Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 26, 2015 (SKNIS): Akilah Byron Nisbett was appointed Senator in the National Assembly at a short but significant ceremony at Government House on the morning of October 26, 2016, saying that she considers the appointment “an honour and a privilege for me to be given such special opportunity to be able to be Senator in the National Assembly.”

She said that with her new role she could be a voice for women and young people.

“As I go on, I know that I will be standing tall as a woman in Parliament and as such I represent a great cross-section of the individuals who perform such great roles and who statistically are the ones always out in front taking the lead and I vow today to do my part in Parliament to ensure that a woman’s voice is heard, but not only women but young people’s voice is also heard, and also to be able to bring some gender balance within Parliament. With such an honour and privilege, I just want to say thank you to everyone and I definitely look forward to my seat in Parliament,” Senator Nisbett said.

In the presence of family members, relatives, friends, and top government officials, including Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; Premier of Nevis and Senior Minister, the Honourable Vance Amory; Attorney General the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr.; Senator Honourable Wendy Phipps; Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Josephine Huggins; National Hero Dr. the Right Excellent and Right Honourable Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds; father of Senator Nisbett, Terence Byron and mother, Althea Byron; Alexis Nisbett, husband; and sister Karimu Byron, His Excellency the Governor General Sir Tapley Seaton administered the Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance to the newly designated Senator.

The Instrument of Appointment, which was administered to Mrs. Nisbett, bears the public seal and the signature of the Governor General appointing her as Honourable Senator in the National Assembly of St. Christopher and Nevis. Honourable Senator Byron will take the same Oath of Allegiance when she takes her seat in the National Assembly.

“I want to welcome her to this morning’s ceremony and to say that in her we are well pleased because we can see from her curriculum vitae that she has been able to distinguish herself academically and even to the point of fact that she once performed the role of Speaker in the National Assembly in the Youth Parliament and also represented St. Kitts and Nevis at the Commonwealth Youth Parliament so that she could feel at home in terms of the parliamentary process and I mean its ordinary well-rounded and well-behaved proceedings. So, I would certainly hope that she can contribute meaningfully to the process,” Sir Tapley said.

In acclaiming the new senator soon to be nominated Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said that Honourable Nisbett represents the voice of women and young people.

“Today is really an important day, full of substance and meaning. I want to echo the words of the new Senator. She represents the voice of women in the country but most importantly, she has carved out a niche to be the voice of young people in the National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Harris said.

“We are delighted as a Cabinet to have chosen her to be the government’s representative as senator and we will propose her to be the deputy speaker when the House convenes bringing an end to the vacancy that now exists with the elevation of the Honourable Michael Perkins as the distinguished honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, so we are lucky to have found a young person and not just a young person, I would say, but an extraordinary young person—a married woman, with a young family, with a professional career in one of the most distinguished sub-regional institutions, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Prime Minister Harris said that Senator Nisbett has made a tremendous sacrifice “on behalf of the young people, the women and behalf of the Team Unity Government.”

“She made a sacrifice and I wish that her tenure with us in the Parliament will be one of which all of us as citizens at home and abroad could be justifiably proud, proud that in time of need, proud that in a time when people are beckoning for better decorum in the House, a young lady would have had experience in doing it” said Prime Minister Harris.

Senator Nisbett holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Computer Information System from Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Systems Management from the University of South Florida. She has extensive experience in Management Information Systems (MIS), having worked at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the MIS Unit, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Ltd, as a systems analyst.

For a number of years, the newly appointed honourable senator has been involved in the organisation of the annual Haynes Smith Miss Caribbean Talented Teen Pageant. Mrs. Byron Nisbett is a former member of the St Kitts and Nevis Youth Parliamentary Association (SKNYPA), and has the distinction of representing the Federation in 2000 at the Commonwealth Millennium Youth Parliament.

Senator Nisbett is married to Alexis Nisbett. The couple has three children, two boys, Ajani and Amani, and one girl, Anaya.