'Haiti is the missing piece in the AU'

It is important for Haiti to become part of the African Union (AU) because of the nation's historic links to the African continent.

This is the message of Jacques Baril, Ambassador of Haiti to South Africa, who spoke to #NightTalk's Gugs Mhlungu and Sizwe Dhlomo about the relationship between the Caribbean nation and Africa.

When you think about it, Haiti is the first African independent nation in the world

Jacques Baril, Ambassador of Haiti to South Africa

Baril says that Haiti was the first black freedom movement through the Haitian Revolution, a successful slave rebellion which took place from the year 1791 until 1804.

While Haiti currently has observer status in the AU, Baril says that Africa's continental union would be complete once Haiti becomes a member.

I was faced a lot of times in situations where I was told to go back to Africa. I was told to go back to Africa because I am African. So now if Africa is telling me that they do not want me, where am I supposed to go?

Jacques Baril, Ambassador of Haiti to South Africa

Through his travels across the continent, Baril says that African nations have been positive about the idea of Haiti becoming part of the AU.

Describing his experience of being a person of African descent living in the Americas, Baril says that he has always had a sense of belonging to Africa.

I've taken so many South African businesses to Haiti in the past several years

Jacques Baril, Ambassador of Haiti to South Africa

The Africa for Haiti in Solidarity initiative recently hosted a charity gala at the Sandton Convention Centre to encourage Africans to help rebuild and support Haiti following several natural disasters which affected the island nation.

Baril says that there are many socio-economic opportunities that can be explored between Haiti and African nations.

Listen to the conversation below:

Watch a livestream of the interview below:

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