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ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA WITHDRAWS FROM HOSTING CARIFESTA XV
Thursday 16th September 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Wednesday 15th September 2021 (St. John’s, Antigua) ….The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, in consultation with the CARICOM Secretariat, wishes to advise that a difficult decision has been taken to officially withdraw from hosting CARIFESTA XV, originally scheduled for August 2022.

This decision comes in light of the continued challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and its prolonged devastating impact not only on the economy of Antigua and Barbuda, but also on the entire Caribbean Community.

The Minister responsible for Education, Sports, and the Creative Industries, Honourable Daryll Matthew, outlined, “after a careful examination of the current epidemiological and economic circumstances, which now exist, this difficult decision was taken by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. We are tremendously saddened by this development and reiterate our commitment to this very important regional festival”.

The Honourable Minister was supported by Dr. Carla N. Barnett, Secretary-General at the CARICOM Secretariat. For her part, Dr. Carla N. Barnett conveyed her support in response to the decision of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in withdrawing from hosting the fifteenth edition of CARIFESTA. She further stated that CARICOM is grateful to the Prime Minister, Honourable Gaston A. Browne and, by extension, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, for the enthusiasm, commitment to regional integration through culture, and most importantly, the preparatory work over the last year and a half.

She closed by expressing that while the decision may not have been easy, CARICOM is still anticipating that another opportunity will present itself in the future, for Antigua and Barbuda, to host this renowned Caribbean Festival.


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