By Amadou Labba Sall
11 August 2022, Bridgetown, Barbados – African participants in the first-ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022) taking place in Bridgetown, Barbados, from 1 to 3 September will benefit from a decision by the Government to waive visa requirements for passport holders from 24 African countries who would have needed visas to enter the country. Citizens of the remaining African countries do not require visas to travel to Barbados.
Under the terms of the decision, citizens of the 24 countries who register to participate in ACTIF2022, will be eligible for the visa waiver programme which allows covered visitors to enter Barbados without visas and to stay for up to 90 days.
ACTIF2022, which is being held under the theme “One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future”, is being hosted by the Government of Barbados and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
The 24 African countries to which the visa waiver decision applies are: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Sao Tomé and Principe, Sudan, South Sudan and Togo.
Kay Sealy, acting Permanent Secretary of the Barbadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said: “The move to add these countries to Barbados’ visa waiver list is intended to enhance business and investment opportunities, and facilitate the ease of travel for tourists.”
She added that the visa waiver was also being extended to 19 non-African countries.
Participants in ACTIF2022 will include African and Caribbean heads of state and government, senior government representatives, business leaders, representatives of business associations, development agencies, multilateral finance institutions, think-tanks and research institutions from Africa and the Caribbean. ACTIF2022 is being held in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, the Africa Business Council, the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Caribbean Export Development Agency. It is co-managed by Invest Barbados and Export Barbados.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2021, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at about US$25 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$51 billion between 2016 and 2021. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.
Amadou Labba Sall, email@example.com