Antigua and Barbuda: As the country is gearing up to see general elections on January 18, 2023, Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) has shared their manifesto, focusing on the youth of the country. According to the update by the political party, after being elected as the ruling party, it will launch three (3) special programmes for the younger generation.
The programmes explained by Antigua Barbuda Labour Party is as follows:
Youth have gained from land and financial support
A special effort has also been made to ensure that young people are the beneficiaries of the entrepreneurial development fund and the venture capital fund that assist young people in start-up businesses or expanding existing ones. Qualifying young people have received development land at $3.00 per square foot and 10-year loans at between 1 to 3% interest – terms that are available nowhere else. Young people have also been given the opportunity to own their own homes at the several housing estates that the ABLP government and its agencies have constructed. Many of them have taken advantage of this opportunity to own their first homes.
A new special programme to help develop young musicians
Adding to this, the ABLP will invest in facilities to give our youth a chance to develop their musical talent and export their music around the world. In the past, we have had musicians who have made regional and international names, among them Sir Mcclean Emanuel (king short shirt) and, as far back as the 1940s, the “Brute force steel band”. The facilities today, via modern technology and the internet, are multiplied significantly. To contribute to this still further, the ABLP proposes to equip secondary schools with music laboratories to promote and hone musical growth, development, and expression.
Giving youth a political voice in government
In 2014 and again in 2018, the ABLP government put young women in their 20s into the senate, the national assembly, and the cabinet. Again, in the January 2023 general elections, women in their 30s are among the ABLP candidates. The prime minister has also indicated that a re-elected ABLP government will include 22-year-old Caleb Gardiner in the senate. He is a graduate of UWI Five Islands and was a team member of the national youth parliament. He has the capacity and knowledge to ensure that the views of young people are heard in the highest decision-making body in the land. Young persons will also be appointed to boards of statutory corporations. That is the kind of next-level commitment that the ABLP government is making and will continue to make – to the youth of our country, who are part of our present, and integral to our future.