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  • A number of legacy projects for the 55th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence will be highlighted during the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, to garner the support of Jamaicans.
  • Speaking at the Canada launch of the conference on May 30 at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the projects will be part of the conference slated for July 23 to 26 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

A number of legacy projects for the 55th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence will be highlighted during the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, to garner the support of Jamaicans.

The Jamaica 55 Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, in collaboration with ministries and private-sector entities, has produced a list of legacy projects, both tangible and intangible, that will ensure lasting legacies well beyond this year’s Independence celebrations.

Speaking at the Canada launch of the conference on May 30 at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the projects will be part of the conference slated for July 23 to 26 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

Giving examples of two projects, the Minister mentioned the ‘Adopt-A-Clinic Initiative’ and the ‘Pledge 2 Build Campaign’, which require support that will assist Jamaica’s health and education sectors, respectively.

Senator Johnson Smith said the conference presents a platform for deepening the country’s goal of involving Jamaicans overseas in nation building.

“We do need each other to grow and thrive. We must partner with each other for the robust and sustainable growth and development of our common heritage – Jamaica, land we love,” she said.

In an effort to strengthen the institutional mechanisms to engage the diaspora, the Minister pointed out that a Diaspora Engagement Task Force has been established by the Economic Growth

Council (EGC), a group advising the Government on the best ways to achieve economic growth, with a focus on harnessing the skills, expertise and knowledge of the diaspora worldwide.

Additionally, she said the Task Force is pursuing recommended growth initiatives contained in the EGC’s Call to Action, such as the establishment of a Fast-Track/One-Stop Shop coordinating agency of all the major government agencies, to address all diaspora and investor requests and initiatives.

The Minister noted that the Ministry has also been strengthened with the creation of a Diaspora Affairs Department, under the restructured Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Division.

“This will give more focused attention to the execution of the entire spectrum of diaspora activities and initiatives. Though still embryonic, we are definitely in growth mode and building to serve you better,” she added.