President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport last evening for an official two-day visit.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds, who headed the welcome delegation, noted that President’s Sall arrival in Barbados was a “very historic” moment, as it marked the first time that a President of a French-speaking African nation had visited the island.
Mr. Symmonds said the visit was important for several reasons, including deepening the relationship between the two countries and continuing talks surrounding connectivity between Barbados and Western Africa.
The Foreign Minister also stated that the visit was critical as Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and President Sall are “leading campaigners” for the reform of the international financial architecture, which calls for access to funding at better terms for small island developing states and Africa, for development purposes.
“But above and beyond that, Senegal is exceptionally well known and respected for its cultural industry and Barbados would want to deepen our relationships with Senegal in that regard.
“Again, above and beyond culture and just connectivity, there is also the fact that Senegal, much like what we have been experiencing, is a water scarce country, and they have been outstanding internationally in terms of their water resource management. This is an issue that we have to tackle in Barbados, and again, we are trying to build partnerships in that regard,” Minister Symmonds said.
The Senegalese leader, upon his arrival, was afforded a 48-contingent Guard-of-Honour welcome by the Barbados Coast Guard, and a Presidential 21-gun salute. Following the playing of Senegal’s anthem, President Sall inspected the front line of the Guard of Honour.
Also on hand to welcome the President were his Ministerial Chaperone for the visit, Minister with responsibility for Economic Affairs and Investment, Senator Chad Blackman; Cabinet Secretary, Selma Green; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Joy-Ann Skinner; Charge d’Affaires, High Commission of Barbados at Accra, Ghana, Juliette Babb-Riley; Acting Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Resa Layne; Staff Advisor to the Chief of Staff, Commander Mark Peterson; Commissioner of Police, Richard Boyce; and the Barbados Police Service Band.
President Sall is the fourth elected leader of the Western African nation. Barbados established diplomatic relations with Senegal on March 18, 1976.
Source: Barbados Government Information Service