Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, centre, in conversation with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana, left, as Gonsalves’ wife, Eloise Gonsalves, looks on. (Photo: API)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that during his recent trip to Ghana he proposed to that country’s president, the establishment of  “an ABCD Commission”

“Africa, Brazil, Caribbean, and Diaspora Commission for matters of trade, economic linkages, education, health transportation — air and sea,” he said Sunday at the 23rd national convention of his Unity LabourParty on Sunday.

He said that persons might ask where he is going with such an idea.

Gonsalves noted that Africa has 1.3 billion people in 54 countries andBrazil has a population of 210 million, adding that Brazil is the closest place to West Africa.

He further said that half of the population of Brazil are of African descent.

The ULP leader said that he defines the Caribbean as the 25 countries washed by the Caribbean sea, including the South American mainland and countries such as Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

“That whole arc is 230 million people and the African diaspora in North America is about 40-45 million people.”

He said that all together that is 1.7 billion people.

“I am not saying we must not have the links with America, and Canada and Europe and Asia, China and India. But this is an area of functioning, which we must build — the ABCD Commission.

“And the president of Ghana embraced the initiative and asked me to follow through on it with the other countries in this particular ABCD Commission,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves paid a five-day official visit to Ghana last month, during which he discussed matters with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as well as held discussions with several government ministers including Afriyie OwusuAkoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Abelema Afeku.

During his visit, Gonsalves also delivered a lecture titled Rebuilding the African-Brazil-Caribbean Movement for Trade, Cultural and DiplomaticEnhancement at the University of Ghana.

One reply on “Gonsalves proposes ‘ABCD Commission’”

  1. Trade groups can be very good for all concerned if they are based on free trade which this PM has repeatedly said we cannot embrace because we cannot compete with other countries because we are too small and our production cost are too high. I agree with this sentiment, given our limited developmental options.

    Africa and Brazil have lots to sell as as far as cheap food produce (Africa) and manufacturing goods (Brazil) are concerned.

    But we have nothing to sell back, not even medical marijuana which these regions will soon be producing in large and cheap quantities depending on global market demand.

    So “ABCD” is sure to get an “F,” as far are SVG is concerned.

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