Antigua and Barbuda announces its interest in joining CAF

May 29, 2024

At the UN SIDS4 meeting, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne made a significant move by signing a declaration of intent to join CAF - Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean. This signing opens doors for the country to expand its options for development financing, tapping into CAF's technical expertise, financial resources, and knowledge services. Antigua and Barbuda's confirmation of its interest in joining CAF is a strong signal of the organization's expanding presence in the Caribbean.

Antigua and Barbuda's intention to join CAF marks a strategic move toward accessing vital long-term financial resources and technical cooperation grants aimed at advancing sustainable development. Collaborative efforts with CAF will primarily target critical areas such as climate action, green growth, sustainable tourism, energy transition, and the blue economy.

"We are very happy to celebrate Antigua and Barbuda's intention to join CAF," said Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. "We are fully aligned and ready to work together on the opportunities that CAF can provide to small Caribbean islands like Antigua and Barbuda to achieve greater well-being for their inhabitants."

CAF's Executive President, Sergio Díaz-Granados, remarked, "The growing partnership between Antigua and Barbuda and CAF demonstrates our commitment to providing Caribbean SIDS with new options for development financing to support the Caribbean with tackling development issues that are affecting their communities. Additionally, it underscores the growing confidence that Caribbean countries are placing in CAF to provide swift and innovative financing solutions that will directly benefit their citizens' well-being."

The signing of the Letter of Intent occurred within the framework of SIDS 4 (Small Island Developing States), a conference organized by the UN every 10 years. This gathering convenes leaders from 39 independent states and 18 associate members of the United Nations regional commissions, along with other global leaders, to address the challenges confronting small islands, many of which are situated in the Caribbean.

CAF and the Caribbean

CAF was established in 1970 by six Andean countries: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Since then, its shareholder base has expanded to include 21 countries and 13 private banks. With assets exceeding $53 billion and a project portfolio surpassing $34 billion, CAF stands as one of the primary sources of multilateral financing in the region.

Currently, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados represent the CARICOM member countries of CAF. In March 2024, the CAF Board of Directors authorized the expansion of the shareholder base and approved the allocation of Series "C" shares to The Bahamas, Dominica, and Grenada. This decision grants them access to the technical, financial, and knowledge services offered by the organization, aimed at enhancing the quality of life for citizens.

In 2022, CAF established the Caribbean Regional Management, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago. This entity actively promotes agendas such as green growth, biodiversity preservation, sustainable tourism, infrastructure modernization, and financial stability, among others. Subsequently, CAF incorporated the term "Caribbean" into its name, becoming known as CAF - Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean.

CAF maintains an ambitious agenda to foster regional integration and sustainable, inclusive development across the region. It is deeply committed to providing development assistance tailored to the unique needs of Caribbean islands and small states, which are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. As part of the Bridgetown Initiative, CAF has already pledged USD 15 million in support of the Blue-Green Bank, spearheaded by Barbados.