Address to the Nation By the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister On the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the election of the ABLP to government

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston A. Browne

Address to the Nation
By the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister
On the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the election of the ABLP to government
My fellow citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda.

Today, as we reflect on the past decade, we celebrate a remarkable journey together—one that began ten years ago when the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party took the reigns of power during a period of unprecedented failures.

Let me remind you, for comparative purposes that during that lost decade under the failed UPP administration, our nation faced severe economic downturns.

Our people were impoverished; we endured high unemployment, significant business closures, unsustainable national debt and rampant crime and violence, including rapes and homicides.

The economy came to a screeching halt with government defaulting on its IMF loan and it couldn’t even pay for fuel, electricity, and water; owing suppliers of these devices over $200M without any formal credit terms.

Notorious projects, like the unfinished car park in St. John’s, the Wadadli power plant, the ill fated Half Moon Bay acquisition, stand as stark reminders of those turbulent times characterized by unbridled corruption and incompetence.

These missteps were compounded by over two billion dollars in borrowings and an overwhelming reliance on the IMF, which further strained our public services and overall economy.

However, ten years ago, you, the people of Antigua and Barbuda, chose a new direction.
You placed your trust in the ABLP to rejuvenate and rebuild our nation.

Together, we have turned adversity into opportunity, transforming our economic landscape; ensuring a future where prosperity is shared by all.

Under the ABLP’s leadership, we have acquired ownership of critical assets like the West Indies Oil Company and our water supply, securing them for the public good. We have also recovered 10 acres of beach property, valued at $27M, located at Valley Church which was corruptly sold by the UPP administration to a foreign entity for $1.00.

The UPP reportedly spent $1.4B on roads during their tenure, yet all of the roads were in a poor state of repair when we assumed office in 2014.

Our administration has since repaired most of the main arteries and has now accelerated the community road programme. In fact, my administration has recently invested $21M in heavy equipment and machinery to equip the Public Works Department to accelerate the community road maintenance and upgrade program.

During the last decade, we have made Investments in infrastructure—such as reverse osmosis plants, modern port facilities, and expanded electricity services, which have not only strengthened our capacity, but have also propelled our economy forward.

We have reduced unemployment significantly, fostered a thriving tourism sector, and enhanced our educational systems with the establishment of a University of the West Indies campus right here at home, to rapidly expand the intellectual capital of our nation.

This journey of revival was made even more challenging by the global COVID-19 pandemic, yet through courageous leadership and prudent financial management, we did not succumb to the crisis.

Unlike the failed UPP regime, we did not seek bailout funds from the IMF; the ABLP administration managed to steer our nation through these perilous times, ensuring our health and economic stability remained intact.

This resilience resulted in unprecedented post COVID growth of 7.5 percent per annum, further cementing our path to economic development and social improvement.

Today, through the steadfast commitment of the ABLP, Antiguans and Barbudans earn more per head of population than the majority of countries in the region, without paying personal income tax.

Our people are working; our economy is growing at a rate second only to Guyana in this hemisphere.

Investment is increasing; Antigua & Barbuda today, enjoys one of the highest levels of foreign investments per capita in the Caribbean.

We turned despair into confidence, and the future looks brighter than it has ever been.

The next decade promises to be even more exciting with growing prospects for greater economic growth and development.

Our young people have been imbued with a strong sense of their own capacity to grow and develop.
They have been provided with modern technology, access to knowledge and information, and markets for their creative talents, ensuring they are well-equipped to contribute even more meaningful to our nation’s future.

In ten years, we have advanced our country steadily and progressively for the benefit of all Antiguans and Barbudans and all who dwell within our shores.

Our prospects are real; we shall seize the opportunities and soldier on confidently to victory.

This decade has also been marked by our commitment to heal divisions and foster unity across our twin-island state.
We have worked tirelessly amid constant protestations, to integrate Barbuda more fully into our national life, rejecting the divisive politics of marginalization in the past.

Despite the strident efforts of the obstructionists, we shall not relent on the advancement of Barbuda and our Barbudans brothers and sisters. We are determined to unrelentingly transform Barbuda into a luxury and sustainable island designation, with a well developed property rights system.

Antigua & Barbuda shall continue into perpetuity as a successful unitary state, with stakeholder ownership in land and other assets, both in Antigua and in Barbuda.

We are striving to create a cohesive society where every citizen, whether from Antigua or Barbuda, feels valued, and where every community can thrive. No one will be left behind under the leadership of my all empowering administration.

