Jamaican Diaspora News

2017 Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference links Jamaicans to advance nation

Written by Anthea McGibbon

Under the theme “Partnering for Growth”, Jamaicans from across the globe came together for the recent Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference.

The conference was hosted by from July 23rd to 27th, 2017 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, just before Jamaica celebrates 55 years of Independence.
The conference was put on by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, who will do so again in another two years.

At the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference the younger foreign Jamaicans, business interests, philanthropic groups, and nonJamaicans identified to advance the countrys development attended the Jamaica Conference Centre for dialogue.

The shared love for the country and the zeal to see it improved from its struggling third world status was the main reason the intense package was appreciated.

Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference best assets

In opening the Conference on Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP said the Diasporans as being among the “best assets” whose contributions must be used to the nations benefit.

All week long therefore the visiting Jamaican Diasporans were feted with various social activities immersing them more and more in the net of authentic Jamaica brands of foods, culture and more.

That aside, the dialogue between Jamaicans at home and abroad bore fruit starting with forums during the week/long activities of the Conference led by the Earl Jarrett preparation team.
Already sums have been donated to offset expenses within the education system.

During the Education forum, one Diasporan, Mrs Hermie J Speckles, who gave her last US$500.00 to complete her US$2000.00 donation gave challenge for others to follow suit.
Her challenge was soon taken up Caribbean Food Delights representative Janice Julian, who pledged US$2,000.00 matching the Speckles donation. Carlton Derby (from Toronto) who donated J$200,000.00.

Positive results of Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference

At the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, the implementation of plans to tackle challenges in varied areas have begun. Some of these are that

Michael LeeChin at Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference

Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference July 23 to 26, 2017. Michael Lee Chin before his presentation. ERROL DAWES PHOTO

– Community tourism is to be used to strengthen tourist, promote protect and preserve what is authentic Jamaican
– Education summit for March 2018
– STEM certified courses for teachers
– Pairing of primary schools in Jamaica with select schools abroad
– Centralising of a donation bakn through which contributions from abroad to set locations will be accounted for, and waivers given where applied for properly
– Revisit and review statutes to monitor actions of police force, while instituting systems to encourage more corporation and protection of Jamaica citizenry.

Although all sessions were equally relevant, the more impacting presentations were by EGCs Honourable Michael Lee Chin, OJ on The Imperative of Growth, by Honourable Robert Montague on Crime Intervention and Prevention and the actionable forum session on Education with Honourable Ruel Reid as main speaker.
Presentations by Honourable Minister Edmund Bartlett, CD,MP, Mrs Nicola Madden/Greig and Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP were received special accolades.

There was no profound focus on the critical role of visual arts of Jamaica, but the colourful entertainment packaged evidenced that the combined arts are an important hinge for the door of Jamaicas progress. The marketplace which placed a sea of exhibitors around the main presentation room was constantly abuzz with enthusiastic visitors anxious to grasp the latest offerings in product and services from food to real estate.
Victoria Mutual ensured artist Jeffery Perry was on hand to give quick sketches of Diasporans.

The final event of the Conference was Michael Nicholsons Las Lick at Devon House in Kingston.

Sponsors included
GraceKennedy, J Wray and Nephew, RGR-Gleaner group, Victoria Mutual, Jamaica National, National, WICHON

More in photo album on this site.

About the author

Anthea McGibbon

Anthea McGibbon, Editor and senior journalist, features arts, culture and people of Jamaica. Contact her at [email protected] or [email protected]