Gonsalves encouraged African leaders to strengthen ties with the diaspora. (Photo:africa-union.org)

TAIPEI, TAIWAN:- Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) this week told African leaders that the bonds between the continent and its Caribbean and Latin American diaspora must be strengthened.

“We wish to reaffirm our love to Africa and our commitment to work together to build a better life for our populations,” he told the African Union the 14th Summit of the African Union (AU).

Gonsalves spoke on behalf of the Caribbean delegation at the summit and brought a message of partnership and solidarity to the 53 African leaders gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He was heading a four-member Vincentian delegation on an official visit to Libya and Ethiopia and used the opportunity to expressed support for the AU’s developmental and diplomatic agenda, noting the historical ties between Africa and the Caribbean.

He also mentioned the fact that a large segment of Caribbean people are of African descent, a release from SVG’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations said.

Gonsalves cited as a modern example of African-Caribbean cooperation and solidarity the decisive military action by Cuban forces in Angola’s Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, which led to the downfall of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

He further encouraged African states to continue to assist the rebuilding of Haiti in the wake of the recent devastating earthquakes, which flattened capital Port-au-Prince and left about 200, 000 dead and a similar number injured.

The Vincentian leader suggested that this cooperation and assistance was a moral debt owed to the “first independent state of African descendants in the Western Hemisphere”.

The Prime Minister was attending the AU Summit on the invitation of the outgoing AU chairperson, Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.

The summit was held under the theme “Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development”.

In his closing remarks, incoming chairperson Malawi president Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika, called on the AU Commission to follow-up the different partnerships of the AU with the international community while ensuring that these partnerships are beneficial to the development of the continent. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)

He said he would work hard to mobilize funding for the implementation of the different projects of the Union, in an effort to “move the continent from poverty to prosperity and to position it as an effective player in the global arena.

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas as well as government ministers from Belize, St. Lucia and Grenada, and other representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and various Caribbean Pan-African organisations also attended the summit.

Prime Minister Gonsalves and the entire Caribbean contingent later travelled to Libya, to hold talks with the Libyan government on matters of cooperation and assistance.