Bahamas Government is committed to the Orange Economy – Afreximbank Meeting was told

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper chats with Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Mia Mottley.   (BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)

NASSAU, The Bahamas — The Government of The Bahamas is committed to promoting the Orange Economy through sports tourism and other cultural aspects involving its youth.

This statement was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper as he addressed The AfriCaribbean Diaspora Alliance Symposium, on behalf of Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis.

He addressed the topic: “Accelerating Trade, Investment, and Job Growth in Africa and the Caribbean Through the Sports and Cultural Industries Ecosystem,” on Friday, June 14, 2024.

The symposium was held on the sidelines of the 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2024), and the Third Edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF), June 12- 14, 2024 at Baha Mar Convention Centre.

Deputy Prime Minister Cooper underscored the importance of unity across the Diaspora in a number of ways.

“Unity across the Diaspora will be even more critical as we face major challenges like Climate Change, digital transformation, and major social changes within our populations,” he said

In calling for unity in order for African and Caribbean nations to flourish, he said “each nation in our diasporic alliance has its own values, plans, challenges, and opportunities that are equally as exciting and beneficial to your people.  As bright and talented as we are on our own, we are even better when we complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

In this vein, the deputy prime minister shared that The Bahamas Government has committed to uplifting youth, promoting sports tourism, and galvanizing the Orange Economy.

“Sports and cultural expressions are at the heart of who we are,” he said. “Our athletic and creative endeavours are more than mere pastimes – they are central to our individual and collective identities.”

He also noted that Bahamians love competitive sloop-sailing, and the music and masquerade of the national festival, Junkanoo.

“These activities are not just recreational: they demand technique, time, and expertise,” he said, adding that they require the sustained development of vital skills, be it boatbuilding or costume design, while creating a profound sense of community for those who participate and watch.

“They also represent powerful engines for economic growth and social development,” he said. “Sports and cultural practices are deeply interwoven in our formal and informal economies.”

Deputy Prime Minister Cooper said that there is a reason that here in The Bahamas, that youth, sports, and culture all come under one Ministry.

“We believe in Bahamian greatness, and so with each of these policy approaches we have sought to ensure local ownership and empowerment as far as possible,” he said, while noting that The Bahamas recently hosted the IAAF World Relays for a fourth time, and it was a tremendous success.
“We have since expressed our interest in becoming the permanent host and we look forward to what those negotiations will bring,” he said.

The minister also revealed that The Bahamas is working diligently to bring a tertiary-level Creative and Performing Arts School – the driving idea being that more learning opportunities will lead to more earning opportunities.