Internationally, our nation has led critical dialogues and initiatives.
We have been at the forefront in the Organisation of American States and the UN Alliance for Small Island States, advocating for issues critical to our survival and prosperity.

Our efforts to establish a Multi-dimensional Vulnerability Index are changing how the world recognizes and supports small island states with concessional funding.

Additionally, we are using international law to seek justice for the damages our nation suffers due to climate change, proving that even our small nation can stand mightily on the global stage.

Our accomplishments over the past decade are not the triumphs of the ABLP alone; they are also your achievements, the result of our collective efforts.

Businesses, workers, and every citizen have played a crucial part in our nation’s resurgence and bright prospects for the future.

Looking ahead, we should not become complacent; we should not gamble with the governance of our country and its future.

The path forward is clear and filled with promise and opportunities for all.

We should exploit these opportunities in pursuit of progress, with unwavering courage and conviction.

As we face the next decade, let us remain committed to the values of productivity, cooperation, unity and perseverance that have brought us thus far.

Together, we will continue to build a nation that is safe, resilient, prosperous, and inclusive; making Antigua and Barbuda a nation of progress, and a testament to the power of collective determination.

Thank you for your contribution, trust, your spirit, and your dedication to our nation.

Please be assured, that I will never betray your trust and that I shall continue to work unrelentingly for your empowerment.

Let us forward together with unity of purpose; as one nation, one people with a common destiny.

Much love & blessings.

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  1. When you have failed you try to pin point and list others as failures also ,not only have you failed you continue to spit lies just to remain in power for your selfish gains, not because you have the best interest for the people but yourself.

    3 of the biggest lies you mention in the article is
    Equal distribution of wealth

    Unemployment has increase under the ABLP
    Which has lead to high crime rate

    Equal distribution of wealth that must be among the cabinet members and some of yor close friends, if their was distribution of wealth crime rate would not be on such high scale

    What have you done for the youths?give them hope in smoking Marijuana because you desire to build yourself and destroy the young potential leaders.

    Look how much mad people and vagrants walk around in st. John’s, the mad rate and vagrant rate has increased pressured by life no measures in place to assist, the city is in a deplorable state, you build houses in your community it is a good thing although it wasn’t the amount you lied and say to go into office and remain in office. The good the government desire praise when something good happens, the bad they cast blame, perfect example of poor leadership. Take responsibility for your failures and stop trying to paint a perfect picture like you a flawless.
    You can fool some people sometimes but you can’t fool some.
    You will always be remembered as the Greediest Arrogant Selfish tyrannical Obnoxious Nefarious minister of all time .

    If you had empathy and get rid of the greed and lies it will be a good thing and that will be a step for a good leader

  2. There goes Antigua’s Gaston “Donald Trump” Browne. They are so much alike.
    Lie like hell
    Take credit for things others did
    Blame others for his and his administrations failures
    Showing how vindictive they are
    Dictators to the core, with an urge to eliminate anyone not supportive of their failed policies

    I could go on, but enough for this time

  3. Must be the Risperdal talking here.
    UPP, which you continue to blame for your failures after 10 years, did so much more for the country with less. All you do is talk about robust economy and GDP, but only you and your self-enrichment cabinet is benefitting.
    All of this was just another bag of lies for which you are so infamous.
    You have created zombies of our youths, unemployment is so high it is reflected in the increase in crimes and really, what the hell have you done that the entire country is benefitting?
    You are the worst ever prime Minister and Minister of finance. Without doubt

  4. Wait deh, so the Antiguan government owns WICO; didn’t y’all say it was a private entity?
    Did did ALP government purchase WIOC after the FOI request was made by MP Lewis? Enquiring minds wants to know!

    The truth shall set you free!

  5. Gaston, before you came to power, Antiguans and Barbudans owned most of the lands in Antigua and Barbuda. Black Antiguans owned businesses and were prospering. Under your watch most of our prime lands are owned by foreigners and the members of your cabal. Look at the roads. Look at the increase in crime because of criminals you let into the country and gave amnesty to vote for you. Look at the ghetto that is St. John’s. Look at the young people walking the streets high on drugs with no jobs. Business people are getting robbed almost daily. People are afraid to sleep at night especially women living alone. Gaston, tell us where all the people’s money went. You created millions in debt. We have no roads and still no reliable water supply.
    You like to blow your trumpet but sensible Antiguans know you are just blowing hot air.

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