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6th Annual Jamaica National Diaspora Conference 2015 At Mobay Convention Centre

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – The Sixth Biennial Diaspora Conference will be held June 13 – 18, 2015 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James. The theme for this year’s Conference is “Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity”, with special focus on investment and trade opportunities and social services, including health and education.

The Conference is open to all persons of Jamaican descent living overseas and will provide the opportunity to align the skills and expertise that reside in the Diaspora with business and social development in Jamaica.

Hon. Arnaldo Brown MP
Hon. Arnaldo Brown MP

This year’s diversified agenda will include a business and cultural exposition and a range of other meetings and activities culminating with a Diaspora Day of Service. The 2015 Conference agenda was a collaborative effort between several institutions including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation, the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Members, key community persons and leaders in the Diaspora, and Diaspora community groups.

The Conference will prominently feature plenary and highly interactive sessions which directly address investment opportunities and options for partnership between Jamaica and its Diaspora in the areas of health, education, local government and the role of the faith based organizations in development. A special symposium on immigration and deportation will also form part of the agenda. The Diaspora Day of Service will provide the opportunity for various Diaspora organizations to undertake outreach activities in communities of their choosing throughout the island.

The Prime Minister of Jamaica will address the Opening Ceremony acknowledging the importance of the mutually beneficial relationship between the Diaspora and its homeland. The Governor General’s Diaspora Awards will continue to recognize the stellar achievements and outstanding contributions of Diaspora members in a variety of areas such as business, philanthropy, politics, diplomacy, science, technology, medicine, food, fashion, music and sports in their adopted countries as well as in Jamaica.

The Conference will repeat the exciting and engaging Marketplace based on the overwhelming positive responses from the Conference in 2013.  The Marketplace is designed to facilitate business matchmaking and deal making and the use of related government services.  An added feature this year, called Marketplace Live, will showcase each night, business, culture, entertainment, and Jamaican culinary delights all combined to showcase the best that Jamaica has to offer.

Montego Bay Convention Centre
Montego Bay Convention Centre

Other added elements of the Conference will include working breakfast meetings focusing on economic diplomacy, investment and trade, social services and development as well as complementary activities such as a golf tournament, church services, and business and leisure tours. The Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa is the official host hotel.

The biennial Diaspora Conferences continue to serve as a forum of engagement with Jamaicans overseas with an agenda which addresses issues of concern to the Diaspora, providing updates on progress with respect to Government programmes, and disseminate information on the priority areas of the Government.

Conferences have been held in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2013.  Stemming from these Conferences, a number of mechanisms and structures have been developed to enhance the Diaspora’s involvement in Jamaica’s economic development.  These include the Diaspora Advisory Board which serves as an advisory body to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on matters relevant to Diaspora engagement; the Jamaican Diaspora Foundation Limited and the Jamaican Diaspora Institute which aim to deepen collaboration among stakeholder groups and serve as a repository for research; and the Joint Select Committee of the Houses of Parliament which serves to guide a national approach on policies and strategies with respect to Diaspora matters.

Local community launches are being planned for the overseas communities in North America, Canada and the United Kingdom at dates to be announced shortly.

For further information, persons may contact the Jamaican Embassy in Washington D.C., or the Jamaican Consulates-General, located in Miami and New York

South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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