An amount of eight hundred and sixty thousand dollars has been disbursed to the Agricultural Industrial Development (AID) Bank to provide easier access to credit for people of Kalinago ancestry at a concessionary interest rate of 2%.
On March 9, 2022, the Kalinago Development Fund (KDF) was officially launched to facilitate borrowing by the indigenous people for residential and commercial development, cultural development, enterprise development, crop production and processing, education, climate resilience and renewable energy development.
The Prime Minister stated while speaking at the launch, that such funding which can only be used in the Kalinago Territory, will lift the indigenous people out of economic dependence, increase opportunities for them to build wealth and create avenues for growth in agriculture, enterprise and education.
“It will build capacity and ensure that the people of the Kalinago territory can more actively participate in the social and economic life of our country,” Skerrit said at the ceremony. “The Kalinago Development Fund, therefore, holds special significance and is another such measure designed to enhance the lives of indigenous people. It is the result of an election promise made to my dear Kalingo people prior to the 2019 general elections. That promise was clearly articulated in the dominical Labour Party’s Dynamic Dominika manifesto, as well as in the 2021-2022 fiscal union budget address.”
According to Skerrit, communal land ownership has for many years impeded the progress of the Kalinago people in housing, small business development, agriculture, and education as it has been difficult to present adequate security to acquire loans for self-advancement, from traditional financial institutions like commercial banks and credit unions.
He believes that the KDF is one step towards helping the Kalinago people overcome this long-standing roadblock.
“From today, the Kalinago people are being afforded easier access to credit to build resilience, sustain livelihoods, increased earnings, and household incomes, and launch financially viable businesses,” he declared. “ It guarantees an increase in employment levels due to a focus on enterprise development in the areas of crop production and processing, offshore fisheries, arts and craft and ancillary tourism industries,” the Prime Minister remarked.
As part of the arrangements, borrowers will be granted a grace period of a maximum of six months on the payment of the principal and interest and the maximum term of the loans shall be up to 10 years exclusive of the grace period.
Skerrit, who is also the Minister for Finance, further announced that government intends to have the fund operate as a revolving fund and gave his commitment to place in the budget over the next five years, a yearly amount of a minimum of $1 million beginning in 2022-2023.
According to the prime minister, this move by his government is the “most emphatic statement” of their commitment to the welfare and advancement of the Kalinago people.
For his part, the Parliamentary Representative for the Kalinago Territory and Minister for Kalinago Upliftment, Cozier Frederick, noted that the KDF is the culmination of several years of intense work which started in 2005 in the office of the Prime Minister when it was referred to as the Kalingo Development Corporation.
Acknowledging the leadership of his predecessors during the process, the minister noted that between 2011 and 2012 a draft constitution was set up for the KDC and developed by the Ministry of Carib Affairs under the leadership of Ashton Graneau.
In 2018, the Ministry of Kalingo Affairs, in collaboration with the Kalingo Council, commenced the process of drafting the framework for the establishment of the KDF. The following year, several consultations were held in the Territory on KDF documents.
In November 2021, approval was granted by the cabinet for the establishment of the fund, and its initial administration by the AID bank.
“This KDF will help us in many ways; it will increase our standard of living, create and expand local businesses, provide opportunities for young people, strengthen the Kalinago territory as a tourism destination, encourage local entrepreneurship and more importantly, inspire a new generation of Kalingo leadership,” Fedrick declared.
“I call on my people to take this opportunity to develop serious business enterprises, build business partnerships, be diligent, use the finance appropriately. When we do that friends, we’ll be able to increase our household income, reduce unemployment, and reduce dependency levels,” he added.
To qualify, applicants must be of Kalingo ancestry and any intended infrastructure must be built within the Kalingo space. Prospective business owners wishing to apply must have an established and registered business in Dominica.
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The Kalinago people has not voted UWP since 2000.Where, when and by whom was the $10,000,000 signed on behalf of the Kalinago people?Who signed on behalf of the Kalinago people saying Chavez had given them $10,000,000.The Kalinago cannot be fooled by a bunch of lazy,lying,UWP propagandist.
The Kalinago people need their 20 million U$D promised/given to them by the late Hugo Chavez to open a financial institution to unlend to each.
One of these days I have to see Skerro, Capitolin and those DOMLIGARCHS in chains headed to Stocky. Mark my words.
Is the Dr, Dr trying to save face for the $millions US that his partner Chaves gave him for the Kalinago people that he is yet to deliver? Shame on you big man keep playing the modern day Christopher Columbus; don’t forget Bob warned you “Karma is a b.tch” one day bro judgment day bound to come.
