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Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator, the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, says the time has come to redefine the concept of the Diaspora.
“I think there are a lot of persons of Jamaican heritage and a lot of persons who are not of Jamaican descent who want to contribute to Jamaica and who consider themselves as Jamaicans in a lot of ways. It is now a question of how are we going to engage these people, how are we going to make them useful in terms of the development of Jamaica,” Dr. Robinson said.
The State Minister, who has special responsibility for the Diaspora, was speaking at a United Kingdom (UK) Diaspora ‘Think Tank’ on: ‘Enhancing the Political and Economic Welfare of the Jamaican UK Diaspora’, on September 11.
He said one of the challenges for the Jamaican Diaspora was how to the modernise the Movement and take it to the next level, as well as succession planning.
Citing the matter of remittance, as an example, the State Minister noted that this was a significant contributor to the country’s foreign exchange earning, and that to maintain that sector, it was necessary to ensure that second and third generation Jamaicans continued to have the same interest and passion for Jamaica as their parents and ancestors.
He pointed out that a lot of interesting ideas had come from the one-day ‘Think Tank’.
“I think that there are some very clear objectives that we have set for ourselves. One is that we have to pull all these ideas together in a practical way. It’s clear that the Jamaica Diaspora Institute has a role to play in this respect, in terms of acting as a clearing house,” he said.
Noting that many of the ideas were centred around young persons and how to get them more engaged, Senator Robinson said it was now clear that young people were the future of the Diaspora Movement.

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