ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
(pronounced "LES-ter BURD")
"Comrades, the Antigua Labour Party, which has successfully guided this nation to the economic and social heights it has attained, is ready to lead it into the new century. On these strong foundations we have already laid, we will build a nation strong and healthy, a country robust and prosperous, a society that is just, fair and based on merit."
Antigua and Barbuda (pronounced "ann-TEE-guh" and "bar-BYOO-duh") is made up of two main islands along the outer edge of the Leeward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean. It is estimated that as of July 2002, there were 67,448 inhabitants. The total land area is about 442 sq km (170 sq mi).
Ethnically, 95% of the population are descendants of West Africans who were imported as slaves. The remaining 5% are of European, Asian, Middle Eastern, or mixed descent. The official language of the country is English, although an English dialect is widely spoken. Christianity is, by far, the dominant religion, with Protestants accounting for more than 85% of adherents.
Major exports include refined petroleum and petroleum products, manufactured goods, including sea-island cotton, paints, furniture, machinery and transport equipment. Agricultural exports include sugar, mangoes, bananas, coconuts, and pineapples. However, tourism is the major foreign exchange earner, accounting for about 60% of gross domestic product (GDP). The national currency is the Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar.
Office of the Prime Minister