The Draft National Diaspora Policy, which has been approved by Cabinet, is expected to be presented to Parliament within the next two weeks.
The policy outlines a foundational framework for deeper diaspora engagement and is aligned with the goals articulated in the National Development Plan Vision 2030.
The details were presented by State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Leslie Campbell, during the closing ceremony of the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference on Thursday (June 16).
The ceremony was held virtually and at the Ministry’s building in Kingston.
Discussions on the policy, including recommendations for its implementation plan, were a key focus throughout the conference.
Senator Campbell also pointed out that following these discussions, matters of digital transformation, supporting the creative and cultural industries and greater inclusion of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council were also raised.
“[Also included] is the strengthening of engagement for the diaspora on investment opportunities in Jamaica, including in the various types of securities on Jamaica Stock Exchange such as in manufacturing, distribution, and banking,” he stated.
Traditional areas of health, education, development of human capital and security were also explored by various groups throughout the conference.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Conference, Senator Don Wehby, noted that opportunities for diaspora engagement within the agriculture sector were a personal highlight, as there is a great need to “reduce Jamaica’s food-import bill”.
“I believe that our diaspora support is crucial in improving Jamaica’s food security, and I would strongly encourage investing in our agriculture sector. There’s so much opportunity, not only for us in the local market but for you also to export,” he emphasised.
This year was the ninth staging of the Biennial Diaspora Conference, which saw participation from government officials, the Opposition, members of the diplomatic corps and the diaspora.
The conference was held online for the first time, which allowed Jamaicans outside the country to be included.
The 10th staging is scheduled to be held in 2024 and will be chaired by President of the Victoria Mutual Group, Courtney Campbell.