Barbados is expected to host more than 700 African businessmen, investors and representatives of financial institutions at the inaugural Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) from August 31 to September 3 this year.
The Forum is one of the first projects to emerge from the first Africa-Caricom Summit last year and will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center under the theme: “One people. A destiny. Uniting and reinventing our future”.
The event is a collective initiative of Invest Barbados and Export Barbados in collaboration with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
“The Forum aims to foster the development of strategic partnerships between the African and Caribbean business community, strengthen bilateral cooperation and increase engagement in trade, investment, technology transfer, innovation, tourism, culture and other sectors,” a press release said. of Export Barbados (BIDC) and Invest Barbados said.
“In addition, ACTIF 2022 is 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 on the basis of their history, culture, identity and destiny.
As part of their commitment to the success of the Forum, the CEOs of Export Barbados (BIDC) and Invest Barbados Mark Hill and Kaye Greenidge respectively, welcomed Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of the Intra-African Commerce Bank of Afreximbank and his team during a preparatory visit to Barbados. between July 20 and 22.
Awani also met with Prime Minister Mia Mottley and representatives of key local and regional organizations.
Mottley said Barbados’ ACTIF2022 will be a major step towards strengthening the relationship between Caricom and Africa.
“Last September, Barbados signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Afreximbank, and we are committed to ensuring the success of this Memorandum of Understanding,” she said.
“Indeed, Barbados believes that Afreximbank is a key partner for all Caricom Member States in facilitating trade and investment opportunities between Africa and the Caribbean.
The Prime Minister added: “Establishing air links between our regions is vital if these prospects are to materialise, and Barbados is committed to doing its part to achieve this. After four centuries, Africa and the Caribbean are uniting their strengths, and therefore this Forum must embrace all our peoples.
“It is a historic moment that can only be captured by a few companies and businessmen; none of us should miss it. I am confident that ACTIF2022 will connect our peoples and result in an increased flow of goods and services between our two regions – and, overall, wider cooperation.
Commenting on the Forum, Awani said that ACTIF2022 is taking place against the backdrop of renewed engagement between Africa and the Caribbean.
“The joint organization of the first Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum is a key step towards the revival of relations between Africa and the Caribbean,” she said.
“Following the step taken on September 7, 2021 by African and Caribbean Heads of State and Government at their summit, where they renewed their commitment to revitalizing the relationship, ACTIF2022 is the logical next step, using the power trade to reconnect the two regions.
“We thank the Government of Barbados for sharing our vision and generously committing without hesitation to host this Forum, extending the invitation to business communities and development agencies in Africa and the Wider Caribbean We look forward to a successful Forum and a renewed relationship between two regions that everything connects”.
Potential attendees, including potential exhibitors, can register for ACTIF2022 by visiting the event website.