Grenada Overview

Grenada Overview

State of Central America (344.5 km²). Capital: Saint George’s. Population: 105,303 (2012 estimate). Language: English (official), Creole-English, Creole-French. Religion: Catholics 41%, Protestants 30%, Rastafarans 5%, others 24%. Currency unit: East Caribbean dollar (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.774 (79th place). Borders: Atlantic Ocean (E), Sea of ​​Antilles (W). Member of: Caricom, Commonwealth, OAS, UN and WTO, EU associate.


State made up of the homonymous island and the Southern Grenadines, located in the arc of the Lesser Antilles. Grenada’s landscape amazes with its luxuriant flourishing. The presence in the hinterland of the rainforest, dense and inaccessible at times, contrasts with the coral reef and the tropical forest in the coastal areas. The vegetation is rich and very varied: the crowded markets of the villages are enlivened by the colors of cocoa, bananas, coconuts, numerous tropical fruits and spices, such as ginger and cinnamon. Like all Caribbean populations, the residents of Grenada also stand out for their welcome and joyfulness. Symbol of this vital nature is the carnival that is celebrated on the island in the summer season.


According to itypetravel, the population, which has a density of 306 residents / km², is made up of blacks for 89.4% and for the rest of mestizos, Asians and whites, who carry out more qualified and economically more advantageous jobs than the former; this situation creates not a few socio-racial frictions and tensions. Grenada is affected by the influence of the former British and French rule, most of its residents descend from African slaves imported into the island by the British, but there are also small groups of Europeans and East Indians. The rate of increase is mitigated by the mortality rate, however low. About a third of the population is concentrated in the urban agglomeration of the capital Saint George’s, which is also the most important port.


The extensive forest that once covered the territory is considerably reduced and now affects a small area of ​​the total area of ​​the islands. The terrestrial fauna includes reptiles, in particular snakes, numerous varieties of birds, mammals, including some species imported from Africa and the Old Continent by colonizers while the coral reef hosts a rich marine fauna. The protected areas cover only 0.25% of the territory and are made up of numerous sites of naturalistic, marine and forest interest including four national parks (Grand Etang, the park of the High North peak, the park of the Levera bay, and that of Monte Santa Caterina).


Grenada’s economy is based almost exclusively on agriculture, in particular on the cultivation of nutmeg, of which it provides one fifth of world production; the economic system is conditioned by various factors, both natural (the devastating effects of the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 and the constant threat of infesting parasites), and political and economic (the fluctuations of international markets). The tertiary sector is growing, above all thanks to the development of tourism and offshore activities , and contributes to the formation of national wealth for more than half. In 2008, GDP was US $ 639 million and GDP per capita of 6,006 $ US. § Among the cultivated products: nutmeg, cocoa, bananas, coconut and other fruits. In particular, the sale of nutmeg plays a prominent role, for which in 1987 an agreement was signed with Indonesia (the other major world producer) to support prices. Breeding (important for self-consumption on the island of Carriacou) and forestry activities are of limited importance; fishing is more developed and, in addition to satisfying local needs, it partly contributes to exports. § The secondary sector contributes less than a third to the formation of GDP and is mainly based on processing plants for agricultural products, on the textile sector and, to a lesser extent, on assembly and construction activities, while mineral resources are absent. § In recent decades, the government has encouraged tourism, creating new hotels and upgrading infrastructure. The road network consists of 1127 km. The main port is that of the capital; there are three airports, at Point Salines (opened in 1985), Pearls and Lauriston. The country exports bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, fruit and vegetables, clothing and mace and imports food, manufactured goods, machinery, chemicals and fuel. The exchanges take place with Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and the USA for export, and Trinidad and Tobago, USA and Great Britain for imports; Grenada is a member of CARICOM. The trade balance continues to show a constant deficit due to imports of food and manufactured goods; despite this, the country can be considered relatively rich, thanks to the constant economic growth of recent years.


The island was discovered on August 15, 1498 by Christopher Columbus, who called it Concepción; colonized by the French starting from 1650, it was conquered by the English in 1762 and annexed to the crown in 1763 (Treaty of Paris); reconquered by the French in 1779, it returned definitively to England in 1783 (Treaty of Versailles). Administered as a British crown colony until World War II, it was incorporated into the Federation of British West Indies in January 1950 to return to status colonial after its dissolution (1962). In 1967 Grenada became an associate state of the United Kingdom, with internal autonomy. Grenada acquired its own representative institutes. The 1972 election saw the winner of Eric Gairy’s Grenada United Labor Party (GULP), which won 14 of the 15 seats up for grabs. Gairy thus became prime minister and intensified the struggle for the purchase of full independence which was proclaimed on February 7, 1974. Gairy and his party also won the elections of December 7, 1976, albeit with a smaller vote difference. On March 13, 1979, a coup d’état overthrew the Gairy government. Power was assumed by the Jewel (Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education and Liberation) headed by Maurice Bishop, who became prime minister. Bishop made close contacts with Cuba, attracting United States hostility. In October 1983 the extremist wing of the Jewel, headed by Bernard Coard, dismissed Bishop and had him assassinated. A few days later the US sent approx. 5000 soldiers, fearing that Grenada could turn into a Soviet base. In 1984 free elections were called, won by Herbert Blaize of the pro-American New National Party. In a climate of disappointment due to the lack of economic advantages desirable from the close alliance with the United States (whose last troops left the country in September 1985), a certain instability, manifested in several government reshuffles, was produced by dissensions within the party, born from the merger of three different political formations. After the postponement of the 1989 elections, caused by the death of Blaize, and his replacement by Ben Jones, the consultations of March 1990 appointed Nicolas Brathwaite, a member of the majority Democratic National Congress as prime minister. On June 20, 1995 the general elections took place that marked the defeat of the premier and the ruling party NDC: the New National Party (NNP) led by Keith Mitchell prevailed. which proposed an ambitious economic restructuring plan. Despite not particularly encouraging results, in the elections held at the beginning of 1999, the party of Prime Minister Mitchell obtained a landslide victory, winning all 15 seats in the House.

Grenada Overview