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Avellon Williams

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS – As the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum 2022 (ACTIF2022) came to a successful conclusion on Saturday in Bridgetown, Barbados, participants pledged to eliminate the scars of the past and forge a prosperous future for Africa and the Caribbean.

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Currently, there are no direct flights between the Caribbean region and Africa. Europe or the Americas have to be crossed between the two continents in order for passengers or cargo to travel between them. Because of this, there is very little trade between the two continents.

Despite this, there are strong historical ties between these two continents. A large majority of Caribbeans are descendants of slaves who were traded mainly from Africa. In this way, having a connection with Africa is like having a connection with their roots and heritage. 

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In line with the forum’s theme, Africans and Caribbeans are “one people,” and if they reimagine their future, they will have “one destiny.” 

Among the commitments made at the meeting was to establish an Afreximbank subsidiary with a kitty of US$750 million. There are also plans for direct flights, possibly beginning with charter flights.

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As part of the communique presented at the end of the forum, the partners pledged to implement a strategic partnership between African and Caribbean businesses with the aim of fostering bilateral cooperation and engagement in trade, investment, technology transfer, innovation, transport, tourism, and culture.

In a partnership agreement, Afreximbank signed agreements with seven Caribbean countries. Through the newly established African-Caribbean Business Council, the agreement will usher in investment to concretise commercial relations between the two regions.

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Partners emphasized the importance of enhancing trade and investment for economic and social transformation, in line with the Forum’s theme of “One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future”.

ACTIF2022 has accomplished key goals, according to Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who added, “What matters is not so much the subject matter, but the attitude and approach, one of collaboration and two of de-risking, that we come to today’s moment to be able to deal with.”

“The first AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum is therefore important because it gives us an opportunity to see how we can work together to resolve those issues that have unfortunately only been exacerbated by circumstances beyond our control.”

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Avellon Williams

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