Mapping Jamaica's Diaspora project launched
Staff Reporter, Sheldon Williams
The Government is taking steps to make it easier to engage and encourage Jamaicans living in the diaspora who can contribute to nation building.
A database is expected to be created as part of the Mapping Jamaica's Diaspora project that was launched at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade last week in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration.
The website for the project is http://www.mapjadiaspora.iom.int, and Jamaicans are being encouraged to participate in the surveys. There are two survey instruments, one geared towards individuals and the other towards community, alumni or other philanthropic associations.
"A comprehensive database of Jamaicans in the diaspora is a necessary developmental tool, since it will assist the Government in locating Jamaicans in the diaspora who possess certain skill sets associated with our critical development projects that we may currently not have in sufficient supply," Arnaldo Brown, minister of state in the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said.
An online survey will be used to identify and measure variables that are necessary for the information gathering of those Jamaicans in the diaspora. Through the flexibility of an online survey, the project is designed to identify the locations, skills, expertise and interests of members of the global Jamaican diaspora.
"The structured approach will gauge their interest in logistics, agriculture, manufacturing, information and communications technology..." the state minister outlined.
Rukiya Brown, programme assistant at the Internal Organization for Migration, expressed confidence that Jamaicans will support the initiative.
"Especially young Jamaicans and persons who are of Jamaican descent, not necessarily first generation and even second- and third-generation Jamaicans who would want to participate in something like this and to have their participation count in helping to develop the country," she said.
The project was also launched in the United Kingdom last Friday at the fourth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora UK Conference in Birmingham. Special locations in the United States and Canada have also being identified for respective launches.