Barbados: Prime Minister of Barbados – Mia Amor Mottley, during the inaugural CARICOM-Africa Summit, proposed various ways to strengthen bilateral ties between Africa and the Caribbean. The Summit was held virtually under the theme, “Unity across Continents and Oceans: Opportunities for Deepening Integration.”
PM Mottley also proposed the idea to have a weekly direct flight and a mass media mechanism for sharing information between both regions. Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, chaired the Summit.
She also proposed creating a highly empowered public-private sector mechanism that would allow the development of the African-Caribbean economy, especially in – digital technology, creative industries, renewable energy, and life sciences.
PM Mottley asserted, “The establishing of a common AU-CARICOM electronic mass media platform or mechanism which would facilitate the exchange of news, information & artistic programming and sports, because when our people see each other daily, they will understand why we must travel and why we must trade, and they will therefore enable those air links and maritime shipping links that we make to become sustainable.”
Prime Minister further stressed that both the nations must work together to produce reform to institutions such as the – United Nations and Bretton Woods institutions to unlock the potential to continue development on the part of their citizens.
“We continue to suffer from that lack of equity and lack of fair participation in those institutions, particularly in forging their policy framework and their programmes that can support countries like ours that face multiple crises,” PM Mottley added.
Following the statement, she highlighted the similarities between both the regions in terms of food, and suggested that foods with added value should be exported to create economic wealth and prosperity for citizens. She then also highlighted the common challenges faced by both the nations, such as – climate crisis, violence because of various factors, and lack of access to affordable concessional financing.
Despite this, the summit was attended by the Prime Minister of Dominica – Roosevelt Skerrit, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister – Gaston Browne, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister- Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of St Lucia – Philip J Pierre, Ralph Gonsalves – SVG Prime Minister and by various other officials and leaders of both the regions.
This summit maily focused on the ways how which both the regions can strengthen their friendship and bilateral ties.