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First CARICOM-Africa Summit to be held September 7

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Posted: Saturday, September 4, 2021. 8:52 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: This week the countries of the Caribbean Community and African Union are to participate in a first-ever CARICOM-Africa Summit virtually, hosted by President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.

Owing to its choice as a destination for African slaves, the Union has declared the wider Diaspora of Africans as its sixth region. Plans for an in-person summit in 2020 were shelved due to the pandemic and participants include respective heads of state and government of CARICOM and the AU and other bureaucrats from related agencies including the Organisation of the African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), and the President of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Subsequent summits will be held biannually.

The African Union generously agreed to invite CARICOM to be part of the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) for the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines which allowed the Community to benefit from bulk purchasing. The vaccines began arriving in CARICOM last month. There have been reciprocal visits between Caribbean leaders and African leaders from 2018 to 2020, as well as technical reviews by African agencies of Caribbean governmental organizations.

Expected outcomes could include greater economic trade and investment opportunities between Africa and the Caribbean; and solidarity in actions to address global challenges including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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