• Today
    December 15

  • 03:55 AM

Journey to Africa

AARON DEANE,

Added 08 October 2019

ethiopia-100619

A small cross-section of the many skyscrapers that dot Addis Ababa – as seen from Meskel Square. (GP)

My first visit to Africa was an eye-opener. I sometimes describe this trip as sensory overload. No amount of news-reading, documentary-watching or researching can prepare you for the vastness and diversity of this land, and the selflessness of its people.

Africa is a continent of 55 nations, each with its unique attributes.

Ethiopia, with just over 100 million people, is its second most populous, after Nigeria. We Barbadians like to say that there are Bajans everywhere and in every country. Well, believe me, there are Ethiopians everywhere, and wherever they go, Ethiopians make their presence known.

The Ethiopian people are exceptionally hospitable to all who visit. Africa is seen as the cradle of humankind.

The capital city, Addis Ababa, is a sprawling complex and bustling metropolis with over four million inhabitants, making it Africa’s fourth largest city. It is a booming business centre and a hub for travel.  Addis, for short, is a city shaped by diplomacy and often referred to as “the political capital of Africa” for its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.

The African Union is headquartered here. By definition, its purpose is to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonisation and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity amongst African states; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states and to promote international cooperation.

aaron-deane-100619

Aaron Deane standing outside the Nelson Mandela Conference Hall at the African Union. The Nelson Mandela Conference Hall is famous for welcoming  yearly plenary sessions of the African Union summit bringing together all African heads of state. (GP)

Luckily for me, I was offered a tour of the impressive African Union buildings including the Nelson Mandela Theatre as an international symposium was taking place. This majestic complex was a gift to Africa from China and is a proud symbol of the continent’s potential when unity and cooperation are prioritised. There is so much that we, CARICOM, can learn from this body, and in turn, much that our member states and associate members can impart on the motherland.

A few months ago, the Government of Barbados made the announcement that it would lift visa restrictions for Ethiopians, and eight other African nations. It is time that we forge closer ties with African nations and work more intently to attract investors, business and tourists. In addition, the Government of Barbados revealed that it will open its first embassy in Africa later this year. Ghana’s capital, Accra, was selected as the site for this diplomatic mission. Back in June, the President of Ghana visited Barbados, and in July, Kenya’s President visited the island. Expanding cooperation on many fronts was the focus of several days of meetings. The proud story of Barbados’ history, development and vision deserve to be well known in Africa.

Aaron Deane recently visited Ethiopia and shares his views and observations with Easy readers.

Subscribe now to our eNATION edition for the full story.

For the latest stories and breaking news updates download the Nationnews apps for iOS and Android.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Are you being cautious with your Christmas spending in 2019?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM