Africa and the Caribbean reconnected after Kenyattas visit to Barbados
Global Pan Africanism Network-GPAN called on CARICOM and Melanesian nations to embrace this campaign to reunite all people of African descent throughout the world. We are the most diverse people and can be found in all the four corners of the earth.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a grouping of twenty countries: fifteen Member States and five Associate Members. It is home to approximately sixteen million citizens, 60% of whom are under the age of 30, and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese and Javanese. The Community is multi-lingual; with English as the major language complemented by French and Dutch and variations of these, as well as African and Asian expressions.
Stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America, CARICOM comprises states that are considered developing countries, and except for Belize, in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America, all Members and Associate Members are island states.
Member states are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Anguilla, Bermuda, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos.
While these states are all relatively small, both in terms of population and size, there is also great diversity with regards to geography and population as well as the levels of economic and social development.
After a very fruitful three day visit of Barbados by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, inclusive of discussions with Prime Ministers Mia Mottley and Allan Chastenet, Ministers representing Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and Suriname, and CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin La Roche, it was announced that:. During the presidents visit direct air routes were discussed for Kenya Airways to Jamaica.
1. Efforts will be made to stage a CARICOM/ AFRICAN UNION Heads of Government Summit over the next 12 months.
2. CARICOM and the AU will shortly sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework for engagement and cooperation.
3. Barbados and Suriname will partner in establishing an Embassy in Ghana.
4. Barbados and St Lucia will partner in establishing an Embassy in Kenya — and an invitation has been sent out to all other CARICOM countries to join in the venture.
4. The University of the West Indies will be undertaking student and faculty exchanges and joint education initiatives with the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University.
5. A high-level Kenyan delegation will be returning to Barbados in September to conclude a number of Agreements, inclusive of a Multilateral Air Services Agreement, a Double Taxation Agreement, and Revenue and Digital Currency agreements
6. The Barbados and Kenya Chambers of Commerce and Industry will commence engagement and collaboration with each other
7. There is a commitment to resist any dividing of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of Nations, as well as a commitment to use the grouping to undertake much closer South/South relations.
8. CARICOM and Kenya have started work on an MOU for engagement and cooperation.
9. The African and Caribbean governments have committed to establishing direct air travel links between Africa and the Caribbean.
10. The time has come for Africa and the Caribbean to re-connect and unite and engage with each other as members of a family in every positive and constructive way.
The African Tourism Board welcomes this engagement stating Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Bartlett took great interest in assisting the newly founded African Tourism Board to connect with Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.