For the first time in its history, Barbados will open diplomatic missions in African countries starting with Ghana and Kenya. The Caribbean nation will be looking to open more missions in the coming years.
Announcing the plans on Tuesday, Minister of Finance, Ryan Straughn, sought to portray the move as a step in the economic interest of the country.
“We will be very shortly opening our mission in Ghana, which in a sense forms part of our very tangible outreach in leveraging opportunities for Barbados. Next year, we will set up a mission in Kenya as well,” said Straughn.
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He added that the missions will continue the work started by the Commission for Pan-African Affairs, a defunct government agency that mediated relations between Barbados and Africa.
Straughn continued: “We are going to Africa as a government, and bringing private sector members along to establish real roots by having a physical presence, and to build on the work the commission would have started.”
Barbados was founded as an independent state in 1966 after centuries of British control.
The vast majority of the country’s black majority population trace their ancestry to Ghana and other West African states through the slave trade.