The HCCP-Global Think Tank Africa’s Strategy for Latin America will be developed with Colombia at its core on a pilot cooperation agreement with Cameroon.

As Gustavo de Carvalho aptly develops in this brilliant article:

“Colombia is often overlooked as a nation of interest because of its reputation for violence. Its negative standing results mainly from the decades-long armed conflict between previous governments and the Marxist-Leninist group FARC. The conflict has been linked to the production and export of illicit drugs. It ended with the signing of a peace agreement in 2016.

Despite such a reputation, the country is an important regional economic hub. In 2021, its GDP was US$315 billion, the third largest in South America, after Brazil and Argentina. The International Monetary Fund predicts that the country’s economy will grow at 5.8% in 2022.

The election of Petro and Márquez provides three opportunities for stronger Africa-Colombia relations that can yield mutual benefits. These are Colombia’s cultural and historical ties with Africa, strong trade potential and south-south cooperation.

Three opportunities

Colombia’s strong African roots :

Inauguration ceremony of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, left, and vice president Francia Marquez in Bogota, on 7 August. EFE-EPA/Mauricio Duenas Castaneda

Márquez is Colombia’s first black woman vice-president. Her election could enhance Afro-Colombians’ consciousness of their African ancestry. It’s also an opportunity to diversify Colombia’s foreign policy, by strengthening cultural connections with African nations.

The Afro-Colombian community includes 4.7 million people, around 10% of Colombia’s population of 51 million. They are the descendants of Africans who came to Colombia during the transatlantic slave trade.