Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, will today preside over the official launch of this year’s AfriCarribean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022), as both continents strengthen efforts in areas of ‘effective’ business matchmaking. Sandra Mason, the country’s president is also expected to grace the ceremony. Prime Minister Mottley will be addressing over 1500 participants who have courted in Bridgetown, Barbados for the inaugural conference. Participants include senior government representatives, business leaders, investors, development agencies, multilateral finance institutions from across the world. Rwanda’s delegation is led by the Minister of State of the East African Community in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prof Nshuti Manasseh, as well as Deputy Chief Executive of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Zephanie Niyonkuru. By and large, the forum should be used to explore the possibilities that exist between Africa and the Caribbean in the areas of trade and investment, officials said during a welcome gala dinner. Trade volume between both continents is currently negligible (lower than $500 million); a muscle officials believe can be pulled to over $1 billion. The forum, running under the theme ‘One people, one destiny, uniting and reimagining our future,’ is being hosted by Barbados and Afreximbank, in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat, the Africa Business Council, among others. Ronald Sibongesini Ntuli, director on the Afreximbank board of directors, said the development is historical in cementing efforts to promote trade and investment on both sides. He added that through Afreximbank, investors and businesses from the Caribbean have a partner of choice that is familiar and ready to facilitate trade and investment with every African country. According to officials, the forum is also set to fast-track the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).