This is only a fraction of the money that Chavez once donated to the Kalinago community. Where is this money gone? Have we asked Skerrit to account? It’s always the same, money is being donated and mysteriously disappears.
I have politely asked DNO umpteen times to return to past important national issues that are still unresolved. DNO has robustly refused.
This is my humble request. Dominicans forget easily. Significant issues remain in the public domain for only a few days. To keep these serious concerns in the spotlight, just resort to one or two of these issues weekly.
DNO has not budged. They prefer to splatter Skerrit’s photo signing bogus agreements , handing out awards or simply taking phto-ops. Look at how many times for the last two weeks he has been featured in their news. For what?
I’ll repeat this at the chagrin of DNO. DNO acts as a conduit for Skerrit and his corrupt administration. They are going to threaten to ban me now. Truth hurts.
That is peanuts Roosevelt, little more than 13 months rent you charging us for your mansion brother. Maybe you think it will stop the Kalinago people asking what you did with the money Chavis gave you for them, I believe it was U.S.$.10 million, no? This is an insult really and if you think Kalinago are dimwitted you are mistaken my boy.
What I see is a notorious scammer doing what he does best which is to take advantage of the vulnerable knowing that he is protected by the police
Capitoline alone received 75 million us dollars to build a hotel, yet an entire community and or segment of Dominica is only given 860,000.00 ec at this. Do we really expect to get any significant development from this small amount to assist an entire people? There are over 3 thousand persons living in kalinago territory…smh. crazy tee is owing half a million, just one individual. We need to realize these guys don’t have our interest at heart, 90 percent for them and 10 for us… Are we as a society sane? Do we consider ourselves as being important? This should never be accepted.
Your comments are so on point. This miniscule amount of public funds for this large number of people is exceptionally insignificant. This is similar to throwing one eye-drop of water in a large desert and expect to get a bountiful yield of rice.
All these so-called initiatives of this heartless man and his hangers-on are done to hoodwink the people into thinking that the ruling oligarchy is doing great. When, in reality, the opposite obtains.
How any sane group of citizens can support this regime is beyond me. This leads me to believe that many Dominicans are masochistic. They love to be ill-treated. According to the Mighty Sparrow, “They Like It So.”
If you don’t want it, send it for me.
One of the most brain dead comments I’ve read in recent times. This is what happens when the brain is mostly underutilized. It rusts and decays.
In a similar scheme Krazee tea alone got $500k for free. So say there is somebody like Krazee tee Money god wants to give $500k to buy a washing machine how much more is left for those that really need help but don’t meet the requirements nou? Boy Money god is just desperate
i love the initiative to provide a fund for the Kalinago people. However, this is absolutely not enough. Don’t be so stingy. Give them more. put at least 5 million dollars in the bank for them. let them develop themselves. And FYI 5 million isn’t a lot of money. according to you guys a one way 20ft bridge with no lights, no proper rails, no led displays cost 8 million. so 8 hundred thousand should be pocket change for ya.
Skerrit, soldier of Satan, do you know what will go a long way to increase capacity in the Kalinago Territory? The $10m that was given by Hugo Chavez for the Kalinago people. When will they get it?
This handsome sum could be used to build roads, schools, houses and for start-up businesses. These poor, beleaguered citizens don’t have the collateral to borrow and repay loans. Give the people their gift of US $10m NOW!
I would like to know where do we draw the line, how could a PM be wearing party paraphilia promoting his political party in his capacity as PM where he is representing every Dominican and residence here in Dominica! This is unethical and we as a civilized society should take steps to stop this! Where are the defenders of our democracy? This is wrong. A PM represents everyone not his political party. This is a straight disrespect to us, our laws and society!
Remember Original, Skerrit only ever represents himself and as for ethics, you are peeing against the wind and only wetting your shoes because that concept is alien to him for true.
As alien as ethics in office may seem to him, it is on us as a people to ensure that it’s kept. So if we don’t maintain the standard then he won’t and this is the issue. it’s not about him but more so us and what we stand for as a society!
but thats racist . why not have a fund for ALL Dominicans. everyone is equal and suffering under this government. do it for all Dominicans . doh have one for Caribs and one for negwess ( that the Caribs call us )
I wonder why those BOOM BOOM FLIES “photographers” are not following Skerrit and photograph him when he is shh..tingg. Come on! This guy has a radio station on which he sounds like a 1st grader; then he has people following him around on his solo campaign trail bribing and lying to people. There isn’t anyone left with spine and moral fiber in Dominica. And that’s why this unqualified Racoon 🦝 goes out looking for his preys. When this Racoon 🦝 comes to your Village you should let him know to his face what you think about him. …………