Future Leaders Conference will Enable Young Jamaicans Overseas to Contribute to National Development


Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, has said that next month’s Future Leadership Jamaican Diaspora Conference will provide the opportunity for young Jamaicans in the Diaspora to contribute to national development while networking with their local and overseas counterparts.
“The main outcome will be the formulation of strategies and action plans to assist in the sharing of information, exchange of ideas and the provision of opportunities for future leaders to facilitate national development, while strengthening the network of younger leadership in the Diaspora,” he stated.
Dr. Robinson, who has portfolio responsibility for the Diaspora, was addressing the media launch of the Conference yesterday (July 2) at his New Kingston office.
Slated for August 3 to 10, the event will see some 400 youth leaders from Jamaica and the Diaspora converging on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, to discuss critical developmental issues. More than 230 young Jamaican nationals residing in England, the United States and Canada, and some 150 young people from Jamaica are expected to participate.
The State Minister said the Conference was a directive of the 2006 and 2008 Jamaican Diaspora conferences in Kingston, which identified the need to engage young Jamaicans living overseas in the country’s progress.
He noted that the involvement of these young people was critical to ensuring a continuity of purpose between the pioneering members of the Diaspora and succeeding generations.
Executive Director-designate of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, Professor Neville Ying, said that the Conference was an important building block for the future leaders, who are second and third generation Jamaicans, or have Jamaican ancestry.
The event, he said, will comprise networking sessions and workshops on key areas such as Business and Entrepreneurship, Engaging Youth Governance and Crime and Violence.
The workshops, Professor Ying added, “will provide information from the local perspective and how they (young Jamaicans abroad) can start identifying more precise ways they can become involved in these areas towards the development of Jamaica.”
He informed that through the Business and Entrepreneurship workshop, they will learn about the economic status of Jamaica and the investment opportunities, “because a number of these future leaders are business persons themselves, young entrepreneurs, and are looking to see business opportunities in which they can participate.”
The Diaspora contributes more than US$2 billion annually to the Jamaican economy.

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