Hon. Mark A G Brantley, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, is currently in Morocco participating in the Atlantic Dialogues. This annual high-level event, organised by the German Marshall Fund and the OCP Policy Center, brings together political, policy, media and business leaders from North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and West Africa. Its aim is to promote networking across the Atlantic space in order to facilitate smart partnerships. This year the focus is on Changing Mental Maps: Strategies for an Atlantic Transition.
Following the opening session and plenaries on Day 1, Minister Brantley was a panelist in Plenary IV: Infrastructure Investment and Workforce Development, Drivers of Global Competitiveness. The Minister in his contribution stressed that we should not forget the human element in our infrastructural development. He also admonished that we should not focus on infrastructural development without ensuring that our population is properly trained to take advantage of new jobs and opportunities as a result of this development. His commentary was well received since the emerging leaders in the room were hopeful that infrastructural development would not render them without options in an advancing society.
Other panelists were the Governor of Nevada – Brain Sandoval, Thierry Deau – Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Meridam, and Amina Benkhadra – Managing Director of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines in the Kingdom of Morocco.
The Minister also held discussions with the President of the German Marshall Fund – Karen Donfried about policy development and the challenges faced by the Caribbean region and other Small Island Developing States. Discussions with Governor Jack Markell of Delaware and Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada focused on closer ties and financial services and sharing lessons to create a more sustainable financial services sector in St Kitts and Nevis. The Minister invited both Governors to visit the Federation.
The Minister is joined in Morocco by Ms. Lorna Hunkins, Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation and Mr Mohamed Benchekroun, Honorary Consul of St. Kitts and Nevis in Morocco.
The Atlantic Dialogues is being streamed live via their website www.atlanticdialogues.org