Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has announced plans for a summit of heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the African Union.
“Efforts will be made to stage a CARICOM/ AFRICAN UNION Heads of Government Summit over the next 12 months,” Chastanet wrote on his official Facebook page Saturday.
The Saint Lucia PM was in Barbados Friday in his capacity as Chairman of CARICOM to meet with His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the President of Kenya.
The Kenyan leader paid a three-day official visit to Barbados this week.
Prime Minister Chastanet said it was a very fruitful visit, inclusive of discussions involving himself, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, Ministers representing Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and Suriname, and CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque.
The Saint Lucia leader who returned home Friday night, said in addition to the planned summit, CARICOM and the African Union will shortly sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework for engagement and cooperation.
He announced that Barbados and Suriname will partner in establishing an Embassy in Ghana, while Barbados and Saint Lucia will partner in establishing an Embassy in Kenya.
Chastanet disclosed that an invitation has been sent out to all other CARICOM countries to join in the venture.
He also revealed that the University of the West Indies will be undertaking student and faculty exchanges and joint education initiatives with the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University.
In addition, Chastanet wrote on his official Facebook page that a high level Kenyan delegation will be returning to Barbados in September to conclude a number of Agreements, inclusive of a Multilateral Air Services Agreement, a Double Taxation Agreement, and Revenue and Digital Currency agreements
” The Barbados and Kenya Chambers of Commerce and Industry will commence engagement and collaboration with each other,” he noted, adding that there is a commitment to resist any dividing of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of Nations, as well as a commitment to use the grouping to undertake much closer South/South relations.
The PM said CARICOM and Kenya have started work on an MOU for engagement and cooperation and the African and Caribbean governments have committed to establishing direct air travel links between Africa and the Caribbean.
” The time has come for Africa and the Caribbean to re-connect and unite and engage with each other as members of a family in every positive and constructive way,” Chastanet declared.