Below is the full statement:
Jambo! Selam! E nle o! Akhem! Sannu! Kodi! Sawobona! Salut!
Or should I just say: “A warm, sunny, and friendly Barbadian hello to all of my African brothers and sisters across the world.
Today, I wish you a blessed Africa Day!
I do so, recognising that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity when May 25 was first commemorated as African Liberation Day.
Across the decades of celebrating this movement towards greater African unity, many of the challenges we face have changed or evolved, but the reality is that challenges do remain. I believe we should all be empowered by the fact that, throughout all of these challenges, our histories have shown us a very clear fact; when we unite, there is no hurdle we can overcome.
For the past five years, Barbados has been engaged in discussions and initiatives that have a very clear and significant goal: to bring together our people on both sides of the Atlantic, whether it be in terms of tourism, business, agriculture, or culture.
And why? We share common histories, common cultures, and a common spirit that should have by now conquered the sea and air between us, turning it from a gulf to a bridge. From an obstacle to an opportunity.
My African family, there is no doubt that the potential for the transformation of the lives of our people will only be truly realised when we begin to exploit the confidence that ought to accompany the reality that the nexus between the Caribbean and the African continent is the next frontier in the success of our people.
The Government of Barbados, our sisters and brothers in CARICOM stand ready to make this a reality.
As we work towards the further unification and liberation of all African people, may our future be further strengthened by these collective efforts, and may these efforts make the Atlantic Ocean no more challenging to cross than the Nile, Congo, or Zambezi Rivers. Because when families determine that it is time to meet, no obstacle can stand. And we are determined.
Blessings to you all! Happy Africa Day!