Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission concludes official visit to the Caribbean.

Dates: 
August 08, 2018

Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission concludes official visit to the Caribbean.

Kingston, Jamaica; 7th August 2018: The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Amb. Kwesi Quartey, has concluded a series of visits to the Caribbean that included stops in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica. During his tour, he held talks with government officials, met representatives of the Africans in diaspora community and led emancipation commemoration events.

The focus of the tour was primarily on how to enhance the South-South cooperation with the Africans in the diaspora as part of sustaining efforts to advance the African agenda world-wide, within the framework of the International Decade for People of African Descent and the AU Diaspora Initiative. Amb. Kwesi stressed the need for solidarity and cooperation between the African and Caribbean people, noting the significant prospects for development and for the realization of the objectives of the International Decade; namely recognition, justice and development. “My visits and meetings served as reaffirmation that Africans in the continent and in the Diaspora, as our sixth region, need to work together, collectively, to maximize on the potential for economic, social, political and cultural contribution and development, to positively impact the living standards of Africans in the continent and those in the Diaspora”, Amb. Kwesi observed.

While in Trinidad and Tobago, the Deputy Chairperson addressed the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Symposium where he briefed on the priorities of the African Union and the ongoing flagship projects such as the Continental Free Trade Area, the single air transport, the protocol on free movement, the African passport and improving the quality and access to education and skills, for all African children and the youth. These efforts, he added, were aimed at scaling up investments, pooling of resources to enhance structural transformation and industrialization, improving the living standards of the African citizenry, and which would also provide an ample opportunity for investments from the diaspora. He stated, “for instance, if you look at the Continental Free Trade Area, businesses and investors from the Caribbean region, instead of engaging a single individual economy, will have in Africa, a world-leading trading partner with the associated economies of scale.”

While in Guyana, the Deputy Chairperson held talks with President David Granger, at State House in Georgetown. The two leaders acknowledged the need for closer cooperation between Africa and the Caribbean, both bilaterally and within the context of institutional cooperation.

Before leaving Guyana, the Deputy Chairperson also held discussions with the Secretary-General of CARICOM Ambassador Irwin Larocque and his senior leadership team, to discuss mechanisms for institutionalizing the relationship between the African Union and CARICOM, with particular reference to social, economic and cultural cooperation.

As he wound up his official visit, the Deputy Chairperson while in in Kingston, Jamaica, held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Andrew Michael Holness. He also participated in the Independence Day commemoration and addressed the Marcus Garvey Memorial Day Public Lecture. He highlighted the common bonds that bind Africa to the Caribbean through the transatlantic slave trade and the ways in which people of the African descent have been structurally disadvantaged as a direct result of slavery, colonialism and discrimination. He further called for Africa-Caribbean cooperation in advancing an agenda for reparative redress within the global arena.

Carib 2The Deputy Chairperson was accompanied by the Director of the Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora Organizaitons (CIDO) as well as members of the Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) “We have had a number of very productive meetings and engagements. We share a mutual collaborative role with the Africans in the diaspora and we are certainly keen on enhancing this relations to benefit from the potential to expand our development in terms of social, economic and cultural exchanges. Such strengthened collaboration would impact efforts on the ground to reach every African citizen on the continent and in the diaspora", he concluded.

For more information, contact:

Mr. Kyeretwie Osei | CIDO Policy Officer| Americas and Caribbean.

E-mail: oseik@africa-union.org

Ms. Doreen Apollos | Communication Advisor | Bureau of the Deputy Chairperson.

E-mail: ApollosD@africa-union.org | Tel: +251 115182737

Follow us on:

Facebook: AU Kwesi Quartey

Twitter: @ AU_Kwesi Quartey