Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit is currently on the official tour to Barbados to attend the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022). It is the first-ever forum and was scheduled from September 1 to September 3.
The event was hosted at Bridgetown, Barbados. The organisers of the event were the Government of Barbados and Afreximbank, along with the African Union Commission, the AfCFTA Secretariat, the Africa Business Council, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Export Development Agency
During the event, an agreement signed between several Caribbean countries, including the Commonwealth of Dominica, and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank). The agreement was signed to advance the trade relations between the Caribbean and Africa.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit informed the general public and outlined, “Dominica, along with several other Caribbean countries, signed an agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on Thursday, to advance trade relations between the Caribbean and Africa.”
He further asserted that the agreement will facilitate the establishment of new commercial and strategic relationships, lead to an increase in inter-regional trade and create investment opportunities for participating countries.
Other signatories include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.
Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley addressed the hundreds of participants who were gathered from across Africa and the Caribbean for the Forum. Mottley said that Africa and the Caribbean had the collective brainpower, creativity, discipline, resilience and capital to make a defining difference and called for the creation of air bridges between the regions.
Emphasising the importance of collaborating at various levels to facilitate development, she insisted that political cooperation, even though essential, was not sufficient to reverse the underdevelopment of Africa and the Caribbean.
“We, children of independence, have determined that we shall not allow another generation to pass without bringing together that which should have never been torn asunder. We face common battles from the climate crisis to the COVID pandemic, now to the third aspect of it, with respect to inflation and debt that threaten to tear too many of our countries apart and threaten to put back into poverty too many of our people,” said the Prime Minister.
“These travel-dependent economies, whether in Africa or in the Caribbean, have literally been thrown on their backs, and we seek to fight this battle of bridging and reclaiming our Atlantic destiny on both sides at the very time when the travel and tourism industry is facing its greatest challenge in the decade. We can choose to record that as but another major battle, or we can say as my country has done, even in the midst of an IMF programme, that if you do not seize our destiny now, we will never seize it,” added Prime Minister Mottley.
“It is not anticipated that we can reverse centuries in a few years, but it is anticipated that there are some who must claim the courage to jump off the ship and make it happen,” she continued.