JIS News

The Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, DC will be keeping Jamaican organisations up-to-date on developments in the island and the work of the Government, through a series of quarterly meetings.
Heads of various groups in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Richmond, Virginia; and the Washington, DC metropolitan area, attended the first meeting held at the Embassy on July 14, where they met with Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Anthony Johnson.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Johnson lauded the organisations for the outstanding work they have been doing in their various communities and the tremendous contribution that they continue to make to their homeland. He urged them to continue their programme of assistance, noting that the country has benefitted tremendously.
According to Ambassador Johnson, these groups play a very important role in the Diaspora as they are the ones that continue to keep the Jamaican culture and the various Jamaican communities together.
Noting the importance of the quarterly meetings, Ambassador Johnson said they will provide opportunity for mutual dialogue and sharing of ideas.
In providing an update on issues in the island, the Ambassador said that Jamaica, like the rest of the world, is feeling the effects of the economic downturn. However, he assured that the Government is doing all it can to address the situation.
He informed that efforts are being made to improve education and to address crime and violence, which are serious problems in the country.
He said that despite the recession, the tourism sector is doing well, while pointing to a number of investment opportunities and large scale developments that have taken place.
The group was also informed about various activities that are being planned by the Embassy to mark the country’s 47th year of Independence, including a thanksgiving church service on Sunday August 9, at Howard University’s Dumbarton Chapel; and an Independence reception at the Organization of American States (OAS) building.
The Future Leaders Conference in Jamaica next month, and the Jamaica US Diaspora Conference set for October 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were also discussed.
Among those in attendance were Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Jamaica, Sharon Miller; Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Philadelphia, Dr. Alston Meade; Founding President of the Caribbean – American Intercultural Organization (CAIO), Jean Raimey; and President of the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM), Rick Nugent.
There are 17 Jamaican organisations within the Baltimore, Washington, and Northern Virginia area.

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