JIS News

Minister of State in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, has urged delegates at the inaugural Jamaica Diaspora Conference in the United States (US), to embrace the young people as future leaders, as they are key in sustaining the Movement, and to promoting Jamaica’s interests.
Speaking to nearly 150 delegates during the closing of a two-day conference at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Dania, Florida, last week, the State Minister said it was important to encourage, protect and nurture the young people, so that they feel a part of the process of advancing the Jamaican Diaspora.
According to Dr. Robinson, there is a need for renewal, as people move on in the cycle of age, and preparations must be made to continue the process of development. “It is important that we do not crush their enthusiasm, it is relevant to their future,” he emphasised.
The State Minister argued that as the USA Diaspora begins to evolve as a Movement, the members should place much emphasis on organising, as opportunities are created and foundations built for personal development as well as for nation building.
Dr. Robinson pointed out that one of the challenges facing the Diaspora was the need for an organised administrative structure, to make it less dependent on volunteers. He suggested that they look at creative ways for leadership, governance and financial sustainability as part of the development process.
He noted that Jamaicans have contributed to the development of other countries globally, adding it was important that nationals spend equal time to help in the island’s economic recovery.
While Jamaica boasts one of the more advanced Diaspora movement in the Caribbean region, the Minister said that it was important to look to other areas as models for progress, citing the United Kingdom, as an example, where lobby groups with no Diasporic connection were advocating for issues related to Caribbean interest.
The conference featured reports from the several workshops, which focussed on education, health, investment and trade, community organising, marketing the Jamaican Diaspora brand message, and future leaders engagement.
Dr. Neville Ying of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute said that preparatory committees would be in place as early as this week, to begin preparations for the next biennial National Diaspora Conference, to be held in Kingston in June next year.
The conference was a collaborative effort of the Jamaican Diaspora USA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; the Embassy of Jamaica, USA; the Consulates General of Jamaica in Miami and New York; the Jamaican Diaspora Foundation and the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

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