CASTRIES, St Lucia – Director-General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Dr Didacus Jules, head of the three oceans department of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Charles Trottmann, and ambassador of France to the Eastern Caribbean states, Barbados and the OECS, Étienne Francis, met in Gosier, Guadeloupe, March 8, 2023, to sign a historic memorandum of understanding between the OECS and the AFD.
The OECS is dedicated to economic harmonization, regional integration and cooperation by contributing to the sustainable development of its 11 members, and by facilitating the integration of member states into the global economy and maximizing the benefits of their cooperation and collective action. The OECS coordinates and harmonizes policies and programs in the region. Priority issues in the region are addressed through cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners, such as the AFD, a public financial institution that helps implement French international cooperation policy.
After a first collaboration in the framework of the Recycle OECS Project, financed with 2.5 million euros by AFD on Éuropean delegated funds since the beginning of the year, the two partners agreed to expand their relations in order to implement joint projects and programs where their strategic priorities are aligned. The objective of this memorandum is to establish the framework of this cooperation as well as the specific sectors to be prioritized. The selected themes are human development (health and social protection, education, gender equality), preservation of natural capital (climate change, biodiversity or circular economy), and strengthening the role of private actors in regional economic development.
To achieve this goal, the OECS and AFD plan to pool their resources and expertise and share their knowledge and innovative ideas for a more integrated and interconnected Caribbean basin.