MPs call for links with Africa

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MP for St Michael South East, Hamilton Lashley wants Barbados to set up a diplomatic mission in Ghana.

He made the proposal as he supported a money resolution to vote funds for the refurbishment of the High Commission in London.

Mr. Lashley says Ghana and Barbados have an undeniable physical and historical connection, born out of the transatlantic slave trade, with the slave dungeons in Accra a vivid reminder of the sale of African peoples all over the world.

He says it's vital that Barbadian children are taught African history to ensure they don't have an identity crisis.

Opposition MP Mia Mottley says Barbados has not moved from its original foreign policy based on the late Prime Minister Errol Barrow's philosophy of friends of all, satellites of none.

She says the country needs to continue to build diplomatic and commercial relations that are long lasting. She pointed to closer ties with Africa which she says could be a gateway to markets in the east.

Ms. Mottley said these could be developed through education.

Tourism Minister Richard Sealy says deepening relations with Brazil is not only to sell tourism services but also to export goods and attract clients for the international business sector.

The MP for St. Michael South Central said Brazil could also offer more direct air travel to Africa.

He said despite criticism from the opposition, a current direct flight between Barbados and Brazil will prove beneficial to this country.