The biggest concern is that as a Caribbean people we are able to unshackle our minds to appreciate for change to occur, we must look in the mirror.
In recent weeks two African development banks took root in the Caribbean with a goal to nurture economic links and fuel growth opportunities. It will be interesting to observe the extent the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are able to build a model for success that addresses ” the financial needs of stakeholders and improve the quality of life for Caribbean citizens“.
Already CAF has committed USD50 million to support the the Blue Green Bank initiative that focuses on the blue economy AND Afreximbank USD1.5 billion to finance trade and investment ties between Africa and the Caribbean by stimulating the “economic sectors, enhance trade infrastructure, and empower small to medium enterprises across the Caribbean“.
See Relevant Link: New banks open in the Caribbean
On the surface the blogmaster is happy to observe initiatives with the Motherland recognizing our cultural moorings and common challenges. Both the Caribbean and Africa currently have similar issues, we are countries struggling to unleash our potential on the world. We continue to allow our physical and mental spaces to be exploited by Western interests. The only way to break the shackles of dependency on the West – a legacy of our colonial past – is to transform how we think in order to discover new opportunities.
It should be evident to the region, especially Caricom, that Western countries will continue to pursue a type of geopolitics to inform domestic foreign policy. Why should Caribbean countries continue to accept arrangements with Western interest that will always be informed on a foreign policy informed by interests external to the region?
The interest of a majority of countries in Africa should intersect with a majority of Caribbean countries given our undeniable lineage. It is unfortunate it has taken too long for both sides to reach where we are today. The blogmaster recalls many visits to Barbados and the Caribbean by prominent African leaders in the 80s and 90s. Our active participation in the African, Caribbean and Pacific states and Non Aligned Movement led by Cuba. There was the Kingston Summit almost 50 years ago (not dissimilar to the Bridgetown Initiative) in 1975 where Africa, the Caribbean and Asia stridently demanded of rich Western countries to create a new economic model to distribute wealth to better support developing countries.
The call by Prime Minister Mia Mottley et al on the developed world to assist developing countries is not new. There will always be a battle by developing countries to carve out a space in the global market to be able to compete and sustain our fragile open economies. The alliance being constructed with African countries makes sense given our common heritage and the fact Africa is without doubt the richest continent in the world. Hopefully modern day leaders in Africa and the developing will see the necessity to establish and improve relationships, along with the economic and social benefits there is a moral imperative to satisfy.
The biggest concern is that as a people in the Caribbean we are able to unshackle our minds to appreciate for change to occur, we must look in the mirror.
See the following short lecture delivered by former First Lady of South Africa Graca Machel titled DON’T COPY WESTERN DEMOCRACY MODEL.