September 7, 2023, marks two years since the first CARICOM Africa Union (AU) Summit, hosted by Kenya. The first Summit of Heads decided to establish for celebration, September 7 of every year as Africa-Caricom Day. The P.J. Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Public Advocacy strongly supports the opportunity it presents for activities geared at greater African and Caribbean unity.
The Caribbean and the African continent share a similar history of an oppressive, exploitative experience. In our most recent history of Independence, CARICOM and Africa were supportive of each other and drew inspiration from the works of individuals that advocated freedom and instilled the hopes of the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, who declared, “Africa for the Africans at home or abroad.”
Since our independence, CARICOM and the AU nations have had many fora within which their representatives have discussed and made several agreements, such as the African, Caribbean and the Pacific Group of States since the 1970s. The CARICOM AU Summit of 2021 the most significant for present and future cooperation and unification. The spheres for cooperation in education, tourism, technology and knowledge exchange, economic transformation, governance, and the creative industries are many and prospects of rewards so great that it is more than time that an entrenchment is made for this purpose.
In support of Africa-CARICOM Day, The P.J. Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Public Advocacy will collaborate with the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and its entities The Office of Global Affairs and The Centre for Reparation Research to host the first Africa-CARICOM Day Seminar at The UWI’s Regional Headquarters on September 7, 2023 at 10:30 AM (Eastern Caribbean) / 9:30 AM (Jamaica), which will be broadcast on UWItv Global and CARICOM’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
Members of the public from across the African continent, the Caribbean or its diaspora are invited to this seminal event that will feature Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor, The UWI and Chair, CARICOM Reparations Commission alongside Dr Carla Barnett, Secretary-General, CARICOM; noted academics and public officials and UWI student leaders.
The P.J. Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Public Advocacy is committed to the cause of building bridges between nations and the people of the AU and CARICOM to engage in activities which will promote a truly symbolic relationship. This event is intended to be a building block in the process of forging unity between our nations and people.
P.J. Patterson, Statesman-in-Residence