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By Kadeem Joseph

As the country continues the fight to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the minister leading the nation’s response to the pandemic is welcoming the news that he will receive a knighthood.

The confirmation of the knighthood came from Prime Minister Gaston Browne during Monday’s commemoration of National Heroes Day.

Speaking during an Observer AM interview on Tuesday, Joseph said, “I am deeply honoured to have been recognised as having made some significant contribution to the development of Antigua and Barbuda.”

However, Joseph said, his work towards nation building will continue.

“It is an honour that I’ll continue to cherish and continue to do the hard work and maintain my commitment to nation building,” he said.

PM Browne first hinted at the move in June when he commended the minister for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis. However, the suggestion was met with mixed views from the public.

But the minister believes he is indeed deserving of the accolade.

Joseph has headed several ministries including finance, tourism, planning and social improvement.

The St Mary’s North member of parliament, who has been involved in active politics since 1984, is expected to receive the honour during the 2020 ceremonial parade on Independence Day, November 1.

In his early years as Minister of Finance and Planning, Joseph was lauded for renegotiating the country’s national debt and introducing several fiscal reforms.

He is also credited with assisting in the development of bilateral relations with the People’s Republic of China.

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