The first-ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022) being held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown, Barbados, from 1st to 3rd September will hear addresses from Barbados’ Prime Minister , Mia Amor Mottley; President Chandrikapersad Santokhi of Suriname, Chairman of CARICOM; and Amadou Hott, Minister of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation, Republic of Senegal.
They will be joined by a stellar cast of high-level speakers, including Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman, Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank); Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner, Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining; Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat; Vera Songwe, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa; Dr. Carla Natalie Barnett, Secretary-General, CARICOM Secretariat; and Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre.
ACTIF2022 has been structured to provide an important opportunity for the Caribbean and African business communities to establish new commercial and strategic relationships to expand trade between the two regions, and to source necessary inputs for the design and manufacture of high-value products. It will also enhance Government-Business relationships between Africa and the Caribbean and increase inter-regional trade and investment leads through effective business match-making.
There is high level support for ACTIF2022’s intent to bolster bilateral cooperation and increase engagement in trade, investment, technology transfer, innovation, tourism, culture and other sectors. ACTIF2022 is also expected to contribute to the 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 theme for ACTIF2022 is ‘One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future’. Presentations and panel sessions will address 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.
ACTIF2022 attendees will also witness the launch of the African Caribbean Trade and Investment Report
With over 1,500 delegates from 93 countries (comprising 48 African countries; 12 Caribbean countries; and 33 other countries) already registered for ACTIF2022, participants will include senior government representatives, business leaders, representatives of business associations, prospective investors and buyers, project promoters, development agencies, multilateral finance institutions, think-tanks and research institutions from Africa and the Caribbean.
ACTIF2022 is being convened by the Government of Barbados and 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 the outcome of the three-day event.
The idea for ACTIF2022 resulted from an official Afreximbank visit to Barbados in September 2021, which followed that month’s inaugural Africa/CARICOM Summit. During the visit, the Government of Barbados and Afreximbank identified the 2022 AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum as a key strategic activity toward institutionalising the engagement between both regions.