Gov’t Committed to Engaging the Jamaican Diaspora


Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn, has said that the Government remained committed to its policy of engagement with the Jamaican Diaspora, which is a “vibrant force whose members continue to make significant contribution to their country of birth as well as to their adopted home”.
“I hasten to reiterate that the Government firmly believes that the process of engagement must be bi-partisan in nature. Therefore, the government considers the Opposition a stakeholder. We have sought to involve them and they have responded,” he said in his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on Friday (Feb. 23).
Turning to the proposed Jamaican Diaspora Foundation, Senator Franklyn said the body was in the process of being set up and the Articles of Incorporation to establish the foundation as a limited liability, non-profit organisation have been drawn up.
He noted that the Diaspora community, through the Advisory Board members, had contributed to the document.
“The foundation’s principal function is to serve as the link between those in the Diaspora and those at home. Research, establishment of a database, planning of the biennial conferences and recommending policies on the Diaspora to the Government, also fall within the purview of the Foundation,” explained Senator Franklyn.
He informed the Upper House that “the operational arm of the Foundation will be the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, which will be located at the Mona School of Business at the University of the West Indies”.
He said that the relationship between the Foundation and the Mona School of Business will be governed through a Memorandum of Understanding incorporating a Framework Agreement and an Incubation Agreement.
“The articles of Incorporation and Memorandum of Understanding are being reviewed by the Ministry and the Attorney General’s Department. Once this exercise is concluded, the Ministry will seek the approval of Cabinet for the establishment of the Foundation,” detailed Senator Franklyn.
Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the next staging of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which will be held from June 16 to 17, 2008. Some of the issues to be discussed include education, the youth and voting rights.

JIS Social