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Oct 19th

Minister Lovell Addresses Metric Conversions


Antigua St John's - Minister of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration Harold Lovell recently delivered an address to mark the re-launch of Antigua and Barbuda’s Metrication Programme.

In it, he outlined Antigua & Barbuda's transition to the International System of Units and metric units as the sole system of measurement of physical quantities by early 2015.

Lovell's full presentation is reprinted below:

The International System of Units (SI) (also known as the Metric System) has become the universal language of measurement. Over 95 per cent of the people in the world conduct their business entirely in metric units.

However, in Antigua and Barbuda, despite some progress in education and a few other sectors, we continue to use the Imperial System of Units. 

Since trade and communication with other nations are critical to the wealth and well-being of the State, adopting the metric system is not a matter of choice - it is a matter of necessity.

Antigua and Barbuda can no longer delay the conversion to the Metric System, given the realities of a Caribbean Single Market and Economy and the various initiatives under the World Trade Organisation and the European Union that promote international standards as the basis for trade. 

The Metrology Act, 2007 establishes the International System of Units as the legal system of units in Antigua and Barbuda. In accordance with this Act, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda firmly commits to the process of phasing out the Imperial System of Units and implementing the metric system as the sole legal system of units for Antigua and Barbuda.

The Government will pursue the following general and specific goals and objectives:

(a) Antigua and Barbuda will fully convert to the International System of Units and adopt metric units as the sole system of measurement of physical quantities by the first quarter of 2015.

(b) The transition period permitting the dual use of metric and imperial units will continue.  Full conversion to the metric system in specific sectors before the 2015 deadline will be the preferred course of action where feasible.

(c) In the spirit of leading by example, our government has elected the Public Sector as the first sector to initiate to the process of complete conversion and operation exclusively in Metric Units.   As of the first quarter of 2013, each Ministry, Division, Agency, or Unit of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda shall use the SI in its procurements, grants, and other business-related activities.

(d) Any costs incurred in the conversion to metric units of measurement shall be borne by the affected public and private sector parties and entities.  The Government of Antigua and Barbuda will consider a policy of incentives or concessions for the more economically vulnerable sectors of society to facilitate the process of full conversion.

(e) In order to plan, coordinate, and monitor Antigua and Barbuda’s transition to full SI, adoption, a Metrication Advisory Committee shall be established. The Committee will comprise representatives of a range of relevant public and private sector institutions, academia and other organizations, including the media.

The Committee will be authorized to create sector sub-committees deemed necessary to oversee specific aspects of the conversion.
(f) The metrology infrastructure of the ABBS, as the National Measurement Authority of Antigua and Barbuda, will be strengthened to internationally recognized standards.  This shall include establishing measurement standards that are compatible with the SI and providing accurate calibration and testing facilities, metrology inspection and verification services to trade and industry.  

(g) A Metrication Unit will be established within the ABBS to act as a secretariat and assist with implementing the decisions of the Metrication Advisory Committee.  The Metrication Unit shall be headed by a specially designated Metrication Officer.  This officer will also serve as an ombudsman for planning and full SI conversion.

In order to support implementation of the general and specific goals just outlined, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will be guided by the operational procedures contained in the Action Plan for Metrication in Antigua and Barbuda. This plan was prepared by the Special Advisory Services Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, at the Government’s request.

The Plan promotes an extensive programme of awareness, education, and participation, for stakeholders and the general public. We cannot achieve these goals without your cooperation and contribution. It is therefore imperative that you keep abreast of the various activities as they are announced.
On behalf of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, I now declare the Antigua and Barbuda Metrication Programme, officially re-launched.

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16 Comments In This Article   


@ Dessalines

#16 Morris » 2011-10-18 22:53

I know the scope of work to be done, I am just objecting to these creations. We already have agencies that regulate the various areas you identified, why not invest the money into retraining to undertake the implementation? That to me would be a whole lot better that creating new bodies. It is time we think economically and strategically.
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@ Morris

#15 Dessalines » 2011-10-18 20:44

I too am very sceptical of these committees, however we should not under estimate the scope of work to be done. All our official IDs have to be converted from ft to meters, stores supermarkets etc have to convert their pricing systems from lbs to kg,the market vendors Scales would have to be calibrated and goods repriced etc Not sure if this conversion includes a 24 hour clock to replace am and pm. Even the area of Antigua and Barbuda have to be changed to reflect square kilometers in text books etc. not exactly a walk in the park
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#14 Avid Reader » 2011-10-18 15:09

Have you tried getting around Antigua with a map, can you see if they converted the signs to Km, you would never get there. Comparing signs in Antigua to signs in Canada is like comparing apples to oranges, besides the km there are other things on the signs.

If they are going to do the conversions they had better do it properly, planes have run out of fuel halfway to their destination because of metric vs non metric. A space shuttle had problems because of the same confusion that one part of the design was in metric and when they converted the #'s the proportion was not right.

