Preparations are currently underway and far advanced for the first-ever Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) scheduled for August 31 to September 3, to be hosted by the government Barbados taking place in Barbados in the Carribean.
The maiden event is initiated by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Export Barbados (BIDC) and Invest Barbados, and will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Bridgetown, Barbados under the theme ‘One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future’.
The Forum aims to foster the development of strategic partnerships between the business communities in Africa and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region, to bolster bilateral cooperation and increase engagement in trade, investment, technology transfer, innovation, tourism, culture and other sectors.
Additionally, ACTIF2022 is expected to contribute in implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the Caribbean trade development agenda, further reflecting the deep-rooted ties between Africa and the Caribbean based on their shared history, culture, common identity and destiny.
The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, has said that Barbados is especially pleased to be hosting ACTIF2022, which will be a major step toward strengthening relations between Africa and CARICOM.
“Last September, Barbados signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Afreximbank, and we are committed to the success of that MoU. Indeed, Barbados is of the view that the Afreximbank is a key partner for all CARICOM member-states in facilitating trade and investment opportunities between Africa and the Caribbean. I am confident that ACTIF2022 will connect our people and result in an increased flow of goods and services between our two regions – and overall wider cooperation,” Prime Minister Mottley affirmed.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, noted that ACTIF2022 is taking place against the backdrop of renewed engagement between Africa and the Caribbean.
“The joint hosting of the first Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum is a key step toward a renaissance of the relationship between Africa and the Caribbean. Following the step taken on September 7, 2021 by the African and Caribbean Heads of State and Government at their summit where they renewed their commitment to revitalise the relationship, ACTIF2022 is the next logical stride – using the power of trade to reconnect the two regions,” declared Prof. Oramah.
“We thank the government of Barbados for sharing our vision and generously committing itself without hesitation to host this Forum, extending the invitation to business communities and developmental agencies in Africa and the wider Caribbean region. We look forward to a successful forum and a renewed relationship between two regions that everything links.”
Participants at ACTIF2022 will include African and Caribbean Heads of State, senior government representatives, business leaders, representatives of business associations, development agencies, multilateral finance institutions, think-tanks and research institutions from Africa and the Caribbean.
The AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum 2022 is being convened by the government of Barbados and the Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the AfCFTA Secretariat, the Africa Business Council, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Export Development Agency. The Forum is being co-managed by Invest Barbados and Export Barbados. The CEOs of both agencies are keen to facilitate the Forum and have high expectations for outcomes from the four-day session.