President Paul Kagame says African countries and Caribbean nations have a lot they can learn from each other, given the historical ties they share.
The Head of State made the observation during the inaugural CARICOM-Africa Summit held on Tuesday under the theme ‘Unity Across Continents and Oceans: Opportunities for Deepening Integration’ to explore how the two regions can work together for their own prosperity.
The summit which was hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, brought together leaders from the African continent and Caribbean regions as well as the African Union (AU) in a dialogue to discuss trade and investment opportunities.
“Africa and the Caribbean have a lot to offer one another. Establishing a permanent forum for dialogue between the African and Caribbean regions, is not only welcome but is overdue. We are united by ties of history and shared experience.” President Kagame, congratulating President Kenyatta for spearheading the efforts.
“Establishing a permanent forum for dialogue between the African and Caribbean regions, is not only welcome but is also overdue. We are united by ties of history and shared experience,”
“We also confront common challenges, such as trade inequalities, vulnerability to climate change, and the need for more resilient health systems,” President Kagame said.
He pointed out that the two regions also have special requirements for adequate fiscal space, to finance the Covid-19 pandemic recovery.
“It is therefore the right moment to deepen the direct ties between our regional organisations, and just as importantly, our peoples. Where we are aligned, we should not hesitate to consult each other, and make common cause in multilateral forums,”
“On the horizon we have COP-26 in Scotland in November, and for many of us, the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting in Rwanda in 2022,” President Kagame said, adding that Rwanda is also all members of the new Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS).
He said that the formation of the group is a reminder of the value of bringing the two regions closer together for the benefit of the economies and the people.
President Kagame said that Africa and the Caribbean have a lot to offer one another, in the spirit of South-South cooperation, learning from each other ‘s experiences.
CARICOM is chaired by the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne and apart from trade and investment, the forum is expected to boost solidarity in actions between the two regions to address global challenges including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Summit followed a series of visits between the leaders of CARICOM and Africa.