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Over $10 million allocated for SVG’s 40th anniversary Independence celebration

Over $10 million allocated for SVG’s 40th anniversary Independence celebration
Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Finance

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Over $10 million in this country’s 2019 Budget has been allocated to the celebration of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ 40th year of independence.

SVG officially gained independence in 1979 and celebrates its 40th year of independence on October 27 this year.
Camillo Gonsalves, the finance minister, said in his Budget presentation on Monday that the government will launch “‘Renewal @40’, a wide-ranging and multifaceted programme of reflection and reinvention that ranges from the cultural to the infrastructural”.

Gonsalves said that the country was entering its fifth decade of post-independence development, which is an appropriate time to reflect, celebrate the accomplishments and become refreshed for the coming stage in the journey of independence.

The finance minister said “Renewal @40” initiatives will be spread across various ministries, and initiatives include a school and learning resource centre refurbishment and Kingstown clean-up with allocations of $6 million and $1.7 million respectively.

Over $800,000 is allocated for the Fort Charlotte and Bridge rehabilitation and $450,000 is allocated to the rehabilitation of Heritage Square.

The government has also allocated over $400,000 each to the development of the Joseph Chatoyer National Park and Community Centre refurbishment and exactly $400,000 is allocated to Renewal @40 Unit and programmes.
The rehabilitation of the Peace Memorial Hall will receive $71,200 while $65,000 is allocated to a Garifuna and Diaspora homecoming event and the government will also spend $75,000 on the History of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“While, ideally, as many programmes as possible will culminate on or around our October 2019 Independence celebrations, not all Renewal @40 initiatives are envisaged as one-year, one-off activities. Renewal is a process, not an occasion. As such, Renewal @40 activities will necessarily extend beyond the 2019 calendar year,” Gonsalves said.

The finance minister added: “We expect the 40th Anniversary to be the catalyst for a cleaner, better organised Kingstown; a general refreshing of public infrastructure; a reengagement with our Diasporas; a celebration of our outstanding citizens; and a renewed appreciation of our unique history and culture.”

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