ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will “within weeks” formally open a diplomatic mission in Kenya as the 15-member regional grouping seeks to deepen its relations with Africa.
CARICOM chairman and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Garston Browne, said there is much the region can do at the bilateral level to “unleash the economic and cultural dimension” of its relations with African countries.
“CARICOM will, within weeks, formally open a diplomatic mission in Nairobi, Kenya. I have spoken on several occasions to my dear friend, President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and we are both delighted by this development,” Browne said.
“This mission will serve as CARICOM’s platform in Africa with a mandate to develop beneficial relations with all countries on the African continent,” Browne said.
Browne also addressed the importance of Nelson Mandela Day, which was observed on Sunday, saying “it is not just a day of flurry speeches as important as speeches are in honoring the great man”.
He said he was supportive of the “great initiatives” being launched to coincide with the occasion, adding “especially because they are so relevant to our contemporary world.
“The global campaign on vaccine confidence, the Caribbean wide gender based violence campaign, the centers for victims of gender based violence and food hampers for the food insecure in our communities.
“All these programs will have a real positive impact with ordinary people facing the challenges of everyday life during this most tumultuous times. Nelson Mandela engaged in transformative politics to lead a real revolution. Let us do no less, let us transform the lives of people around us with our joint efforts between Africa and the Caribbean Community “.
Browne said that he was pledging himself and the “office that I hold to this cause”.