Africa-Caribbean Trade: What are the prospects?
(Barbados Today) In mid-June 2019, President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, visited five Caribbean countries: Barbados, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica. Aiming to build on the shared historical and cultural ties between his continent and the Caribbean, President Akufo-Addo took the opportunity to sign bilateral cooperation agreements and to encourage Afro-Caribbean descendants to take part in Ghana’s Year of Return which marks 400 years since the commencement of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
President Akufo-Addo’s visit presents an opportune occasion to consider the prospects for deepening Caribbean-African trade and economic ties, particularly in light of the recent entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which will transform 52 out of 55 African countries into the world’s largest free trade area.
Current Caribbean-Africa trade
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) comprises 15 member states and territories in the Caribbean. Africa is one of the few trading partners with which the region enjoys a trade surplus. According to data from the ITC Trade Map, CARICOM countries exported US$449 million worth of goods to Africa in 2017, representing 2.6 per cent of CARICOM’s total exports to the world. Whereas, the region imported US$258 million worth of goods from the continent in that same year. Africa’s exports to CARICOM represented a mere 0.06 per cent of its total world exports in 2017.
Read more at: Barbados Today