Barbados and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have taken another step in their relations in Africa with the official opening of a diplomatic mission in Kenya.
Barbados’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator The Most Honourable Jerome Walcottt yesterday officially opened the CARICOM diplomatic mission in Nairobi, Kenya, marking the first of its kind for Barbados on the continent.
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, while speaking at CARICOM’s new offices in the South Tower of the Two Rivers Office Complex, Walcott said this event marked a major milestone in relations between Barbados and Africa.
“The commissioning of this mission here in Kenya, the first diplomatic mission of Barbados to be commissioned on the African continent, is a testament of Barbados’ outreach to the motherland and cradle of civilisation, where many of our ancestors were born,” Walcott said.
The minister said Barbados is pursuing new relationships and partners in Africa “with the aim of deepening engagement and cooperation with like-minded nations both bilaterally and multilaterally”.
Walcott, who was accompanied by Barbados’ High Commissioner to Kenya and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Nairobi, William Alexander McDonald and Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office Alies Jordan, explained this latest development was the result of a continued commitment to cooperation made between Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, and President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.
With regard to Kenya, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Raychelle Omamo said the opening was a fulfilment of a promise to secure a home for the Caribbean community in Kenya, made by Kenyatta during his visit to Barbados in 2019.
“This is a promise of historic significance, in that it will forge closer people-to-people ties between Africa and CARICOM,” Omamo said on behalf of Kenyatta.
“Africa has been separated from the Caribbean region, not only by the Atlantic Ocean, but by centuries of few interactions, despite our shared common descent and history. But I am proud to state that Kenya and Barbados have been at the forefront in fostering linkages between Africa and the Caribbean countries,” she said. (PMO)