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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has highlighted the need for the strengthening of engagement between CARICOM and the African continent, noting that “great economic potential” exists between the regions.
The Prime Minister, who was addressing the inaugural CARICOM-African Summit, held virtually on Tuesday (September 7), noted that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) serves as an enabling environment for trade and investment opportunities across the regions.
“There is potential in the agro industry and logistic sector, and Jamaican companies have already invested in Africa. Opportunities also exist for scientific research, healthcare, technological innovation and digitisation, and tourism,” he said.
Mr. Holness further pointed to the solidarity that exists between the two regions in addressing issues such as development financing, debt sustainability, and climate change in various regional and international fora while working for deeper integration.
He hailed the African Union (AU) for its provision of access to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines and other “critical medical supplies” to Caribbean countries through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), noting that this “has been a game-changer for the continent and for us”.
The Prime Minister said that the staging of the Summit, under the theme ‘Unity Across Continents and Oceans: Opportunities for Developing Integration’, is the fulfilment of a vision held by Jamaica’s first National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and other Pan-Africanists “to achieve greatness for people in the African Diaspora from unified engagement”.
He urged the leaders gathered for the event, to ensure that these dreams are fulfilled.
The Prime Minister said that the “timely dialogue” between the two regions will serve to “entrench our platform of bonds” and common historical experiences, which have been enriched by cultural, economic, and political affinities.