There are three countries in the world that are still not on the metric system, Antigua is not one of them, they converted since 2007, so what has taking them so long?.
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Avid Reader

I did not ask for approval from anyone,i addressed the Govt.

#13 Antiguan Woman » 2011-10-18 14:15

Keep Thumbing me down,metric system or not will not change the fact that people a suffer in Antigua,and all these fools can do is go about as if its business as usual,Gas prices are dropping in other places and we are still paying over $15.00 for gas,and you all are concentrating on Methods of measurements.You all and the Govt are the same.IDIOTS.,no wonder we will always be in the state we are in.
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Antiguan Woman

@ Naiomi

#12 my way of helping » 2011-10-18 13:14

I want to come to Canada, it looks great looking over from Detroit. However, can't they used both measuring system and just use whichever when needs be, depending on who they are trading with?
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my way of helping

You've Got to Laugh

#11 PeterPan » 2011-10-18 12:54

I totally agree with Buzzbomb.
The change is long overdue.
It's just with the state of Maths here.........................
No one can read big numbers properly - never mind understanding percentages or adhering to a budget.
It will also cost millions and there will be no accounting.
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Last Straws

#10 Buzzbomb » 2011-10-18 11:45

There are advantages in converting to the Systems International method of measurement. In fact the vast majority of world trade is conducted in this format. The remaining holdout in adopting these computer ready systems of measurement in the world is the USA. But then again many Americans insist that the world is only 6000 years old, man lived with dinosaurs (read Flinstones), global warming is a hoax, the EPA is evil, the unemployed can't work because they don't want to, greed is good and that their arcane and evangelical behaviour somehow makes Americans exceptional amongst their peers. Sadly, they only look like uninformed superstitious idiots.
Harold is right on this, but some part of me thinks he is grasping for any sound bite to prove he and his government are somehow still relevant with our country in the tank. S.I. has been around since the early 70's and it is time we started to catch up with the world.
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#9 Antiguan Woman » 2011-10-18 10:53

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Antiguan Woman

@Avid Reader

#8 naiomi » 2011-10-18 09:45

Canada is metric and we don't have signs of miles and km. All of our highway signs are in kilometres and most of our visitors are Americans.
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Minister Lovell Addresses Metric Conversions

#7 Avid Reader » 2011-10-18 09:14

"On behalf of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, I now declare the Antigua and Barbuda Metrication Programme, officially re-launched".

What, when it was launched before, they didn't think much of it? I hope he realizes that one of the largest countries in the industralized world has still not converted. Since the economy is based on tourism, that they will have to have signs up with both miles and km on them. The average person coming out of one of these countries don't have a clue what km is.
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Avid Reader

RE: Minister Lovell Addresses Metric Conversions

#6 Morris » 2011-10-18 09:02

Mr. Lovell, for goodness sake, let's not make this more complicated than it needs to be. There is absolutely no need for any Metrication Advisory Committee or Metrication Unit. The creation of these entities is nothing more than job security for friends, associates, palm greasers, and staunch supporters. The system has been in use around the world for decades so it is not like we have to invent anything new in ANU, since many have been learning about the metric system in school for years. The only thing that is needed is a few education and awareness public broadcast announcements on ABS TV. That would be a whole lot cheaper than creating useless jobs to tell people what they already know. Remember that not all of us are as dumb/stupid as you think we are.
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#5 UncommonSense » 2011-10-18 08:56

So Lovell you don't have a clue as to our national unemployment rate but you suddenly want A&B; to be brought up to speed in Metrics? Not bad. What is more significant is that you Fix our Dying Economy and Find a way to get our people work.
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Get A Professional to Write Your Speeches

#4 Johnson Frederick » 2011-10-18 08:54

Lovell, please get a professional to rebrand you from a dull political player to primeministeria l posture. Your speeches lack connection with needs and issues and they are dry and uncompelling. Do better Sir!
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Johnson Frederick

whats wrong with the name.

#3 lethal. » 2011-10-18 08:48

those x's they blanked me from calling uncle harry, minister of p x x x, p x x x . if carbarena deletes it again, simply go to my facebook page. lethal. there i give you the full story, no bleeps. 8)
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more 4 yur $.

#2 lethal. » 2011-10-18 08:09

minister of xxx xxx thinks this measurement will give him more xxx xxx. it might even put a bigger grin on his face. :lol: get with the program xxx xxx, make antigua a happier place to live. instead of trying to make the grin on your face bigger. :P you at the moment can't even mek cents as to why antigua is the way it is. baffle brains.
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RE: Minister Lovell Addresses Metric Conversions

#1 Inquiring Minds » 2011-10-18 07:23

Why the change. I am accustomed to centimeters and feet.
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Inquiring Minds

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