Antigua and Barbuda expects first tranche of loan for UWI expansion within weeks

Antigua and Barbuda expects first tranche of loan for UWI expansion within weeks

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Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda- Gaston Browne, outlined that the government expects over half of a US$75 million loan from a friendly government by later this month. 

The loan is to fund the expansion of the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus. Prime Minister Browne further stated the government will receive US$40 million of the loan funds to begin the project, which will ensure the campus continues to meet the growing needs of the country and the sub-region.

The Prime Minister was speaking at an event at Sandals Grande Antigua Thursday evening to honour the honorary graduands at the upcoming graduation for the Five Islands Campus. Sir Richard Richardson of Antigua and Barbuda and Alston ‘Becket’ Cyrus of St Vincent and the Grenadines will receive honorary degrees at the event this Saturday.

Earlier, The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda considered the ongoing effect on residents and citizens as a consequence of Covid-19. Many households are still struggling to address the financial impact of the pandemic.

The junior Minister of Finance reported on the IMF Article IV visit to Antigua and Barbuda. The IMF forecasted 6% economic growth in 2022, following a 5% growth in 2021. Despite the Covid-19 Pandemic and the harm caused to all economies globally, the IMF team found the performance to be outstanding. 

The IMF visiting team addressed the issue of banking and the services offered by these financial institutions. There was a discussion by the banks and they noted that their profits emanated from fees charged and not from interest income. The IMF will publish its final report in 10 or more days. 

The Minister of Health indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly been on the decline but cautions the vulnerable to continue to practice good hand hygiene and other measures. Those who have not yet been vaccinated are still encouraged to do so.