Excited About Jamaica Opening Air Link To Africa

Kammie Holder, LUTCF, FSS

I am very excited about the opening of air links to Africa from Jamaica to Nigeria and the potential for trade and commerce. However, we must tread cautiously. Why the caution? A non visa requirement is a welcome call for all and sundry, who may be an economic burden rather than a catalyst for commerce. We will always see citizens gravitating to the country with the stronger currency and opportunities. In 2008, a plane load of West Africans were scammed into coming to the Caribbean with the lure of jobs. Many arrived with just the clothes on their backs and a plastic bag. The aforementioned, is not to pour scorn or belittle persons on the continent but more of a caution.

Let me juxtapose this to the air link between the UK and Ghana. Daily six airlines fly between Accra Ghana and the UK. Worthwhile to note is that all Ghanaians need visas to enter the UK. Currently, over 50,000 Ghanaians transit Heathrow airport monthly. Virgin Atlantic Airline has now found it necessary to add four additional flights weekly. Some may cry discrimination, but we have limited resources and can ill afforded, any social fallout from poor management of our immigration.

However, we must ask ourselves why are the Russians, Koreans, Americans, Canadians, British and Chinese rushing to Ghana? Economic growth over the last three years has been an average of 5% and it’s predicted to be 12.3% for 2011. Ghana is the second largest Cocoa producer, second highest producer of gold and has now found substantial petroleum reserves. Closer to home, Trinidad now provides infrastructural and technical support to the Ghana oil industry. The Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, in its desire be proactive will be hosting the Ghana Chamber of Commerce in Trinidad from June 14 to 18th.

Embrace the African continent and not be brainwashed by the negatives you see on cable television. Just as all Muslims have as their wish to visit Mecca, I implore all persons of African descent to take a trip to Ghana, see the glass high rise buildings, drive on the multi lane highways and flyovers, stay in a four star hotel and surf the internet while driving on a Greyhound bus on the 250 mile pothole free four lane highway between Kumasi and Accra. A sad but strange observation is that Barbadians need a visa to visit Ghana,while Barbados does not require a visa for Ghanaians visiting.

Lets see Africa for its true worth and not through the biased eyes of those who want us to remain in the dark about the wealthiest continent on earth.

21 thoughts on “Excited About Jamaica Opening Air Link To Africa

  1. @Kammie

    Maybe you are excited about the link to Africa but there is a heavy suspicion a Eurocentric Barbados does not give a damn.

  2. May be the wealthiest continent on earth in terms of minerals, but the poorest when it comes to the general standard of living of it’s many peoples. Encouraging trade is a good thing but the governments involved need to ensure that the Caribbean is not seen as a soft touch with people arriving from Africa on ‘short’ trips which end up as permanent stays. Though I must say that Ghana is certainly one of the better countries by all accounts.

  3. The recent experience of some Africans who visited Barbados looms large in the memory. Kammie maybe swimming upstream on his wish to see greater AfriBar exchanges.

  4. I think its good idea. However we must tread cautiously as many unscrupulous persons would seek to use this opportunity for human trafficking.

  5. Lets get the Redjet, Jamaica/Barbados thing happening and anything should be discussed after. If we in the 2×4 caribbean can’t cooperate, how the hell do we expect to cooperate with mother Africa? I believe there will be some serious issues with trust.

  6. what is wrong with the leaders of t de caribbean, what do there really want, now redjet offering cheaper flight in t de caribbean, why jamaica and trinidad cant come board,well when i was leavin. for home from de river with me fishin net, ah fellow ask me, wait old boy what have become of de tourism club, that barbados had to educatin, de young fellows bout tourism, i remm de ol time picnic the had, boy really gud,one ting i no de people in barbados talk to much, well i goin home to see if de ppl send de welfare cheq fro ma……..

  7. @old man river, | June 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM |

    I cahn understan a ting yuh saying. Man why yuh doan learn to rite properly?

  8. Even though i am very in tune with my african ancestry, why the hell dont we talk about redjet not getting permisiion so that we can travel in the caribbean, how much poor people can travel to africa from here?

  9. We as a people like to tread on the shit on our doors steps, while we are pleased to travel miles to the plantations house, or to Queens, to keep somebody else’s house spic an span.

  10. @David

    Can you explain how is Barbados “Eurocentric” and why the suspicion is based out of such ?JOA is right, What I find to be the most ridiculous thing here is that an African air link has been given precedence over a Caricom low cost one[Redjet] in Jamaica when they are supposed to be promoting Caricom ties !!!!!! First CCJ and now Redjet.It is hypocritical I think,now Barbados might have to screen all Jamaican flights even more closely for issues of Human trafficking if that transit link becomes active.

