Mr Speaker, when you examine the facts, the bottom line is, the distance between Barbados and London is 6,775 kilometres, while the distance from Accra to London is 7,337 kilometres, and the distance between Barbados and Accra is 6,555 kilometres.
Mr Speaker, I referred to cooperation in healthcare. I referred; I hope, to what shall soon be concluded an Air Services Agreement with your Hon Ministers for Aviation and Tourism, Arts and Culture.
I would also want to talk about renewable energy and the climate crisis. I come from a region that did not start the greenhouse emissions nor do we contribute to do them in any meaningful way, but we are on the frontline of those greenhouse emissions.
The picture of the valiant hurricanes Irma, Maria and, recently, Dorian served to remind us of what I speak.
The reality is that it is an existential threat; not just to the coral islands of the world, but to the entire globe. There are countries in Africa, that in the last 12 months, have experienced hurricanes and floods like no other.
There are parts of Europe that have seen heat waves like no other time; and the fires in California and, perhaps, more amazingly, in the rainforest in the Amazon continue to bewilder us all.
While we in the Caribbean and the pacific, as small island states, may be on the frontline of this crisis, make no mistake about it. The impact of the crisis is not only through hurricanes, storms or floods. It is also in crisis of groundwater and in the sargassum sea weed shutting down businesses on our course, and making it impossible for fishermen to earn a living or for hotels to welcome people to their establishments.
It does not mean that there would be no production by others, but we accept that on 166 square miles, it is impossible for us to do otherwise. As a result, we are therefore committed, to a complete transformation of our renewal energy and transportation sectors. It will present unique opportunities for investments, and we believe that the investment must not only come from the north Atlantic, but it must come from the east as well.
At the same time, Barbados is equally anxious to share with you, in Ghana, our expertise in the solar water heating industry. We take it for granted. Indeed, there is no house in Barbados that was built for the last 40 years without a solar water heater. Barbadians, even young ones, do not even know that you can use electricity to warm water anymore.
Barbados is number three in the world per thousand, with respect to the penetration of solar water heaters. I have had the honour to bring with
me to Ghana, one of our distinguished sons and pioneers of this industry, Mr James Husbands, who is here to share his expertise, and to see how we can work together to continue with the pioneering work of making hot water available to our people. [Hear! Hear!] Anyone who knows what it is to take a cold bath at 5 o'clock in the morning will appreciate why this matters to our constituents.
Mr Speaker, therefore, against the goal, of these things, we have then asked ourselves at what point we will position our people to invest, and our institutions to mobilise our savings to be for one another, that instrument of growth to propel us to the next level.
I believe your Hon Minister for Finance delivered a Budget Statement this week in this Parliament, and would have referred to the continued need, as all of us do, for investment. Why do we look north as we look to Heaven for manna, instead of looking in front to see who stands in front of us? If we look across the Atlantic bridge, we see ourselves literally and it ought to be the positions of both countries and regions.
As Ghana is ready to host the Secretariat for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Barbados is that country responsible