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Climate action, others top agenda at inaugural CARICOM-Africa Summit

By Bisola Adeyemo

Organizing collective action to combat climate change has been listed as a key agenda for the inaugural CARICOM-Africa Summit which begins on Tuesday 7 September.

The virtual meeting bringing together Heads of State and Government from the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and the African Union (AU) will also deliberate trade and investment between the two regions.

“Participants at the event will include Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community and the African Union, Chairs of CARICOM and the African Union Commission, and the Africa Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Secretaries-General of CARICOM and the Organisation of the African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), and the President of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB),” Kenya’s Foreign Office noted in a statement.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will chair the session which was initially slated for 2020 but the coronavirus crisis triggered its cancellation.

The summit themed ‘Unity Across Continents and Oceans: Opportunities for Deepening Integration,’ will also seek to harness CARICOM-Africa partnership with the AU recently acceding to a request to onboard the Caribbean region on the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) for the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines.

Allafrica reports that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the move allowed CARICOM to benefit from the AU’s bulk purchasing framework.

“It is anticipated that the deliberations will institutionalize CARICOM-African Union collaboration. It is also expected that there will be agreement to host the Summits of the CARICOM-African Heads of State and Government bi- annually,”

The Caribbean region recently intensified diplomatic relations with African States with a series of State visits to Kenya, Namibia and South Africa by the Prime Ministers of Barbados and Jamaica.

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