a composite cricket team. The West Indies cricket team also includes Guyana, as another former British colony. Bermuda, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and the English-speaking Dutch West Indies also participate in Anglophone Caribbean-related sports activities such as 20/20 Cricket.
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2015 est.)
2.7 (2014 est.)
2.7 (2013 est.)
2.7 (2012 est.)
2.7 (2011 est.)
2 ECONOMY & GOVERNMENT
Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which colonized the island in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean.
The Dominican economy has been dependent on agriculture - primarily bananas - in years past, but increasingly has been driven by tourism as the government seeks to promote Dominica as an "ecotourism" destination. Moreover, Dominica has an offshore medical education sector.
In order to diversify the island's economy, the government is also attempting to foster an offshore financial industry and plans to sign agreements with the private sector to develop geothermal energy resources.
In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy - including the elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company, and tax increases - to address an economic and financial crisis and to meet IMF requirements. In 2009 and 2013, the economy contracted as a result of the global recession; growth remains anemic.
Although public debt levels continue to exceed pre-recession levels, the debt burden declined from 78% of GDP in 2011 to approximately 70% in 2012.
Roosevelt Skerrit (born 8 June 1972) is a Dominican politician who has been Prime Minister of Dominica since 2004; he has also been the Member of Parliament for the Vieille Case constituency since 2000. Regionally, he has served as the Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and most recently as Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 2010.
Skerrit was born in the village of Vieille Case. He began his studies at the University of New Mexico, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. He later transferred to the University of Mississippi, Ole Miss, Oxford, Mississippi, where in 1997, he acquired a Bachelor’s (Honors) degree in Psychology (B.Sc.) and English (BA).
Skerrit was elected to the House of Assembly (legislature) as Member of Parliament for Vieille Case in 2000 before being appointed Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports by Prime Minister Rosie Douglas. He was Minister for Education.
Skerrit was first sworn into office on January 8, 2004 after the untimely passing of his predecessor. Aged 31 at his swearing in, he became the world’s youngest Prime Minister, leading a two-party coalition government. The following month, February, Skerrit was elected Political Leader of the Dominica Labour Party.
In the May 2005 General Election, Skerrit successfully lead his Party to win an outright majority in the legislature, a feat last achieved by the DLP in 1975. In addition to being Prime Minister, Skerrit served as Minister of during that term.
In the December 18, 2009 General Election, Skerrit lead his Dominica Labour Party to win a second consecutive outright majority in the legislature, strengthening his Party’s share to 18 of 21 possible seats. On the December 21, 2009, Skerrit was appointed by President of Dominica, His Excellency Nicholas J. O. Liverpool, to be the Prime Minister of Dominica marking his the beginning of his own second term in Office. On January 4, 2010, Prime Minister Skerrit was appointed by the President, to be Minister for Information Technology, Finance, and Foreign Affairs.
As Prime Minister, Skerrit is responsible for the Cabinet Secretariat; Elections; the Legislature; National Awards; the Government Printery and; Service Commissions and Board of Appeal. As Minister of Information Technology, he is responsible for Information Technology. As Minister of Finance, Skerrit is responsible for the Office of the Accountant General; the Audit Department; Banking and Banking Organizations; Boards of Surveys; Budget; Capital Repayments; Central Purchasing; Consolidated Fund; Currency; Customs and Excise; Enemy Property; Exchange Control; Finance and Financial Services; International Business; Inland Revenue; Lotteries; Pensions and Gratuities; Public Debt; Regional and International Financial Organizations and; Saving Banks. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Skerrit is responsible for External Affairs; Contributions to Regional and International Organizations; Consular Affairs; Diplomatic Representation and; Protocol.
Skerrit has earned an international reputation for his national and regional leadership along with his hands-on and sincere approach to international affairs. He is now a frequent lecturer at all levels. Lectures include The David Thompson Memorial Lecture: Future of CARICOM and Regional Integration at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados in 2011. More recently, he was Keynote speaker at the 2013 Annual Meeting of Eco-Forum Global in the People’s Republic of China.
