Taarifa Rwanda

Caribbean Nations Lobbying For Meeting With African Union

In 1965, a Columbina critic, Nina Garcia, wrote a short description of a part of the world that mesmerises human faces and delivers an everlasting experience of joy, creating unforgettable memories.

She said, “One of the most magical places on Earth is a small island in the Caribbean called Mustique. With brilliant beaches, warm water, and lush vegetation, this tiny green swath of land is my idea of paradise.”

For some reason, this can be said about each of the Caribbean islands, the home to many African souls with ancestral roots in Africa.

History tells us of the inhumanely and unspeakably cruel acts committed against Africans. Slave trade. And that is how the Caribbean has had to live away from Africa.

But the spirits of these countries have awaken. They are blowing trumpets reminding their great great grand sons to connect with their cousins back in Africa.

One of those sons is Mark Brantley, the current Premier of Nevis and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for St Kitts and Nevis.

Brantley is pushing, together with other heads of government in the Caribbean community for a meeting between the African Union and Caricom.

Caricom is an organisation of fifteen Caribbean nations and dependencies having primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members.

The block intends to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and their foreign policy coordinated.

Brantley told Taarifa in Saturday afternoon that he has spoken to Rwandan officials to secure an endorsement from Rwanda for the meeting between the two blocks.

While in New York during the UN General Assembly, Brantley met with Rwanda’s State Minister for East Africa, who is now a de facto Foreign Affairs Minister.

The two officials, according to Minister Nduhungirehe, met informally and briefly and shared views on how to broadened bilateral relations.

“We also discussed the possibility of Rwandan support for an annual meeting of the African Union and Caricom,” Brantley told Taarifa.

He said people in the Caribbean are part of the 6th region of AFRICA and members of the African diaspora.

“The time has come for Africa and the Caribbean to speak with a single voice on global issues and in global fora,” he said.

Earlier, Minister Nduhungirehe had tweeted having met Brantley and thanked him “for the conversation,” and said that he was looking forward to “developing bilateral relations between Saint Kitts ans Nevis and #Rwanda and to receiving you in June 2020 in Kigali for CHOGM2020.”

This was after Brantley had tweeted addressing Nduhungirehe as a brother.

“We admire greatly the economic transformation of Rwanda and are committed to closer ties between the Caribbean and Africa,” he said.

The two ministers apparently discussed how the two countries could develop closer ties following upon the establishment of formal diplomatic relations and waiving visa requirements for the citizens to visit each other which, he said  “we accomplished within the past few years.”

The island, a member of the Commonwealth, received independence 36 years ago.

Small but strong and beautiful, Brantley commented on a tweeter responding to comments after his post.

“We invite Rwandans to visit us especially as our two countries have removed all visa restrictions to permit greater people to people ties between St. Kitts Nevis and Rwanda,” he said.

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