From the blog

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Kagame Seeks Closer Ties Between Africa And CARICOM

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has urged Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries to move beyond declarations of intent and look to solidify their relationship with Africa while focusing “on concrete initiatives which address the challenges that nations like ours face today.”

Kagame, in his first-ever visit to T&T, addressed Caricom leaders on the final day of their 45th annual summit. According to a Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) report, Kagame told the gathering, “We need to come together in real terms …”

He said over the past 50 years, Caricom had distinguished itself as one of the most vibrant regional integration organisations in the developing world with “many accomplishments.”

Kagame said that the Organization of African Unity, as the African Union was originally known, was founded ten years earlier than Caricom in 1963 and that “these anniversaries are an opportunity to respond to the desire for closer collaboration between our two regions.”

He added, “We are closely linked. The horrors of the Middle Passage, and the indignities of colonialism, join our peoples in a shared story of struggle, survival, resilience, and, ultimately, renewal.”

“We should not be comfortable blaming others for our problems, including the harm we inflict on ourselves,” President Kagame said.

“The starting point here is how we govern our own individual countries, striving to be the best we can be, with a culture of accountability,” he added in a statement.

“We need to come together in real terms and focus on concrete initiatives which address the challenges that nations like ours face today,” Mr Kagame said.

He highlighted that both regions need to advocate for more inclusive borrowing terms when countries need to take loans and greater cooperation on tackling climate change.

He also spoke about opportunities for both regions to improve connectivity when it comes to “transport and telecommunications”.

He also mentioned Haiti, which Rwanda has previously said it was willing to support in terms of security and peacekeeping.

President Kagame said his country “cannot look away” and that Rwanda’s own painful history shows that “nothing is beyond repair”.

Haiti has descended into increasing lawlessness since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.