Wed | Sep 26, 2018

Links with West Africa run deep

Published:Wednesday | November 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: Your editorial of Monday, November 3, 2014 on Jamaica's responsibility to Ebola-hit West African countries was much appreciated. Our historical and geographical connections are part of the knowledge base regarding our identity and cultural affinities.

The connections between the Caribbean and West Africa extend even beyond the slavery period, which itself lasted about 300 years, and include the deportation of Jamaican Maroons by the British to Sierra Leone. The links also go into the post-Emancipation period with the recruitment of labourers from Sierra Leone and other West African ports for estates in Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada, and British Guiana.

'West India Regiments' were also established, stationed and militarily engaged both in West Africa and the Caribbean, while missionaries and teachers were sent out by various churches from the Caribbean to that region. Individuals from the Caribbean also went out as technicians and entrepreneurs to set up legal and baking businesses along the West African coast.

I, therefore, wish to commend Martin Henry for his article last week commenting on the Jamaica-West Africa connection.