Barbados and the Caribbean community have firmly planted their diplomatic roots in Africa.
This comes as Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator The Most Honorable Jerome Walcott officially opened the CARICOM diplomatic mission in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday, June 20, marking the first of its kind for Barbados on the continent.
Speaking at the CARICOM’s new offices in the South Tower of the Two Rivers Office Complex, Walcott explained 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 civilization, where many of our ancestors were born,” Minister Walcott said.
“Barbados, at this time, looks to Africa in pursuit of new relationships and partners with the aim of deepening engagement and cooperation with like-minded nations both bilaterally and multilaterally,” he added.
Barbados High Commissioner to Kenya, William Alexander McDonald and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Petroleum Ambassador Dr Monica Juma discuss the importance of the diplomatic mission following its opening.
Architect for the offices, Paul Macharia Mwithaga (left) explains some of the design features to the delegation.
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator The Most Honorable Jerome Walcottt and Kenya Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Petroleum Ambassador Dr Monica Juma officially open the CARICOM diplomatic mission in Nairobi, Kenya, as Barbados High Commissioner to Kenya William Alexander McDonald (second from left) looks on.
Minister 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, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Meanwhile, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Raychelle Omamo deemed the opening as a fulfillment of a promise to secure a home for the Caribbean community in Kenya, made by President 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,” Ambassador Omamo said on behalf of President 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 added.