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UWI Cave Hill Students Awarded Coveted Internships

Adiella Lewis and Brettney Romeo are the first awardees since president of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah announced the initiative following a meeting with Principal Prof. Clive Landis last September. Lewis and Romeo, who are currently pursuing their Masters in International Trade Policy (MITP) at the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade, Law, Policy & Services, expressed their delight for the opportunity.

“I feel truly humbled and excited to learn and be a part of the organization's multicultural work environment. I would like to thank the Shridath Ramphal Centre (SRC), MITP and Professor Winston Moore, Deputy Principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, for sharing this amazing opportunity with us,” said Romeo.

Her colleague Adiella Lewis also voiced her gratitude for the opportunity. “Being awarded an internship with Afreximbank is not only a great honour for myself and the other students who were afforded this opportunity but also a promising sign for the future of CARICOM-Africa relations,” an elated Lewis said. They added that they were inspired to seize this opportunity following the historic first ever CARICOM-Africa Summit held virtually on 7 September 2021.

“The Afreximbank specialises in providing trade finance to the African continent with the goal of developing and promoting trade in Africa. Undoubtedly, there is potential for deepening Africa-Caribbean trade relations to benefit both regions. Following the CARICOMAfrica (summit) held last year, and the commitment to foster increased trade, investment and people to people engagement between the two regions, I felt this would be the perfect opportunity to discover areas of opportunity for the Caribbean region,” Romeo stated. Lewis noted there has been a concerted effort to increase cooperation between the two regions. “Given their intertwined histories, shared developmental challenges, and the (onset) of the coronavirus, it is imperative that CARICOM and Africa collaborate to navigate issues such as climate change, poverty, and food insecurity,” she said.

The students will be based in Egypt for the duration of the five-month internship, during which time they are expected to learn more about the Bank’s mandate and its role in expanding intra and extra-African trade. Both Romeo and Lewis anticipate that the experience will assist in advancing their careers in international trade by bridging the gap between theory and practical experience. “With this internship, I intend to foster a wider network that spans two regions and create further awareness about the value and potential of Africa- CARICOM relations,” said Romeo. Lewis expressed similar sentiments: “I believe that this opportunity will open doors for other students of the University to pursue internships not only with but other organizations in Africa and globally.”

Director of the SRC, Dr. Jan Yves Remy also shared her support for the students, adding that the Centre’s flagship program offers students like Romeo and Lewis the possibility for similar prospects. “I am pleased that this opportunity is being afforded to our students – we prepare them for the real world of trade and international affairs, and this will be a wonderful chance for them to test what they have learned in a new and different environment. We thank Afrieximbank and encourage more institutions to open their doors to the young minds of this region.” Remy said.

Afreximbank was established in Abuja, Nigeria in October, 1993 by African Governments, African private and institutional investors as well as non-African financial institutions and private investors for the purpose of financing, promoting and expanding intra-African and extra-African trade. It is headquartered in Cairo, with branch offices in Harare, Zimbabwe and Abuja, and Nigeria.

UWI Cave Hill Students Awarded Coveted Internships