In a political career that spans more than three decades and highlighted by a myriad of outstanding accomplishments that redounded to the improved lives and welfare of the people and the overall development of the twin island Federation, Senior Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, pointed to his work to advance education, providing affordable housing and diversifying the economy as three of the most impactful achievements in his 35 years of distinguished public service.

Senior Minister Douglas was the special guest on the Wednesday, April 03, 2024, edition of the radio and television programme InFocus. The esteemed minister is this year celebrating 35 years as the elected MP for St. Christopher Six.

While on the programme, Dr. Douglas stated that throughout his career, which included four terms as Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, he was pleased with the significant contributions to continue and expand educational opportunities for the people.

The right honourable minister remarked that as a direct result of the country’s expanded foreign policy under his leadership, a greater number of nationals were being presented with opportunities to further their education at tertiary institutions regionally and further afield.

“UWI [University of the West Indies] was not always accessible to a lot of our people but because of the foreign policy that we had pursued, especially with countries like the United States of America, through the United States Virgin Islands, we were able to forge a relationship to provide most of our people with assisted scholarship funds so that they can go on and get their degrees in St. Thomas and St. Croix,” Dr. Douglas said.

With respect to housing, Dr. Douglas said that he is particularly proud of the housing revolution that blossomed during his tenure as prime minister and which resulted in the construction of close to three thousand homes for low-income families.

“We were providing the people with shelter [because] if you want to improve the health of people you must have them properly sheltered; they must have access to the modern amenities like the disposal of solid and human waste. All those are part of naturally building a healthy community and country and so housing was critical,” he said.

Dr. Douglas highlighted the importance of “starter homes” in providing housing options for those unable to afford them, especially after natural disasters like hurricanes. He commended former ministers Cedric Liburd and Dr. Earl Asim Martin for their roles in leading the housing revolution and ensuring its continuation.

In 2005, the then Dr. Douglas-led government commenced the transition of the Federation’s economy from one that hinged upon sugar agriculture to one that was service-based, with tourism at the forefront. Senior Minister Douglas said to this day he remains proud of the seamlessness in which this transition was made and the compassion and fairness in which the former sugar workers were treated.

“We transitioned successfully from a country whose economy was led by sugar agriculture to one of services—hospitality, tourism. One that brought hotels … and provided hundreds of permanent jobs,” Dr. Douglas said.

The Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas was first elected as the Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Six (Newton Ground/Harris’) in March 1989. Dr. Douglas was then handsomely returned as MP for St. Christopher Six in the next eight consecutive general elections.

Presently, Dr. Douglas serves as Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Economic Development and Investment, International Trade, Industry, Commerce & Consumer Affairs in the Federal Government.

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