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Business News Mon, 7 Mar 2022

Strong African-Caribbean synergy needed to boost AfCFTA - Barbados Prime Minister

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, has called on Africans and the Caribbean to bridge their artificial barriers and collaborate to boost trade and investment.

“This is the way to give a strong boost to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) to resolve the myriad of debilitating socio-economic, ecological and political challenges for mutual gain,” she said.

Madam Mottley, Barbados' eighth and first female Prime Minister was the guest speaker at the commemoration of Ghana's 65th Independence Anniversary in Cape Coast on Sunday, March 6, 2022.

It was on the theme: ''Working Together, Bouncing Back Together."

In attendance were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and his wife, Samira, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, and Members of Parliament among other dignitaries.

Prime Minister Mottley said heads of state and governments of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Africa pledged their commitment to strengthening collaboration and unity during the first-ever CARICOM-Africa Summit, attended by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, in September 2021, among other participants.

They also pledged to foster and increase trade, investment and people-to-people engagements between the two regions.

Prime Minister Mottley said the historic bond through African and Caribbean cultural and political ties run deep, based on a shared history, culture, and a sense of common identity.

She cited historical experiences, which inspired the Pan-African Movement championed by Africans and the Diaspora and also established the foundations of a rich and vibrant African-Caribbean relationship.

She urged leaders to build on that strong vision and reminded African nations to resist all forms of colonialism and neo-colonialism that had stifled development and disintegrated the black race.

The resilience of Africans in the Diaspora had triumphed over decades and centuries of colonialism, imperialism and exploitation as subtle tools employed by the oppressors.

"Even we see the real face of racism and imperialism reeling its ugly face, we must never and ever accept that there can ever be second class and first-class citizens or nations in the global community,” Ms Mottley urged.

"Let us all work together in solidarity to fight the battles of our time; challenging as they are appearing to be quickly coming at us, whether it is climate crisis, scourge of ugly wars staring at us, we have a duty to stand tall and protect the citizenry”.

She praised Ghana's democratic credentials and commitment to upholding the tenants of democracy while inspiring the world through the simple anchor that everyone deserved the right to be heard.

Buttressing that the Prime Minister said Ghana had become a beacon of hope and light that inspired the Republic of Barbados to attain its independence almost a decade after the reign of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first President.

Madam Mottley, the first female Prime Minister of Barbados, was elected to that country’s Parliament in September 1994 as part of the new Barbados Labour Party Government.

Prior to that, she served as one of two Opposition Senators between 1991 and 1994.

Madam Mottley was appointed Minister of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture from 1994 to 2001, one of the youngest persons ever to be assigned a ministerial portfolio.

She later served as Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados from 2001 to 2008, the first female to hold that position.

She is an Attorney-at-Law with a Degree from the London School of Economics, specialising in advocacy. She is also a Barrister of the Bar of England and Wales.

In 2002, she became a member of the Local Privy Council. She was also admitted to the Inner Bar, becoming the youngest ever Queens Counsel in Barbados.
Source: GNA
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