EGC Diaspora Engagement Task Force To Give Update At Upcoming Conference

Photo: JIS Photographer Diaspora 55 Logo.

Story Highlights

  • Participants at the upcoming Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference will be updated on the progress of initiatives being undertaken by the Economic Growth Council (EGC) Diaspora Engagement Task Force when they meet later this month.
  • Chairman of the Task Force, Dr. David Panton, told JIS News that as part of the September 2016 submission made to Cabinet by the EGC, there were eight growth initiatives in their Call to Action, which included ‘harnessing the power of the Diaspora’.
  • Under this, there were sub-initiatives that included a plan to repurpose the Jamaican Diaspora Foundation – Global Connect Jamaica (Glo-Jam) – which is the centrepiece of the sub-initiatives.

Participants at the upcoming Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference will be updated on the progress of initiatives being undertaken by the Economic Growth Council (EGC) Diaspora Engagement Task Force when they meet later this month.

Chairman of the Task Force, Dr. David Panton, told JIS News that as part of the September 2016 submission made to Cabinet by the EGC, there were eight growth initiatives in their Call to Action, which included ‘harnessing the power of the Diaspora’.

Under this, there were sub-initiatives that included a plan to repurpose the Jamaican Diaspora Foundation – Global Connect Jamaica (Glo-Jam) – which is the centrepiece of the sub-initiatives.

“The fundamental purpose of Glo-Jam is to invite successful and prominent members of the Jamaican Diaspora, as well as friends of Jamaica, to leverage their knowledge, experience, relationships and skills in assisting with the identification and implementation of specific projects that will assist in the economic growth and development of Jamaica, with a particular focus on investment,” he explained.

Dr. Panton said that the Task Force is now “formalising a structure, and creating a new Glo-Jam Advisory Board comprising distinguished and successful members of the Diaspora, with the patron being the Prime Minister.”

Another sub-initiative is to encourage the Jamaican Diaspora to invest and become more engaged in Jamaica, and to establish a special financing agency under Glo-Jam to issue bonds, targeting the Diaspora, and mobilising resources.

“There are also plans to establish a fast-track, one-stop coordinating agency of all the major Government agencies to address all Diaspora and investors’ requests and initiatives,” he said.

The final sub-initiative is to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to increase Jamaica’s Honorary Consuls by more than 100 per cent worldwide, particularly in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada.

He said that the process of identifying additional cities has already started and they are also strategising on how to recruit additional Consuls.

Dr. Panton pointed out that Jamaica now has approximately 80 Consuls, while other countries with tourism as a large part of their GDP have 300 to 400 Consuls.

The Consul’s role is to assist Jamaicans abroad with their consular affairs, as well as to act as an Ambassador for the country, promoting the island to visitors and investors, and ultimately raising the profile of the country.

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