Dominica, officially English Commonwealth of dominica [ k ɔ mənwelθ ɔ v d ɔ m ɪ ni ː kə, -d ɔ minikə], German Commonwealth dominica, Caribbean island state of the Windward Islands (West Indies) in the Lesser Antilles (2018) 71,600 residents; The capital is Roseau.
Dominica [ also d ɔ minikə ] state on the island of the Lesser Antilles. The island is mountainous and its interior is covered by inaccessible tropical rainforest. The economic focus is on banana exports and tourism. The mostly Catholic population consists of around 90% blacks.
History: The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus on a Sunday (Spanish domingo) in 1493. It was disputed between France and Great Britain in the 18th century and finally became British in the early 19th century. In 1978 the country gained independence.
The very mountainous island is of volcanic origin and consists mainly of tertiary andesite, dacite and basalt; the highest mountain is the Morne Diablotin at 1,447 m above sea level. Volcanic activities such as fumaroles, hot springs, minor volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes are widespread. The interior of the island is cut by numerous rivers and mostly covered by tropical rainforest, the flatter west and north coast has drier savannah and bush vegetation and is often used for agriculture. The flora and fauna are very diverse and are particularly protected in two national parks (around 20% of the territory), including the Morne Trois Pitons National Park (World Heritage Site since 1997).
The climate is marginal tropical with average annual temperatures between 26 ° C and 32 ° C. Annual precipitation varies between 1,200 mm on the coast and 6,350 mm in the mountains. Cyclones can occur in the rainy season between June and November.
The capital Roseau is the only city on the otherwise village-like island that is only populated in the coastal area. The population consists of around 90% blacks, 6% are mulattos and Creoles, 0.5% white.
About 3,000 Caribs, the indigenous population, live in a reservation on the northeast coast (Carib Indian Reservation). The official language is English, colloquial languages are a French-based Creole (Patois) and the English dialect Cocoy. Because of the high unemployment, many young Dominicans in particular are leaving their homeland for the USA and Canada.
Social: The health system is relatively well developed. In addition to some hospitals, there are several health centers. In total, there are 3.8 hospital beds for every 1,000 residents.
The constitution guarantees freedom of religion. The majority of the population professes Christianity: According to the latest available surveys, around 53% belong to the Catholic Church (Diocese of Roseau, suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Castries / St. Lucia). According to transporthint, about 20% of the population belong to (post-) Reformation religious communities (especially evangelical Protestants such as Pentecostals [approx. 6%] or Baptists [approx. 5%]). Smaller Christian groups are, for example, the Methodists or the members of the Anglican Church (province of the West Indies). Seventh-day Adventists make up around 7% of the population. There are also strong minorities of Rastafarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as Bahais and Muslims. About 9% of the population cannot be assigned to any religion.
With a gross national income (GNI) of (2017) US $ 6,990 per resident, Dominica is one of the poorer countries in the Caribbean. Despite the fertile soil, only a narrow strip of coast is used for agriculture. In addition, hurricanes repeatedly destroy crops and make the state dependent on international aid. Nevertheless, the agricultural sector, which contributes 16.0% to the gross domestic product (GDP), is a cornerstone of the economy.
Foreign trade: Dominica is in a difficult position in foreign trade, as it regularly generates a deficit. In 2016, imports were worth US $ 186.4 million and exports were only US $ 43.7 million. The main trading partners are the USA, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
The main crop and most important agricultural export product are bananas. In addition to small-scale banana production, coconuts, ginger and citrus fruits, which are partially processed on the island, are also produced for export. Vegetables, tubers and fruit as well as livestock are mainly used for self-sufficiency. In order to meet the food needs of the population, however, a large part of the food has to be imported.
The industrial sector has so far been poorly developed. Since, with the exception of larger deposits of pumice stone in the southwest of the island of Dominica, there are no mineral raw materials worth mentioning, the industry is limited to the processing of agricultural products. Mainly soaps and cosmetics (based on coconut) are produced, along with cardboard boxes, citrus juices, alcoholic beverages and vegetable oils. 70% of the country’s energy needs can be met by hydropower.
Dominica is trying to reduce its one-sided dependence on banana production by increasing investments in the tourism industry (especially in eco- tourism and cruise tourism). However, due to the lack of white sandy beaches, the country’s tourist attractiveness is relatively low and the country’s infrastructure is still inadequate. In 2015, 358,800 tourists visited the island, including around 265,000 as cruise passengers.
Apart from a road along the west coast and a tangent between the capital Roseau on the south-west coast and Marigot in the north-east, which continues to Portsmouth in the north-west, the road network (around 1,500 km, half of which is paved) is underdeveloped. The deep-water port at Roseau has a container terminal, the port at Portsmouth has a banana pier and a cruise pier. Two regional airports (Douglas-Charles near Marigot and Canefield Airport near Roseau) connect Dominica with the Caribbean and the USA.