Drawing from the communique, Permanent Secretary of Guyana’s Foreign Ministry, Elizabeth Harper read the group’s resolution. It highlighted an ardent call to global bodies like the African Union, CARICOM, and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to fortify African-Caribbean political relationships to propel economic alliances, bilateral trade, and the pivotal concept of establishing an African Caribbean free trade zone.
The forum echoed a unanimous voice for fostering partnerships with stalwarts like the African Business Council, the CARICOM private sector, and the International Trade Centre. Their combined vision is the operationalization of the African Caribbean Business Council, designed as a nucleus for private sector amalgamation.
Over the span of ACTIF23, the dedication to mutual growth was evident. African and Caribbean governments and their business counterparts inked several groundbreaking agreements. These spanned diverse sectors: from energy and tourism to logistics, construction, agriculture, sports and the burgeoning creative industries.
Reflecting on the forum’s culmination, Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh shared, “Hosting ACTIF23 has been monumental for Guyana. This event has been a catalyst in reinforcing the ties between our regions and shedding light on the myriad of challenges we collectively aim to overcome”.
President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict O. Oramah, added weight to this vision, underlining the pressing need for genuine integration. “Our collaborative endeavors signal a future where we overcome regional challenges through reinforced south-south cooperation. The horizon seems promising, with a unified payment system bridging Africa and the Caribbean becoming an imminent reality,” he noted.
Tracing back to its inception, ACTIF23 follows the foundational forum in Bridgetown, Barbados. That maiden edition witnessed a game-changing partnership between Afreximbank and CARICOM. This alliance was crafted to amplify trade and investment synergies, anchored by mutual support and financial facilitation.
With its rich tapestry of delegates – approximately 1400 from 33 African nations, 13 Caribbean territories, and 18 countries beyond – ACTIF23, co-hosted by the Government of Guyana and Afreximbank, has stamped its significance in the annals of global trade dialogues.
ACTIF23 has sculpted a roadmap for an intertwined and prosperous future for the African and Caribbean diasporas, reinforcing its stature as a cornerstone in global trade forums.