September 19 will bring the 40th anniversary of independence for the youngest Caribbean nation, St. Kitts and Nevis. A ceremony held in Basseterre, St. Kitts on 14 July, presided over by Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew and Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, marked the announcement of three months of activities in celebration of the important milestone. In attendance were members of the Independence 40 Planning Committee, government officials, and members of the diplomatic and consular corps.
Christopher Columbus landed on the island over 500 years ago, setting the stage for centuries of colonisation by the Spanish, and later the French and British. The land masses were initially partitioned between rival colonial powers, with the most dominant being the French and the British. However, in 1713 the French ceded all rights to the two colonies to the British.
In St. Kitt and Nevis, slaves worked in sugar and cotton plantations under horrendous conditions. Soon sugar became the main economic crop of the region, bringing significant profit for the plantation owners. The African slave trade was terminated within the British Empire in 1807, and slavery outlawed completely in 1834; after a four-year period, the surviving slaves were finally freed.
In the late 1800s the two islands were merged into one political unit, and by 1932 the country had obtained internal self-rule. Full independence would come on September 19, 1983.
Today, St. Kitts and Nevis is no longer a sugar-producing nation: the industry was shut down in 2005 due to low productivity and falling prices. The nation, however, has a vibrant tourism industry that contributes to around 10% of its total GDP.
The islands have a combined land mass of approximately 261 square kilometres and a coastline measuring 131 kilometres. The mountainous terrain is towered over by Mount Liamuiga, at 1,156 metres.
There is an estimated population of around 55,000, with those of African descent making up 92% of that. The official language of the nation is English.
TUESDAY 19 SEPTEMBER
• INDEPENDENCE DAY
• Family Funday
• Independence Cocktail Reception
• Governor-General’s Cocktail
• The St. George’s Mothers Union Breakfast
• Biss Beach by Carambola
• Independence Scenic Railway Tour
FRIDAY 22 SEPTEMBER
• National Colours Day #4 (Wear White)
• Drill Competition
SATURDAY 23 SEPTEMBER
• Flowers, Food & Flag-by St. Kitts Flower Arrangers Association
SUNDAY 24 SEPTEMBER
• Independence Mini Triathlon
• “Schools on Steel – Steel Pan Recital
• Flamboyant Fashion Show
THURSDAY 28 SEPTEMBER
• Youth Impact Awards
FRIDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
• National Colours Day #5 (WEAR RED)
• Building Awareness for Change Parade
SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER
• Brimstone Hill Run for the Fit & Fearless 2023
• Independence 40 Concert
For live streams on any of the events we have listed visit
ZIZRadioTV on YouTube.