Diaspora Conference to Engage Young People

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Story Highlights

  • Organisers of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference are placing much emphasis on engaging young people in Jamaica and the Diaspora through a Youth Forum.
  • Acting Director of the Diaspora Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Lincoln Downer, told JIS News that the forum will be led by the young people from the UK, Canada and the USA.
  • For more information on how to participate and register your projects, persons can visit the conference website: www.mfaft.gov.jm/conference or email at dca@mfaft.gov.jm

Organisers of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference are placing much emphasis on engaging young people in Jamaica and the Diaspora through a Youth Forum.

The Global Young Leaders of Jamaica Forum is slated for Wednesday, July 26 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

At the forum, discussions will focus on entrepreneurship, mentoring young people and deepening cultural ties and affinity with Jamaica.

Acting Director of the Diaspora Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Lincoln Downer, told JIS News that the forum will be led by the young people from the UK, Canada and the USA.

They will also interact with their local counterparts from the Youth Advisory Council, National Secondary School Council, Jamaica Youth Ambassadors Programme and the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students.

Mr. Downer said the session will showcase examples of work being done by young Jamaicans and second, third and fourth generation Diaspora members.

The conference will begin on Sunday, July 23, with an official opening ceremony and Governor-General’s Achievement Awards. This is to be followed by a Welcome Home reception at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Other features include Church Services, a Marketplace Exposition, Government At Your Service, Diaspora Day of Service and a range of hospitality and cultural activities in Kingston.

The conference is being convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in collaboration with public and private sector organisations, under the theme: ‘Partnering for Growth’.

On Monday, July 24, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, will set the context and expectations of the conference.

Participants will attend nine plenary sessions as well as interactive discussions.

A session, titled ‘Caring Our Human Capital’, will have talks by the Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton; Surgeon, Researcher and Specialist in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment, United States of America (USA), Dr. Vincent Reid, and Director, Public Health & Human Services, City of Hartford, Connecticut, USA, Dr. Gary Rhule.

The session will highlight the many modern developments in the provision of health care in the public and private sectors in Jamaica and Diaspora locations.

It will also examine opportunities to consolidate and expand the types and levels of support received from the Diaspora.

Jamaica’s crime situation will be discussed at a session under the theme: ‘Protecting our Human Capital’. This session will provide information on the initiatives being taken by the Government, communities and other stakeholders to improve citizen security.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, will examine five areas of the National Programme for Crime Intervention and Prevention with special emphasis on: ‘Crime Prevention through Social Development’.

In addition, Leader of the Diaspora Crime Intervention and Prevention Task Force, USA, Captain Rupert Francis, will look at engagement strategies for mobilising support of the Diaspora for Crime Intervention Initiatives in Jamaica, in areas such as Intelligence, Cybercrime, Mentorship, Conflict Management and Leadership.

The three-day programme will also focus on ‘Investments for inclusive economic growth and job creation’.

This session will feature the Chairman of the Economic Growth Council (EGC), Michael Lee-Chin, who will outline ways in which the Diaspora can contribute to the achievement of the Government of Jamaica’s socio-economic ‘5-in- 4’ growth initiative – the attainment of five per cent GDP growth within four years.

Mr. Lee-Chin will also highlight opportunities for Diaspora investments, expertise and philanthropy to support Jamaica’s growth agenda.
At another session, there will be discussions on investments in small, medium and social business enterprises (SMEs and SBEs)).

This session will highlight the wide-ranging opportunities for Diaspora/Jamaica partnerships in the areas of equity investments and crowd funding.

Discussions will also focus on opportunities for crowd funding through existing platforms and the sharing of successes, so far, in connecting SMEs and SBEs to funders interested in their businesses.

The conference wraps up on Wednesday (July 26) with reports on actionable outcomes from the Conference Chairman, Earl Jarrett, and Executive Director of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, Professor Neville Ying.

On July 27, activities will culminate with the Diaspora Day of Service when Jamaicans and persons of Jamaican descent living overseas will provide services to communities and institutions across the island through a range of projects.

For more information on how to participate and register your projects, persons can visit the conference website: www.mfaft.gov.jm/conference or email at dca@mfaft.gov.jm.

The event will be streamed live for the four days at: JIS Diaspora Stream

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