JIS News

The Future Leadership Jamaican Diaspora Conference, to be held from August 3-10 at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is offering some level of hope for young people of the Jamaican Diaspora wanting to make a difference to the development of Jamaica.
This was noted by Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, who told JIS News that the key component of staging the ‘Youth’ Diaspora Conference is that “it gives them ownership of the process, and in feeling a part of the movement, we’re hoping we can groom and get a lot of them into the leadership of the wider Diaspora movement.”
Hailing the senior Diaspora Movement as one that has evolved over the years into an advanced “structure,” Dr. Robinson said a normal factor of life is that many of the leaders are getting on in age and there is need for a renewal. “And, so we have to make preparation of how we are going to build on this superstructure that those stalwarts have built over the years,” he said.
Dr. Robinson pointed out that the Diaspora contributes over US$2 billion to the economy, and he would be ensuring that everything is done to assist these future leaders, to encourage and give protection to them, so they can survive and that their ideas can develop and contend.
The young members will be coming primarily from the Diaspora in England, Canada and the United States of America. They will collaborate and interact with some 70 young delegates from Jamaica, creating a tremendous opportunity for networking and setting the framework for leadership in the future.
Dr. Robinson brushed aside skepticism of young people having any hope of a real impact on how governance is executed, saying that concrete efforts are being put in place, including the fast tracking of the formation of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament. There is also the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, chaired by Professor Neville Ying, which is now in train, and the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation, chaired by Professor Rex Nettleford.
“With all of these structures coming into being, no doubt you’ll hear from the Diaspora, and will they have an impact on policy? Oh, definitely, because the structures are there, so I’m very excited by this future leadership,” he said.
The Future Leaders Conference is an offshoot of the Jamaican Diaspora Movement.

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