    I am actually in agreement with what Kammie Holder mentioned and suspicions should be investigated and understood to find out why they exist…..but only 1 major country has been responsible for Africa’s current rise and that is China on a major level according to mostly what I’ve read thus far !!!!! New trade links are being formed worldwide as we speak and Barbados should be playing a role in such to

    1.become a Developed country
    2.get more economic activity and hopefully growth
    3.exploit what role it will play in this 21st century instead of the current economic model which is more dependent on the old/current trade links not exploiting the new developing ones.

    Ghana’s increase this year might actually be only a 1 time event considering they just found a very large oil field within their waters just like Brazil recently did ~2 years ago.I believe the former Barbados-African link was with Nigeria which I know has very large corruption issues….but some of the more transparent African countries should be given chances I think.Although,that does not mean visa free privileges into Barbados just trade and air links should be a start and perhaps Barbados can teach our historical links about dealing with corruption modern day considering what happened with the BLP and now under the DLP government as the years went by to get to number 17 on the CPI.


  11. @Jay

    Factoring how we have been colonized and socialized Barbadians especially the so called middleclass has a huge discomfort with Africa and attendant issues.

  12. islandgal
    gih de ol boy a chance. he went ta de same skool as me. Brumley Collig, ta be exak. but we in na idjits hare? we went skool mosely in Awgust but we in na fules.

    ol man riva
    LOL. i hope ya get de lil penshun chek. i kno how handy um is cum in. leh um strech. buy ya needz n leff out ya wantz, hare? Aw-rite ol boy. N doan leh nun a dem youn vagabuns like BAF fa instanc, snatch ya wallit. be carefull.

    Jus leh me kno when you plannin you trip?

  13. It is ironic how Jamaica can welcome a “cousin” but deny their own “brother.” This is insularity at it worse, these “big rocks” in the Caribbean have too much false prideand this will cause us to remain helpless third world countries. Until Jamaica and T&T welcome REDjet, I will oppose any other airline gaining access to the region.

  14. @Jay
    I wrote a Business/ Marketing article in the Nation in 1979 using a Case Study approach on why/ how Bajans should strongly consider conducting Business and seeking opportunity in West Africa (Ghana?) Much further ahead of time than I can now believe from the progress to date. (the real irony is that I am white).

    @The Scout

    JA/ T&T are far more interested in owning and dominating Bim than anything else. All attempts in history to arrange a Common Market have met with very limited success. These peeps will defend their turf without paying attention to the obvious fact that reasonable cost transportation within the region is a top priority. Bim is well advised to make absolutely sure that we have many “irons in the fire” at all times and be cognisant of the DOWNSIDE in negotiating any deals.

  15. Its embarrassing to see that the author of this piece is imploring all those of African ancestry to visit the continent just to see GLASS HIGH RISE BLDGS, to drive on MULTI LANE HWYS & FLYOVERS, STAY IN 4 STAR HOTELS & SURF THE INTERNET WHILE DRIVING ON A GREYHOUND BUS ON THE 250 MILE POTHOLE FREE4 LANE HWY. What kind of ass-backwards 2ndC A.D thinking is this?

    Here you have the Chinese, Japanese, Europains etc moving all over the continent studying the DNA of the Black Man while extracting the mineral wealth so that they can sell back to people like the author in the form of brain-damaging cell phones, i-pods, lap-tops etc and here he is imploring people to visit for simple small-minded bs reasons. No wonders Jamaica and others are forging ahead while Bajans just sit around and copy, while boasting of a 98% literacy which has produced nothing more than a class of proud paper pushing consumers.

    and btw ….the only limited resource Bajans have is that of their MINDS which is continually under-developed with this silly way of thinking.

  16. @David

    Point taken,Africa has its issues but so does Europe ……but that still does not dissolve the Caribbean[people and governments alike] of its responsibilities or motive to not create prosperity for its people and certainly I think looking North will change as time goes on as the money moves east from the North.

    Most of Europe are about to start their own ‘austerity’ measures and the US currently is having a huge budget battle concerning the debt and deficit longterm[Which it is quite clear that they cannot pay especially due to the wars and entitlements] therefore regardless of if the Barbados middle class has issues with it there isn’t really much of a choice one has to follow progress and ultimately where the money is going.The upcoming top economies look like they will be food and oil exporters which certain African countries do appear to have some modicum of success with currently

    • @Jay

      Point taken we need to explore all avenues to get Barbados the best change to sustain prosperity.

      Some have tried like Sun Power for an example, who were literally kicked out of Ghana or was it Nigeria, after being defrauded.

      There is the spectre of distrust which shrouds transactions when dealing with mother country Africa. This is especially so for the conservative Barbados.

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