Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Diaspora key to nat’l development – Johnson Smith

Published:Wednesday | April 3, 2019 | 12:27 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith looks on while Michael Wilson plays the violin at the launch of the eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday. The conference will be held from June 16-20 at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith looks on while Michael Wilson plays the violin at the launch of the eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday. The conference will be held from June 16-20 at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

With three million Jamaicans living abroad and many making considerable contributions to national development, there are hopes that the 2019 Jamaica Diaspora Conference will further strengthen partnerships with local institutions and citizens abroad.

Delivering the keynote address at the launch of the conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith said the Government recognises that the wealth of talent, creativity and expertise of the diaspora should be enabled to further support our national development priorities and the aspirations of our people.

“We want to ensure that the information communicated to our diaspora is accurate and credible. Diaspora Conferences represent an important and enduring conduit for embedding in our collective consciousness, the tremendous dynamism and potential of the Jamaican family that resides away from our shores,” said Johnson Smith.

GLOBAL FORUM

This year’s conference, which will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre from June 16-20, is being staged under the theme ‘Building Pathways for Sustainable Development’.

The conference convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has been positioned as the global forum that connects Jamaicans from all over the world for inclusive dialogue and developing concrete actions in vital areas of national importance.

Coming out of the last conference in 2017, eight health clinics were adopted among projects of the diaspora and have received support in upgraded facilities and equipment. They are the Enfield Health Centre in St Mary, Mount Pleasant Health Centre in Portland, Elderslie Health Centre in St Elizabeth, Lambs River and Petersfield health centres in Westmoreland, Cascade Health Centre in Hanover, the Mount Carey Health Centre in St James, and the Little London Health Centre in Westmoreland.

A youth forum within the conference will engage young people of Jamaican descent in an effort to nurture their involvement in the life of the nation.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com