The topic of African Heritage of the Caribbean…Connecting the Dots takes centre stage at the Akwaaba Travel Market in Lagos, Nigeria, September 22 – 24, where the Caribbean Tourism Organization has been invited to lead a high level panel discussion.
During the session the keynote address will be delivered by Dr Kerry Hall, Director of Tourism Product Development, in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Barbados.
Dr Hall will share historical facts on the English-born settlers living in Barbados, who required more land to expand the island’s thriving sugar industry. They sailed to North America, bringing along enslaved black Barbadians and white Barbadian indentured servants. Not only did the plantation-based system of enslaved people define the economy of the American South, but Charleston in South Carolina, still reflects the African and Barbadian Heritage, and proudly maintain Gullah Traditions.
Dr Hall declared the connection between Africa, Barbados and Charleston is a story that needs to be showcased to the world. ‘I am honoured to have the opportunity to share the fascinating yet little known linkages which bind Barbados and Charleston.
We recently launched the documentary ‘Beyond Barbados: The Barbados Carolinas Connection’ and will also showcase the documentary during Akwaaba Travel Market’. Other esteemed panel members include His Excellency Wendell De Landro, High Commissioner for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and His Excellency Esmond Reid, High Commissioner of Jamaica to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
High Commissioner De Landro will discuss how the Africa Caribbean Heritage has influenced diaspora and international tourism in Trinidad and Tobago, and the impact that this has had on establishing Trinidad Carnival as one of the most renowned Carnivals in the world.
High Commissioner Reid will address on how Jamaica’s music and heritage have been strongly influenced by Africa and the Rastafarian movement. These influences have enriched Jamaica’s position as a leading destination for travellers seeking an authentic cultural experience.
Fabien Anthony, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Pan-African Council, will address the Caribbean roots of Pan-Africanism, including opportunities to foster connections and strategic partnerships between Africa and its diaspora in the Caribbean and North America that will lead to impactful opportunities for youth and communities. Anthony, will also promote Diaspora Tourism as a lever for education, cultural exchange, community leadership and economic opportunities.
Sharon Palacio, Chairperson from In2Belize Travel and Tours and leading Garifuna Specialist from Belize will discuss the African Heritage of the Garifuna people, enslaved West Africans who washed ashore on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent around 1635 while likely on their way to the mines and plantations in the Americas. Palacio will also highlight how their legacy is preserved today through culture and heritage.
The panel organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will be moderated by Carol Hay, CTO’s Director of Marketing UK & Europe. Hay stated: ‘We welcome the opportunity to participate in Akwaaba Travel Market with such a dynamic panel of speakers. The theme for the travel market, ‘The Year of the Return’, commemorates 400 years since the first Africans were enslaved, taken from their homeland and brought to the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas. We have a vibrant story to tell; a rich heritage to share, and really see this as an opportunity to connect the dots on all levels, including the opportunity to promote tourism and trade between Africa and the Caribbean’.