Caricom African leaders identify areas of co-operation at historic first summit (with video)

Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Africa have committed to strengthen collaboration and unity and to foster increased trade, investment and people-to-people engagement between the two regions.

The commitment was given during the historic First CARICOM-Africa Summit hosted by Kenya and held virtually on 7 September 2021. His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, Chair of the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) presided over the Summit which was attended by Heads of State and Government as well as Heads of Regional Integration Secretariats and Institutions of CARICOM and Africa.

Speakers at the Summit noted its historic nature and that African and Caribbean cultural and political ties run deep based on a shared history, culture, as well as a sense of a common identity.  They cited common historical experiences which inspired the Pan-African Movement championed by the Africans and the diaspora and which established the foundations of a rich and vibrant African-Caribbean relationship. The Leaders expressed the view that they were obligated to build on that vision. It was also noted that this First Summit was being held during the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent.

Key areas of possible co-operation and collaboration were identified by both parties. In his statement during the opening session, Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Chair of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM proposed that September 7th be celebrated as “Africa-CARICOM Day” with a Summit held annually on that date. He also proposed the creation of a Forum of African and Caribbean Territories and States (FACTS), the codifying of a Founding Charter and a Memorandum of Operation of the Forum, a multi-lateral air services agreement, and an investment protection and a double taxation agreement between African and CARICOM states.

President Kenyatta, in his statement at the Opening cited the blue economy, climate change, health and Covid-19, debt sustainability and technology as areas on which the Regions could work together.

In the discussions, the Leaders stressed the importance of exploiting the Blue Economy to boost growth and development. They also committed to foster increased trade and investment through specific agreements and the enhancement of transportation links between the two regions. This could include the removal of the requirement for visas by nationals of CARICOM and African nations.

The Leaders indicated support for the establishment of a CARICOM/Africa public-private partnership dedicated to mobilizing resources and deploying them in critical cutting-edge projects including renewable energy, the creative industries and digital technology. They called for the establishment of a joint CARICOM/AU electronic mass media platform or mechanism to facilitate the flow of news, information and artistic programming between CARICOM and Africa. On the institutional front, they proposed the establishment of an African-Caribbean Forum and the drafting of an Africa-Caribbean Charter and memorandum of understanding to underpin the relationship.

The Heads of State and Government expressed concern about the mutation and spread of the Covid-19 Virus and its effects on the health of the people as well as on the health infrastructure. In that regard, they called for increased access to vaccines and for the building of manufacturing capacity to produce vaccines in Africa and CARICOM enabled by a waiver of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines. The contribution of the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) in making vaccines available to CARICOM was lauded.

The existential threat posed by climate change was acknowledged and there was agreement on the need for the global community to act towards curtailing greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. They supported a joint approach to the negotiations at COP26 to be held in the United Kingdom in November.

There was strong support for multilateralism and the strengthening and reform of multilateral institutions to become more inclusive to reflect the post-colonial world. The Leaders reiterated their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. While welcoming the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, they emphasised the need for debt relief.

They also called for an end to the illegal and unjust economic embargo against Cuba and to the sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The Heads of State and Government agreed to participate fully in the High Level meeting of the UN General Assembly later this month to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, and to jointly use that event to advance the claim for reparations within the processes of the United Nations.

The Summit ended with a mandate for the institutionalisation of co-operation between the CARICOM Secretariat and the African Union Commission.

Full Video of Summit below:

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13 Comments

  1. Missie
    September 12, 2021

    Blacks doing anti-Black propaganda have become a nuisance.

  2. Ti Garcon
    September 11, 2021

    There is no benefit in this for West Indians. We will not travel, invest or migrate to the continent enmasse. What will more likely happen is a migration crisis similar to what us happening in Europe. This will destroy our weak eco systems, social, health, educational and physical infrastructures and economy. How will this be any different with our relationship with Haiti? Is that one of any benefit to us?
    It will only benefit politicians harvesting votes from migrants who will no doubt ally to those sympathetic to their cause. Locals who are struggling will be sideline and eventually thier votes will have diminishing value as with our small population s we can easily be outnumbered.
    Keep on supporting feel good rhetoric.

    • Ibo France
      September 11, 2021

      @Ti Gargon
      It is said that Christopher Columbus set sail for India from Europe and ended up in our neck of the woods (so called New World). So every group of people that the first European settlers came in contact with they called them Indians.
      – Arawak Indians, Carib Indians, Aztec Indians, Maya Indians, Inca Indians, Red Indians of North America, the Caribbean Region(West Indian Region).
      I have strong objection being called a West Indian or referring to this region as the West Indies. It’s time we shed those remnants of colonialism.

    • No you didn't
      September 12, 2021

      You peace-core workers need to understand you can sign up to go home early, instead of flooding this blog with id10cy.

  3. Ti Garcon
    September 11, 2021

    Have these Aficans countries apologized for selling us into bondage, and offer some from of reparations? Because they were like Pablo Escobar, selling slaves. Yet in our ignorance we solely blame the drug pushers and users utilizing the end product. Can you believe that?

    These old African kingdoms destroyed the continent, sold their people into bondage for cheap silk cloths. Since they never learn and not held accountable, they keep repeating the same mistakes, selling thier resources trinkets and short term wealth for thier families.

    Que in the white man tricked them or the white man is the devil people. By holding only white people accountable (who actually where the first to abolish slavery and in fact there are still millions slaves on the African continent) we subconsciously deem Africans inferior morally and intellectually.

  4. If we knew better
    September 9, 2021

    The headline should specify African Union, not just Africa. Morocco is NOT a part of the African Union. They are an African Nation but not part of this agreement. Therefore, it should have specified AU nations. and not simply Africa.

    • Gone are the days
      September 9, 2021

      There will always be stragglers, hopefully not working with europe and U.S to destabilize, but let’s not go there as yet.

      • Gone are the days
        September 14, 2021

        Matter of fact Morocco is in North Africa but the ones that invaded and took the whole of North Africa from Egypt to the same Morocco are all Arabs, just like the invaders in South Africa are all white. They need to stay away. As soon as America gets weakened they will be forced to give back the Stolen lands.

    • Oliver
      September 10, 2021

      That’s not correct. Morocco joined the African Union in 2018 — http://www.au.int/member_states/countryprofiles2

      ADMIN: Thank you for pointing out that. Morocco did rejoin the African Union in 2017.

      You can read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jan/31/morocco-rejoins-african-union-after-more-than-30-years

  5. Ibo France
    September 9, 2021

    From my mid teen, I have fully embraced Afro -centrism. I still continue to cherish my racial identity, would never bleach.

    Having said that, I’m very much ashamed of most of the present individuals who are in leadership positions today in the African and the Caribbean regions.

    What is pervasive in these two regions today are these: corruption, thievery, poverty, political tribalism, persecution, injustice, low productivity, victimization, under-development, indebtedness and the depletion of the country’s financial resources.

    Realistically and unfortunate!y, there’s nothing much to be had from any alliance of the two regions. Both go around the world begging for the survival of their people.

    One thing all these countries have in common is this. The leaders are shockingly rich while the vast majority of citizens lives in dismal and permanent poverty. It’s a sad and unpalable narrative but true.

  6. Waiting For Airport
    September 9, 2021

    If this is a genuine, Independent (and by independent I mean no white involvement) initiative then this is something to celebrate. Finally, our people starting to realise the value we can bring to each other.

    Congrats to our leaders

  7. Channel 1
    September 9, 2021

    That’s what a lot of these black leaders are good at: TALK, TALK, TALK. TALK, copious amounts of vacuous declarations.

    Most of them are woefully incompetent in handling the domestic affairs in their countries instead in some instances choosing to partner with foreign elements to waste their countries natural and financial resources.

    Bunch of high-grade jokers.

    We must never forget that the enslavement of the black man was started by his own fellow black men. The European countries that took part in the slave trade came in to Africa and expanded the slave trade they met ongoing there across the Atlantic.

    • Annon
      September 12, 2021

      Typical eurocentric miseducation you got. CE – Church of England is ahead of you.

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