Executive Director-Designate of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, Professor Neville Ying, has said that the activities of the inaugural Future Leaders Jamaican Diaspora Conference signal the beginning of a significant turning point in the Jamaican Diaspora movement.
“It signals the commendable intention of the young people in the Jamaican Diaspora, that they are ready to step forward to contribute, in a meaningful and sustained manner, to the development of Jamaica,” he said.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony and cocktail reception at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona Visitor’s Lodge, Tuesday (August 4).
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, said the Government was proud to see young Jamaicans taking up leadership positions. He added that the young members of the Diaspora offered strategic, comparative, and competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, (second left) shares a joke with State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson (right); former Governor-General of Jamaica, Sir Kenneth Hall(left); and his wife, Lady Hall, (second right); and Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dale Jones (centre). Occasion was the opening ceremony and cocktail reception for the inaugural Future Leaders Jamaican Diaspora Conference, at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona Visitor’s Lodge, on Tuesday(August 4).
“We don’t have to send people to penetrate the market places of the world, we already have you there and, therefore, this linkage that you are making with your country and your communities of origin, is a very important linkage. The exercise that you are now going through, of becoming leaders, augers well for the future of Jamaica,” he said.
Member of Parliament for South East St. Ann, Lisa Hanna, said that she was pleased that the youth of the Diaspora took the time to come to Jamaica to learn more about the culture.
“Those of you who have roots here, may you continue to find, explore, enjoy and, perhaps, participate in what we would like to do, in terms of moving not only our Jamaican youths forward and have them more integrated in the global, but perhaps to have some of you come back to Jamaica and help to shape the country for the next 10-15 years,” Miss Hanna stated.
Bringing greetings on behalf of UWI Principal, Professor Gordon Shirley, Registrar of the Mona Campus, Dr. Camille Bell-Hutchinson, said that the time was opportune to bring together young persons of the Diaspora, to share and strategize about ways in which they can forge linkages to enable nation building.
Members of the Merl Grove High School perform a cultural item, during the opening ceremony and cocktail reception for the inaugural Future Leaders Jamaican Diaspora Conference, at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona Visitor’s Lodge, on Tuesday(August 4).
“This time, more than ever, we need to provide a structured mechanism, to enable effective networking and collaboration, and the UWI Mona Campus certainly stands ready, at this time, to assist in playing a lead role in enabling and sustaining linkages with our future leaders in the Diaspora,” she said.
The Future Leaders Jamaican Diaspora Conference, which will run August 4-9, is being held under the theme: ‘Connecting Diaspora Future Leaders: Solidifying our Places in our Homelands and Jamaica.’
It is a collaborative effort of the Jamaican Diaspora Future Leaders, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Jamaican Diaspora Institute, Mona School of Business and the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.
The Conference will feature two major activities: networking sessions and workshops. The workshops will focus on key areas of interest to Future Leaders in the Diaspora, including Business and Entrepreneurship; Education and Our Future; Mentorship; Engaging Youth in Governance; Crime and Violence; and Culture (Empowering Men, Women and Children).
In addition, there will be an Exposition and a day dedicated to community service.