Prof. Benedict Orama, the Chairman of the Afreximbank, said that Africa wants to reverse the attrocity committed over 400 years ago by the trans-atlantic slave trade. he was speaking at the first-ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022) opened in Bridgetown, Barbados.
“The trans-atlantic slave trade made our people raw materials”, said Prof. Benedict Orama. According to Oramah this event will helped revive the spirit of ‘africanism’. “We stand at the cusp of history to open a well of opportunities for Africa and the Caribbean and to leverage our individual and collective strengths towards the attainment of our shared prosperity,” Professor Oramah said in Barbados. “The vision is clear. However, we must therefore be focused while recognising that there are so many hurdles to cross.”
The first-ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022) has been structured to provide an important opportunity to bolster bilateral cooperation and to enable the Caribbean and African business communities to establish new commercial and strategic relationships to expand trade and to source necessary inputs for the design and manufacture of high-value products between the two regions. It will also enhance Government-Business relationships between Africa and the Caribbean and increase inter-regional trade and investment leads through effective business matchmaking.
“We will want to leave here with actionable proposals on how to open air and sea links between the Caribbean and Africa. We would like to leave here with concrete plans to open banking and payment rails, to see joint ventures for industrial projects, to deepen our commercial collaboration in the creative and commercial space, to collectively protect our intellectual properties to share knowledge and invest in climate adaptation projects. We must be proud that this is a reunion arising out of a felt need, underpinned by a solid economic, cultural, historical rationale,” explained Professor Oramah.
The forum is being held under the theme ‘One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future’. Its presentations and panel sessions are addressing key topics around deepening the trade and investment linkages between Africa and the Caribbean. These include accelerating industrialisation and manufacturing in Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks; financing trade and investments; opportunities across the cultural and creative industries; leveraging the power of the African Continental Free Trade Area; improving logistics to promote tourism, trade and telecommunications; improving agricultural productivity, agribusiness and food security; healthcare and life sciences; accelerating private sector trade and investment; creating opportunities for youth and SMEs; and building Africa-Caribbean value chains.