All hands on deck for the 2015 Jamaican Diaspora Conference

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- The sixth biennial Jamaican Diaspora Conference is an incubator of ideas for dialogue and discussions. It is quintessentially becoming more mainstream and critical to the nation and the Caribbean region to engage more than three million Jamaicans living abroad.

This year's conference allows the Diaspora to explore investment solutions and increase wealth, as well as, an opportunity to appoint, direct and establish the sovereignty of Jamaica through investment, trade, healthcare and education.

Prime Minister Portia Miller Simpson addressed a record gathering of over 1,000 attendees from all over the world in conjunction with friends of the Jamaican Diaspora; North America, Central America, Africa and Europe.

Simpson Miller urged "All hands on deck to develop the nation" for the development of the island and praised the Jamaican Diaspora for its outstanding contributions to the country ranging from stakeholders and families, which also included a call to action to Brand Ambassadors and Jamaicans abroad to "protect the standards and resources of Brand Jamaica and, to protect the geographical brand through advertising while, providing protection against businesses and their reputation." 

By the same token, agencies such as JAMPRO and JIFA will work through policy initiatives to protect intellectual properties in areas such as national sports, creative industries and cultural expression and advocate more trade and linkages.

The 15 - 25 year old age group represents the highest incidence of unemployment in
Jamaica and St James, Kingston and St Andrews have been encouraged within the arena of trade through various programs sponsored by Jamaica Building Society, USAID and the International Trade of Youth in Canada, which are provided funding and training to provide opportunities of entrepreneurial and employment.

Simpson Miller also emphasized the "Jamaican Dream and the national loyalty burning through our souls", while invoking the past accomplishments of national heroes such as Marcus Garvey, Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley. With a national pledge of "one people committed to one cause for prosperity", she thanked the Jamaican Diaspora for their sacrifices and commitment into travelling far and wide to build a better Jamaica. 

The mission of the conference this year is to develop socio-economic investment with the Diaspora and, while leaders in the community remain hopeful about the input from returning Jamaicans, members of the Diaspora will be kicking the tyres on the economy to see just how stable and sustainable the country is.

Factoids: Jamaican Diaspora Contributions

Never underestimate the powerful contribution of the Jamaican Diaspora and here are a few factoids:

• Over 3 million Jamaicans live abroad while 2.7 million live at home

• $10 million in contributions over the last three years for healthcare, education and communities

• $2 billion in remittances sent to Jamaicans at home from abroad.

• $3 million given annually by South Floridian alumni for schools and colleges

Live Coverage: Power 106, Kingston, Jamaica

Numbers for members of the Diaspora to call to Listen:
USA (712) 832 -7106
UK (033) 0606 - 0953
CAN (647) 957 - 9630

Published Date: 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015