Basseterre, St. Kitts – In a significant move to enhance international relations and foster economic growth, St. Kitts and Nevis has officially joined La Francophonie. La Francophonie is a prestigious group of 88 states and member governments, including observers that share French as a common language and uphold shared values.
This strategic decision, spearheaded by the Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, marks a new era in the Federation’s foreign policy.
Under the guidance of the High Commission in Canada, the Cabinet of St. Kitts and Nevis has greenlighted the nation’s accession to La Francophonie. During his contribution to the 2024 Budget Debate on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, Senior Minister Douglas said that this decision reflects a geostrategic approach aimed at leveraging the Federation’s rich history, culture, and soft power. It is poised to intensify and amplify business, trade, tourism, and investment opportunities, particularly with Francophone Canada.
Dr. Douglas said that in light of Britain’s recent exit from the European Union (EU), this accession holds even greater significance.
“It is important for us to recognise that Canada, as one of the founding countries of La Francophonie, represents efforts to consolidate relationships with traditional partners including France. And so, this is significant to us given the exit of Britain again from the European Union (EU), because decision-making at that level will always involve the members who are present there,” Dr. Douglas stated.
Foreign Minister Douglas said that with France’s continued influence within the EU, St. Kitts and Nevis seeks to strengthen its diplomatic relationship with this key member.
“We can now call upon France as one of our bigger brothers to ensure that our voice, concerns and development needs are echoed at the highest level within the European Union,” stated Dr. Douglas. “… St. Kitts and Nevis, it borders France, and building this geostrategic partnership is crucial for inter-island and multi-island partnerships,” he further added.
Established on March 20, 1970, at the Niamey Conference in Niger, La Francophonie represents over 1 billion people, including 321 million Francophones, across five continents. The International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF), initially the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT), stands at the heart of this influential network (source: [International.gc.ca](https://www.international.gc.ca/)).