|Commonwealth of Dominica|
|Form of government||Parliamentary Republic in the Commonwealth|
|Currency||East Caribbean dollar|
|Time zone||UTC −4|
|Telephone area code||001 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)|
The island state of Dominica is located in the eastern Caribbean between Guadeloupe and Martinique and is the third largest island in the Lesser Antilles. With an area of 751 km², the state is slightly smaller than Berlin. The island is of volcanic origin, of which a large number of hot springs and a crater lake still bear witness: “Boiling Lake”, whose water is hot to over 90 °C, is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which is a World Heritage Site. The island is mostly mountainous, the mountainous country is partially inaccessible due to steep slopes, gorges and dense forests. The coastal strips are narrow, around 80% of the coast is cliffs. The highest peak in the country is the Morne Diablotin with 1,447 m in the north of the island.
Numerous rivers originate in the mountains and flow into the Caribbean Sea. Despite the abundance of water, they are not navigable. The capital Roseau, founded in 1750, is located in the northwest of Dominica.
The climate on Dominica is tropical with year-round constant high temperatures and many, sometimes very heavy rainfall. The average values in the capital Roseau are around 26 °C in January and 30 °C in July. On the west coast, which is in the rain shadow of the mountains, approx. 1,800 mm of precipitation are measured, in the east of the country it is up to 6,500 mm. Between June and October, cyclones (hurricanes) can occur, which lead to severe devastation (e.g. 1979, 1989, 1995).
Flora and fauna
About half of the island area is covered by evergreen rainforest, which merges into mountain or cloud forest at higher altitudes. Due to the inaccessible mountainous regions, large, contiguous forests could be preserved on Dominica in contrast to many other Caribbean islands. Especially in the coastal areas, areas were cultivated for the cultivation of crops.
The country’s fauna is just as diverse as the flora. The impenetrable rainforest is home to countless bird species, including endangered parrot species such as the emperor and blue-headed Amazon. Also reptiles (lizards, snakes) and smaller mammals (hares, opossums) are common, larger wild mammals are hardly to be found.
Around 69,500 people live on Dominica, around 90% of whom are descendants of the black slaves who came from Africa and were used to work on the plantations. According to COUNTRYAAH, 7% are mixed breeds (mulattos, creoles). Whites only make up a small minority. In the northeast, in a reserve established in 1903 by the British colonial powers, there are still caribs, descendants of the indigenous people. The official language in Dominica is English, the colloquial languages are the Creole Patois and the English dialect Cocoy. Almost 90% of the population are Christians, the majority of them (three quarters of the total population) belong to the Roman Catholic Church. Smaller religious minorities are Muslims, Jews, Hindus and followers of the Baha’i sect.
Health and education systems on Dominica are relatively well developed. Life expectancy averages 75 years and literacy is around 94%. The widespread unemployment (officially 23%) leads to the emigration of young people from the island in particular.
An estimated 25,000 people live in the capital Roseau (agglomeration).
According to the 1978 constitution, Dominica is a parliamentary republic within the British Commonwealth of Nations. The head of state is the President (Charles Savarin since October 2013), who is elected by Parliament for a five-year term. The government is headed by the Prime Minister (Roosevelt Skerrit since January 2004), who is appointed by the President.
The Parliament consists of one chamber, the House of Assembly with 32 seats. Twenty-one of the five-year parliamentarians are elected in constituencies, nine are senators appointed by the president, and a spokesman. In principle, another seat is planned for a representative of the Caribbean reserve.
The legal system is based on the British model.
Dominica is divided into ten districts (parishes).
Like almost every country in the Caribbean, Dominica is struggling with a small internal market and a less diversified industry.
Agriculture contributes around 18% to gross domestic product (GDP). Again and again the harvests are partially or completely destroyed by severe cyclones. The main crop and the most important export product are bananas, citrus fruits, cocoa, vanilla and coconuts are also grown and some are exported. Sweet potatoes, jam roots and cassava are mainly grown for the people’s own needs.
Services account for the highest share of value added with 72% of GDP, of which tourism 30%. Dominica tries to reduce its one-sided dependence on banana production by increasing investments in the tourism industry. However, the country’s infrastructure is poor.
The industry is only moderately developed and is limited to the processing of agricultural products, e.g. fruit juices, soap, alcoholic beverages and essential oils are produced. The most important trading partners for exports include Great Britain, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda. The import of goods (machines, vehicles, semi-finished products, food) is mainly from China, the United States and other Caribbean countries.
There are two airports: Melville Hall Airport and Canefield Airport. However, both have no international approval.
The currency is the East Caribbean dollar.