He also had kind words for the St. Kitts and Nevis National Cooperative League which he believes has also played a pivotal role within the country’s credit unions sector.
On the wider scale, Dr. Denzil Douglas, who is also the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, told delegates at the closing exercise of a regional credit union conference that the credit unions in the Caribbean have been making a very positive contribution to the vibrancy of the regional economy.
He said that he is well positioned to make such assessment given his position in government and also as a member of the St. Kitts Cooperative Credit Union. From this vantage point Dr. Douglas explained that he is well placed to assess the contribution of the various players within his country and the region’s financial industry.
The delegates from across the Caribbean were told that if they were to look at the social and economic realities in St. Kitts and Nevis, for example, and also to look at some of the nationwide initiatives which were specially designed to advance the socioeconomic interest of the people, “we do see a very clear and positive presence by the Nation’s credit unions.”
The 11th Annual OECS Credit Union Summit, which was hosted by the St. Kitts and Nevis National Co-operative League, was held under the theme ‘Innovation – Co-operation – Integration: Strategies for a Successful Co-operative Movement’.
The Prime Minister also praised the co-operators for the theme they had chosen for the conference, adding: “The second part of your theme, ‘Strategies for a Successful Co-operative Movement’; it captures perfectly what the ever evolving and ever expanding cooperative movement within the Eastern Caribbean has been about all these years.
Dr. Douglas lauded the St. Kitts & Nevis’ credit unions for partnering with the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, SIDF, for the benefit of their members and the nation.
He therefore did not pass up the opportunity to shine a positive light on the controversial Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), and proceeded to outline the important role being played by the SIDF in what he said was changing people’s lives.
“The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation was established to ensure that the development options open to the people of this country would be both more thrust and readily obtainable than at any time in our Nation’s history,” said Dr Douglas on Thursday August 22, when he delivered feature remarks at the opening ceremony of the 11th Annual OECS Credit Union Summit at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
“We thought that this was an important mechanism to be introduced to our Federation, because as a result of the 400 years history of the Caribbean far too many ordinary people have faced very real challenges overcoming the intergenerational lack of capital that are the clear and indisputable consequence of slavery and colonialism of our past,” observed the Prime Minister.
“He however pointed out that through the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, St. Kitts and Nevis is correcting this particular imbalance by extending important opportunities for training, opportunities for new and previously unimaginable access to capital by the people.
“And I wish to note here that the nation’s credit unions have been very active in participating in the SIDF to the benefit of both their members and our country as a whole,” said Dr Douglas.
Delegates were drawn from Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and host St. Kitts and Nevis.