Skerrit, as Prime Minister, has graduated to the forefront of Caribbean leadership, serving as Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) during periods of historic fiscal and economic challenges faced by the region and the world: high debt, high unemployment, low growth, and high deficits. He has contributed to the formulation of the eight-point stabilization programme of the OECS. As leader of the first English-speaking and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to join the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas (ALBA), in 2008, Skerrit is recognized for making a significant contribution towards building bridges between the predominantly English-speaking Caribbean region and the predominantly Spanish-speaking Latin American region. He is an ardent advocate of wider regional cooperation and has worked towards the deepening of cooperation with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CLAS).
Skerrit is married to Melissa Skerrit; the couple recently celebrated the birth of their first child, Dmitry together. Skerrit previously had a son, Malik. He was raised as a Christian and possesses a strong sense of family and community Service. He has developed personal discipline and a passion for getting things done. Skerrit has empowered Dominican citizens and residents by involving them as partners in governance and development, especially the Youth through education and the poor, women, and the elderly through innovative social programmes in housing and settlement.
Deputy Prime Minister
Honorable Minister for Education & Human Resource Development
Mr. Petter Saint Jean
Assistant Chief Education Officer
Dr. Jeffrey Blaize
73,607 (July 2015 est.)
Capital City: Roseau
the island was named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS for the day of the week on which he spotted it, Sunday ("Domingo" in Latin), 3 November 1493
4 OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
English (official), French patois
5 POLITICS & GOVT (Cabinet)
· Commonwealth of Dominica
· parliamentary republic
· 3 November 1978 (from the UK)
· previous 1967 (preindependence); latest presented 25 July 1978, entered into force 3 November 1978; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
· common law based on the English model
INTERNATIONAL LAW ORGANIZATION PARTICIPATION:
· accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
chief of state:
· President Charles A. SAVARIN (since 2 October 2013)
head of government:
· Prime Minister Roosevelt SKERRIT (since 8 January 2004)
· Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
· president nominated by the prime minister and leader of the opposition party and elected by the House of Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 September 2013 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister appointed by the president
· Dominica is the only Caribbean state to challenge Venezuela's sovereignty claim over Aves Island and joins the other island nations in challenging whether the feature sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ and continental shelf claims over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
· transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; minor cannabis producer (2008)
· chief of mission: Ambassador Hubert J. CHARLES (since 16 July 2010)
· chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
· telephone:  (202) 364-6781
· FAX:  (202) 364-6791
· consulate(s) general: New York
· the US does not have an embassy in Dominica; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Dominica
6 BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
country comparison to the world:
LITERACY/School Life Expectency (primary to tertiary education):
9 COMMUNICATIONS & MEDIA
total subscriptions: 17,600
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 126 (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
general assessment: fully automatic network
domestic: fixed-line connections continued to decline slowly with the two active operators providing about 20 fixed-line connections per 100 persons; subscribership among the three mobile-cellular providers continued to increase with teledensity reaching 150 per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-767; landing points for the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and the Global Caribbean Network (GCN) submarine cables providing connectivity to other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; microwave radio relay and SHF radiotelephone links to Martinique and Guadeloupe; VHF and UHF radiotelephone links to Saint Lucia (2010)
no terrestrial TV service available; subscription cable TV provider offers some locally produced programming plus channels from the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean; state-operated radio broadcasts on 6 stations; privately owned radio broadcasts on about 15 stations (2007)
AM 4, FM 18, shortwave 0 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 175
percent of population: 59.1% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
· Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago
· 15 25 N, 61 20 W
· Central America and the Caribbean
· total: 751 sq km
· land: 751 sq km
· water: 0 sq km
country comparison to the world: 189
· slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC
· 0 km
· 148 km
· territorial sea: 12 nm
· contiguous zone: 24 nm
· exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
· tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall
· rugged mountains of volcanic origin
· mean elevation: NA
· elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
· highest point: Morne Diablotins 1,447 m
· timber, hydropower, arable land
· agricultural land: 34.7%
· arable land 8%; permanent crops 24%; permanent pasture 2.7%
· forest: 59.2%
· other: 6.1% (2011 est.)
· total: 0.02 cu km/yr
· per capita: 244.1 cu m/yr (2004)
· flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months
· party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
· signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
· known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean" due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system; the most mountainous of the Lesser Antilles, its volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, the second-largest, thermally active lake in the world
11 NATIONAL ANTHEM
· name: "Isle of Beauty"
· lyrics/music: Wilfred Oscar Morgan POND/Lemuel McPherson CHRISTIAN
· note: adopted 1967