Facts at a Glance:
Form of Government: A Republic with a President and Prime Minister and unicameral House of Assembly.
Head of State: President, Dr. Nicholas Joseph Orville Liverpool
Head of Government: Prime Minister, The Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit
Location: 16EN; 62EW – between Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to the south.
Area: 750.6 sq. km. (290 sq.mi.)
Ethnic Make-Up: Primarily of African descent, with a small number of Carib Indians and European descendants.
Adult Literacy: 95%
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$)
Exchange rate: US$1.00 = EC$2.70
Time zone: EST +1; GMT -4
Phone Code: Regional Code (767) plus country code (44) plus 5-digit local number.
History: Christopher Columbus landed in Dominica in 1493 but did not claim it for the Spanish Crown. Under a French-British treaty signed in 1660, Dominica was acknowledged as a possession of the Carib Indian inhabitants. Nonetheless, French settlers established plantations there under a French governor. The island changed hands several times between the French and British in the wars of the mid-1700s before Dominica became a British possession in 1805. It was a member of the Leeward islands Federation until 1939 and then joined the Windward Islands in 1940 until that arrangement ended in 1959. In 1960, Dominica achieved separate status with its own administrator and was a participant in the West Indies Federation until that was dissolved in 1962.
The island became a West Indies Associated State in March 1967 with full autonomy in internal affairs. Great Britain retained responsibility for defense and foreign relations. On November 3, 1978, Dominica became an independent republic within the Commonwealth.
UWI Connections: A contributing country, Dominica has a total of 87 (2004/2005) nationals registered as students at UWI.