Jamaica is on the verge of celebrating its 55th year of political independence, and to help culminate this milestone for the nation the Jamaica Diaspora are holding its Biennial Conference in Jamaica. The Diaspora group merged at this time also to use the opportunity to show and provide continued collaboration to Jamaica for its growth and development.
The five-day Diaspora conference activities are taking place at the Jamaica Conference Center, in Downtown Kingston, with scores of Jamaicans locally as well as Diaspora members participating. Under the theme “Partnering for Growth” the organizers have embarked on discussing serious matters relating to crime, education and health that are affecting the development of the country.
At the opening session on Sunday, July 23, Prime Minister Andrew Holness called on the Jamaican Diaspora to continue their support to the government’s growth trust. “We need the participation of our citizens whether at home or abroad. It is therefore imperative that we build strong symbolic relations among all Jamaicans across the globe,” Holness said to the group.
The prime minister stated that the continued participation is the process of economic and social development. “This is vital as the government seeks to chart and sustain the path of growth in Jamaica,” Holness added. He applauded the members of the Diaspora for their work and support given to the government of Jamaica.
Diaspora members are hoping that the conference will highlight the work that has been done by its members, and in addition to that, what areas the Diaspora can also continue to participate in. Advisory Board Member for the Diaspora, for the Mid Western and Western States in the United States, Dr. Rupert Francis, earmarked the 7th Biennial Conference as a meaningful way to help partner with Jamaica for growth. Dr. Francis, a participant at the event explained that all plans from the Diaspora’s conference agenda were linked to several development plans from the government sectors.
Jamaica’s Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen who attended the conference recognized and awarded some Diaspora members living in Canada, Britain and New York City who have gone the extra journey with their time and commitment to help Jamaica. The six awards were handed out to these Jamaicans who have made contributions in education, business, community affairs and culture.