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Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission opens in Accra

The Bahamas’ administration has made significant strides in fostering trade ties with Ghana, the majority of whose population are thought to have been abducted as slaves more than 400 years ago.

Therefore, an Africa-Carribbean Trade Mission has been set up in Accra to make it easier for Ghana to engage with the nation, which is known for its enormous tourism industry.

Opening in Accra: the Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission
High Commissioner Designate of the Commonwealth of Bahamas to Ghana, Andrew Wilson, declared this to be the beginning of at a brief ceremony to inaugurate the center in the Ashaley Botwe area of Accra.

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A new era for Africans taken into captivity through the slave trade to come back ‘home’, re-establish contacts with their motherland and bring their talents in support of the growth and development of Ghana and Africa. Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission opens in Accra “Ghana has opened its heart to the Diaspora. In fact, it has become the gateway to Africa. The Year of Return, has demonstrated the desire within the Diaspora to re-connect with Africa. I believe that through trade, enterprise, and investment we can build durable partnerships that can increase growth and revenue for Ghanaian businesses, while also providing economic opportunities for Africa’s vast global Diaspora,” he said.

The move to establish the trade center is in furtherance of Bahamas establishing its High Commission in Ghana with Mr Wilson having been appointed to lead it. Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission opens in Accra The center would be seeking to build strategic partnerships between Ghanaian and Bahamian businesses and entrepreneurs, developing the comparative advantages of each party to plug the needs of people in the diaspora and those in Ghana. it would be partnering with businesses in the area of textiles, fashion and tourism which is one of the biggest experts in the Caribbean nation.

The Bahamas’ economy is mostly based on foreign exchange receipts from tourism and financial industries. 60% of the GDP is reportedly generated by the tourism industry alone, which also employs nearly half of the Bahamian workforce.

Opening in Accra: the Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission
The nation is a part of the Atlantic’s Lucayan Archipelago, which is part of the West Indies. Its official name is the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. It has 88% of the Lucayan Archipelago’s population and occupies 97% of the archipelago’s land area.

The people who populate the island country have a unique connection to Ghana and especially the Ahanta people of Ghana’s western region. Majority of the first slave ships that went from West Africa to the country were taken from the Ahanta area specifically from Princess Town- a small community in the Ahanta West Municipality. A good number of the slaves are believed to have been taken through the Fort Groß Friedrichsburg. Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission opens in Accra This group of slaves who went on to settle and populate Bahamas included Jan Kwa, an Ahanta chief who is known to have stood fiercely against the slave trade. Jan Kwa is the person who started the Junkanoo festival- a celebration popular in the Caribbean and parts of America that are believed to have been mimicking the Kundum festival of the Ahanta and Nzema people. “The opening of the Afri-Bahamas trade office. I today represent the descendent of one of the many stolen children of Africans who have returned home.

Today, we take a small step of forging a lasting trade relationship between ghana and the wider african continent to the Bahamas and the wider African diaspora especially in the Caribbean region,” says Dr Michael Pateman, an Archaeologist who has been doing a lot of studies on historical relations between Ghana and the Caribbean. Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission opens in Accra The building of the center also follows visits to Ghana by the First Lady of Bahamas to re-establish diplomatic ties earlier this year.

The Junkanoo event is organized by Angelique F. McKay, who was recently installed as Queen Mother Asafokyereba of Pokesu and the Ahanta people of Western Ghana.

Opening in Accra: the Africa-Caribbean Trade Mission
According to her, the opening of this institution would create new opportunities for Ghanaians and Caribbean residents involved in the creation and curation of the arts to work together for mutual gain.

“The most essential lesson I’ve learned is that everything needed for business growth and development is currently available. It is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel. The High Commissioner-designate stated that all we have to do is put the wheels on the wagon, put the wagon on the road, and travel “forth, upward forward together.”

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