Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley addressing Ghana’s 65th Independence Anniversary celebrations at the Cape Coast Stadium on Sunday. (PMO)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has suggested that Africa-CARICOM Day should be celebrated on September 7, in recognition of the first-ever Africa-Caribbean Summit aimed at forging stronger social and economic ties between the two global communities.

Speaking during Ghana’s 65th Independence Anniversary celebrations at the Cape Coast Stadium on Sunday, Ms. Mottley told the thousands gathered that African Caribbean Solidarity received a new boost on September 7, when the first African- CARICOM caucus was organised by the Presidents of Ghana and Kenya, Nana Akfuo-Addo and Uhuru Kenyatta, respectively.

The Prime Minister shared that coming out of that caucus was an agreement to establish a permanent forum for African and Caribbean countries and states jointly coordinated by the African Union and the CARICOM Secretariat.

“We agreed to also take steps that the 7th of September shall forever be known as Africa-CARICOM Day, and we ask you our brothers and sisters in Ghana, as we will in Barbados, to celebrate that day with the knowledge that those of us across the Atlantic can never be divided not even by the forces of history or the passage of times,” Ms. Mottley underlined.

She further stated: “The establishment of this forum will allow for us to bring about synergies between the CARICOM Single Market and Economy and the African Continental Free Trade Area, and it is significant that in both of these instances our two countries lead the effort, in your case the African Continental Free Trade Area, and in the case of Barbados, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.”

Ms. Mottley contended that there was consensus on a closer working relationship with the United Nations, given Africa and the Caribbean’s shared challenges of adverse effects from climate change, and inequitable vaccine distribution, among others.

She added: “We’ve also agreed that we should collaborate and work much closer with the United Nations because many of our objectives are the same and our mission the same. We may have different routes by which we must get there. But if we have the same destination and if we have the same purpose, then we have a duty to collaborate and cooperate with each other.”

Ms. Mottley further stated: “We’ve also agreed that, that collaboration should be heard as we raise our voices against the inequity of vaccine distribution that has bedeviled our world, as if they were truly first class and second class nations of the world. We reject that….  We ask ourselves to cooperate equally on the matters of the climate crisis and we do so conscious that each of us is affected.”

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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