The Government of Saint Lucia is seeking to strengthen existing diplomatic relations and develop new ties with countries of the African continent.
Government is also placing a higher level of importance on relations with the African continent in keeping with a new policy direction to review and realign the country’s foreign relations.
Special Advisor in the Ministry of External Affairs, Dr. Vaughn Lewis, said in the current, ever changing global environment it is imperative that Saint Lucia finds ways to engage the African continent.
“We believe that we need to re-engage with the African states many of which have and continue to emerge as important economic entities and we need in that context to engage them to assist us with our own development. We have lost influence in persuading Britain and the European Union as to what we want and it is those emerging African countries that will have the influence,” Dr. Lewis said.
Dr. Lewis said while Saint Lucia may not be able to rely on aid from Africa, the island can engage the continent to stimulate investment and to lobby on Saint Lucia’s behalf in international circles.
He said the African Continent is a very important region for Saint Lucia as a small island developing state.
“The African continent as a source now of extensive raw material for China becomes a major player and that has meant that those countries have assumed a greater presence in international trade and negotiation than even a decade ago and that means that as small as we are Saint Lucia needs to find ways of engaging those regions and countries, ” Dr. Lewis.
Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent.