JIS News

The third biennial Jamaican Diaspora Conference officially began today (June 16) at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, noted that through this conference “right solutions will be found to address the challenges faced by us (Jamaicans), and strategies designed to exploit the timely opportunities from which the country can benefit.”
“Generally, members of the Diaspora community have already made an indelible mark on the texture of the Jamaican fabric and society. Through your economic support, we have benefitted from significant remittance flows, which boosts our country’s economy on an annual basis,” Mr. Jarrett said.
“We also benefit from your travel to Jamaica through the visiting friends and relatives programme. We benefit from your purchase of Jamaican goods and products and we also benefit from your philanthropic efforts by supporting schools and communities,” he added.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh said he was gratified that so many Jamaicans have travelled from countries such as the United Kingdom, and the United States as well as the Caribbean to attend the conference.
Dr. Baugh also informed that for the first time there was a representative from South Africa. He welcomed the 110-youth contingent from Canada and the United Kingdom.
“You the youths represent the future of the Diaspora movement, the builder of the bridge between young Jamaicans in the Diaspora and those here in Jamaica. I am positive that the bridge building that you will begin at the conference will be continued after your departure. I laud you for your decision to become involved in our nation building agenda,” Dr. Baugh said.
The Foreign Affairs Minister also noted that the Government is appreciative of the Diaspora’s contribution to the country’s development.
“You have made a difference in several areas such as education, health, community development, and disaster relief,” Dr. Baugh said.
Some 700 participants are expected to attend the third biennial conference, which is being held from June 16-17 under the theme ‘Borderless partnership for development’.
Several workshops will be held to discuss topics such as crime and justice: partnership for harmony and peace; education and culture: harnessing and supporting creativity and innovation for national development; the role of the church in social cohesion for community and national development and economic growth and investment development: and strengthening and broadening the base for entrepreneurship and wealth creation.
Speakers include Minister of National Security, Senator Colonel Trevor MacMillan; Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne; Minister of Education, Andrew Holness; Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda and Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin.

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