The article proceeds as follows. First, it combines a sketch of older Caribbean-African relations with more recent cooperation-related undertakings, framing mooted CARICOM-AU summitry and its precursor diplomatic milieu by analytically situating both regions in international affairs-related high politics. I show that some recent foreign policy stances of a handful of CARICOM Member States provided early, if incomplete, signals as regards the regional push for a deepening of CARICOM-AU relations. Second, this article delves into the fundamental issue of how to cast Caribbean-African relations while also taking a closer look at summit diplomacy and the main drivers behind African and Caribbean countries' foreign policies. Third, and from a CARICOM vantage point, it pinpoints the role of geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics in the making of summitry with the AU. In the case of the geopolitical dimension, the article highlights recent systemic shifts in relations between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU). The article also examines geo-economic shifts germane to the Africa axis of CARICOM Member States’ foreign policies, underlining the associated value that CARICOM attaches to the summitry enterprise. The article concludes with a look back at core lines of argumentation, along with a look ahead at the practical implications of the COVID-19 crisis and other conditions vis-à-vis the prospects for deepened CARICOM-AU relations.
Given the promising potential for deeper trade and investment relationships between both regions, there is a dearth of scholarly analysis on the Africa-Caribbean economic relationship, which this AfronomicsLaw Symposium aims to address partially. The five essays in this symposium, all authored by well-respected academics and practitioners, explore various themes of the Africa-Caribbean relationship. The essays all refer to the shared bonds of history and the need for more significant action on both sides to actualise a mutually beneficial region-to-region relationship. All of the essays offer innovative recommendations for deepening Africa-Caribbean relations.
Post-Cotonou approaches to innovation require the technocrats to go beyond the jargon of ‘partnership of equals’ and change their own modus operandi: the future relationship must be based on co-production and the case of GIs is a testing ground for this. This would involve dedicating technical teams to work co-productively with farmers’ groups – women, youth, community-based – to understand the local issues that will impact any GI scheme in the regions. But it also means looking at new and novel products, such as cannabis, especially given the drive to legalise cannabis and in particular ‘medical marijuana. By extension, it means recognizing the importance of a development focused approach to the ACP and extending the scope of GIs beyond its current remit which has long-been defined by European values.