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Story Highlights

  • United Kingdom (UK) based Jamaicans have been urged to sign up on the new database under the Mapping the Jamaican Diaspora Project.
  • The initiative was launched by State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown.
  • It aims to determine the location, interest and skills of members of the Diaspora, while building government’s capacity to more strategically and effectively engage the Diaspora.

United Kingdom (UK) based Jamaicans have been urged to sign up on the new database under the Mapping the Jamaican Diaspora Project.

The initiative was launched by State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, at the start of a two- day Jamaican Diaspora UK Conference in Birmingham, on June 13.

It aims to determine the location, interest and skills of members of the Diaspora, while building government’s capacity to more strategically and effectively engage the Diaspora.

The mapping project is the first of its kind by the Government, and is supported and funded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In his address at the launch, Mr. Brown said the goal is to have a database of 100,000 Jamaicans in the Diaspora by June 2015.

He explained that the project will allow the Government to identify the gaps which currently exist in its engagement with Jamaicans in the Diaspora and identify members with special skills and experiences that can be used to fill roles in Jamaica, and also to represent Jamaica in specific roles internationally.

Mr. Brown said the project will also enable the Diaspora to be more informed about the Government’s major development projects, which present real opportunities for investment and employment. These projects include the Global Logistics Hub Initiative; Agro-parks; ICT parks; the planned redevelopment of downtown Kingston; Medical Tourism (Health and Wellness); the Creative Industries; and Sports

The launch was also addressed by Ms. Clarissa Azkoul, Chief of Mission, IOM, London; while Mrs. Rukiya Brown, Programme Assistant of IOM in Kingston, gave a demonstration of the website.

It is estimated that there are some three million Jamaicans in the Diaspora, with 1.8 million residing in the United States of America; 650,000 in the United Kingdom and 300,000 in Canada. The Diaspora is therefore encouraged to participate by logging on to: www.mapjadiaspora.iom.int

The website will house two survey instruments – one geared towards individuals and the other, towards community, alumni or other philanthropic associations.

The mapping project was launched in Jamaica on June 10; other launches are planned for the United States and Canada.