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Antigua celebrating independence

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Antigua celebrating independence

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua and Barbuda is celebrating its 29th anniversary of political independence from Britain today with Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer praising the resilience of citizens to deal with a changing global environment characterised by an economic and financial crisis.
“At 29 years, we now look, as a nation, to the dawn of a new era of national achievements and prosperity, of which the golden rising sun is symbolic. 
  “As a Government and a people, we have refused to be defeated by adverse situations. In response to the grave economic challenges, we have fashioned an economic action plan that has been endorsed by multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and our own regional institution, the Caribbean Development Bank,” Spencer said in an address to the nation.
He said that based on the strength of the National Economic and Social Transformation Plan , the island had been able to successfully engage the Paris Club group of international creditors to secure a programme of debt relief.
“We are building necessary physical infrastructure with present and future value to our country. The Government continues to provide services to the public and to expand social programmes for the most vulnerable in line with our financial ability.”
He said as the island celebrates its independence from Britain, it was doing so in the context of significant national advances in several areas including education, health care, and national security, among others.
“Antigua and Barbuda has made significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals agreed by the United Nations. Through localised action, we are committed to a model of governance designed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve education for all, promote equality among men and women, and empower the women of our society. “
The Prime Minister said that the recurring Independence celebration theme of “One Family”, since 2004, “is a profound indication of the united approach that is required for effective nation-building.
“It reminds us too, of the common bonds that we share no matter our race, colour, creed or political persuasion,” he said, adding “the dynamic nature of our society is represented in part, by the arrival and lawful residence here, over many years, of persons from other countries in the Caribbean and elsewhere”. (CMC)