JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, says that the inaugural Future Leaders conference will focus on developing a cadre of leaders for Jamaica and the Jamaican Diaspora.
“It’s really about strengthening the process of building networks of future leaders in the Jamaican Diaspora, towards a more meaningful engagement in Jamaica’s development and enhancing the positive perception that future leaders can play a critical role in leadership, governance and developing initiatives, as part of a global plan and the One Jamaica Concept,” Dr. Robinson said.
The Future Leaders conference, an offshoot of the Jamaican Diasporic Movement, is scheduled for the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, August 4-10.
Addressing a JIS Think Tank News briefing on Thursday (July 23), Dr. Robinson acknowledged that remittances continue to play a major role in the country’s foreign exchange inflows, as the records show more and more Jamaicans living beyond its borders. However, he pointed out that, while the Diaspora contributes some US$2 billion to the Jamaican economy, the conference would not be about remittances.
He also noted that Jamaica boasts one the most advanced Diaspora movement in the Caribbean, and with many persons willing to pay their way to come to the conference as observers, this was another rung on the Jamaican Diaspora ladder.
Dr. Robinson said that the local representative groups would be drawn from the Police Youth Clubs, a range of school associations and other selected individuals, who will begin the process of talking with the Diaspora.
“We expect that they will share their experiences, results and best practices in youth development across countries and regions, and develop and implement measures to promote the enfranchisement of young people,” he stated.
Senator Robinson added that the conference would promote positive role models and foster young people’s esteem. He said that it was important for them to have space, a voice and an opportunity to express themselves in their own way and become owners of part of the process.
The Senator observed that this inaugural conference was the first opportunity for young Jamaicans, from the main Diaspora areas, to come to Jamaica to talk with the Jamaican young people at home, in a forum where their ideas will contend with and not be influenced by the leaders, and can shape the future of the Diaspora movement and Jamaica.

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