(MENAFN – Caribbean News Global) PHILIPSBURG, Saint-Martin – Two of the authors of Saint-Martin, Lasana Sekou and Fabian Badejo, praised the historic Africa-CARICOM summit which was held virtually on September 7, 2021, a declared House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).
The summit was hosted by Kenya and chaired by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta under the theme “Unity Across Continents and Oceans: Opportunities for Deeper Integration”.
The event was followed and addressed by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union and CARICOM Member States. The heads of the regional integration secretariats and institutions of CARICOM and Africa were also present.
“It is the unique culmination of the continued efforts of the peoples of Africa and the Caribbean to consolidate the historical, cultural and blood ties they share through the centuries,” said Sekou, poet and editor.
âIt is the spirit of African connections so embodied by Garvey that lives among us,â Sekou said. The Pan-African and Pan-Caribbean themes of Sekou’s poetry have long been reviewed in journals and critical books.
âBlood is indeed thicker than water,â noted Badejo: âThroughout history, the desire for reconnection between Africa and the African diaspora has never wavered.
Burning desire and connection, often against great political and social hardship and even violence, perhaps subtle as secret stories in Caribbean families about an African ancestor, to African Caribbean languages ââspeaking defiantly; centuries, Cuba’s role for decades in the liberation of the countries of southern Africa, âthe authors said in a joint statement.
âJust as Europe, and in particular the UK, has special relations with its diaspora, particularly in the US, it should also be considered natural for Africa to have similar special relations with the United States. people of African descent in that part of the world, âsays Badejo.
The late great Barbadian poet and historian Kamau Brathwaite, who lived and worked in Ghana and Kenya early in his career, understood this from a personal and professional perspective, Badejo explained.
âLikewise, many others have understood and informed this point of view in practical and intellectual ways, from David Walker to Marcus Garvey, from Queen Mother Moore to Kwame Nkrumah,â said Badejo, who is also a journalist and cultural critic. .
The summit resulted in proposals to further strengthen ties between the two regions. These include direct air links between destinations in Africa and the Caribbean and visa-free travel for citizens of African countries and CARICOM.
“The leaders indicated their support for the establishment of a CARICOM / Africa public-private partnership dedicated to the mobilization of resources and their deployment in critical cutting-edge projects, including renewable energy, creative industries and technology. digitalâ¦ (and) the contribution of the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) to the provision of vaccines to CARICOM has been welcomed, âaccording to the CARICOM news.
Sekou said, âIt is essential that people in general see themselves as the foundation of this official level summit. What this multilateral cooperation will achieve over time, including âwielding global bargaining powerâ, expanding the reach of the diaspora to include non-CARICOM members in the region and institutions from Brazil and the United States. other countries of the Americas, is invariably based on population movements. “
âThese are the same popular movements and consciousnesses that produce activists and artists such as Thomas Duruo and Carlos Cooks of St Martin, Claudia Jones of Trinidad, Bob Marley of Jamaica, Dobrene O’Marde of Antigua or the Ambassador of Barbados to CARICOM David Comissiong. And that’s just to name a few of the many who have been involved in this pan-African liberation endeavor, âSekou said.
While on September 7, CARICOM âproposed the creation of a Forum of African and Caribbean Territories and States,â the two authors said that for Saint-Martin to critically exploit the opportunities that will not be lacking not to open up because of the initiatives proposed at the summit, the nation must act according to Nkrumah’s saying and seek political independence.
âWe are at a critical time when we must join the community of nations who come together to build and rebuild the world for the benefit of our people. We can only do this if we achieve political freedom, âstressed Sekou and Badejo.
This first Africa-CARICOM summit was a giant step towards pan-African unity, which will facilitate political, economic, educational, cultural and technological cooperation, said Sekou and Badejo.
“We applaud the vision of all who made this summit possible on both sides of the Atlantic and encourage them to step up their efforts to achieve the goal of reuniting the African family at home and abroad,” said they added.
It was also proposed at the Africa-CARICOM Summit on September 7 to be celebrated each year as âAfrica-Caribbean Dayâ.
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