Fri | Apr 20, 2018

Johnson Smith keen on engaging young Jamaicans abroad

Published:Thursday | April 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM
From left: Leon Mitchell, assistant general manager of the Jamaica National Building Society; Don Wehby, group chief executive officer, GraceKennedy; Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Courtney Campbell, president and chief executive officer, Victoria Mutual Group; and Dwight Balli, production director, J.Wray and Nephew Limited, at the official launch of Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Andrew on Tuesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith says that a primary objective of her ministry at the upcoming Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference will be to concretise a plan of engagement for second- and third-generation members of the Jamaican Diaspora.

The three pillars of focus for the event slated for July 23-26 in Kingston are philanthropy, investment, and youth engagement.

"We're engaging more broadly in terms of the partnerships that we're entering into and the networks of persons that we want to grow. I would like to build on the discussions I've had with young members of the diaspora and incorporate the feedback of how they would want to engage," Johnson Smith told The Gleaner at the launch of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Andrew on Tuesday.




In citing social-media platforms as a core arm of the ministry's public-relations strategy, Johnson Smith stated that not a great deal had been done previously to innovatively engage the young Jamaicans overseas.

"They're more interested in technology and the age of social media. They want things that are more fun and engaging from a cultural perspective. They don't necessarily want to attend a gala or a town hall meeting. They're interested in internship and programmes that would allow them to learn more about business dynamics in Jamaica," she said.

She added that the ministry would seek to revive linkages from an investment and opportunities viewpoint for first-generation members who may have lost connection with Jamaica as time elapsed.

A youth forum is scheduled for the third day of the four-day event being staged under the theme 'Partnering for Growth'.