Emancipation is one of the most treasured observances annually and the organization playing a major role in hosting events to commemorate the occasion is the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago. Slated on their calendar of activities is the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Symposium and this year marked the eighteenth occasion the symposium was hosted. Those in attendance included Senator the Honourable Paula Goopie-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Investment as well as Senator the Honourable Michael Le Hunte, Minister of Public Utilities, business owners, potential investors, students and members of the public.
Also in attendance were visiting delegates from across the Continent of Africa who painted a positive portrait of Africa and stressed the fact that Africans in the Diaspora were one with those on the Continent. They also outlined a number of investment opportunities available in parts of Africa such as Nigeria and Ghana and said that the sectors of tourism, the creative sector, education and technological development were most promising. This year’s featured speaker his Excellency the Governor of the state of Osun in Nigeria Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, said it was necessary to develop other sectors besides Oil and Gas. Though playing a great part in contributing to the economies of many countries in Africa, he said those natural resources would one day run out.
His Excellency the Governor of the state of Osun in Nigeria Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola (second from left) is seen in this photo with The Honourable Senator Robert Le Hunte, Minister of Public Utilities (first left) The Honourable Senator Paula Goopie-Scoon and Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee, Mr. Khafra Kambon. (Seated to the right of the Governor).
A representative from Ghana outlined the vast opportunities in the tourism sector and also informed that there was a large Arts and Crafts sector in Ghana and said that Trinidad and Tobago’s handmade products were of a quality and standard that could adequately supply the sector. Special mention was made of this country’s leather goods.
During the question and answer segment, the point was made by a participant, that it was necessary to facilitate direct travel to Ghana and Nigeria, as this would strengthen ties and help to facilitate the development of new markets. A direct flight from Trinidad and Tobago to Akara in Ghana or Lagos in Nigeria would save some eleven (11) days of flying and would come at a tremendously cheaper cost than the current route. This is not a new issue as the topic of direct flights to the Continent of Africa, have been discussed at the symposium before. However, to date, this has not materialized.
We captured some highlights of the event including participatns arriving and signing in.
Video Clips of a presentation by a representative of Ghan.
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