Jamaica’s PM calls on Future Leaders from Jamaican Diaspora to help move country forward

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Bruce Golding has called on delegates attending the inaugural Future Leaders Jamaican Diaspora conference at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, to partner with the Government in helping to move the country forward.

Delivering the keynote address at Tuesday’s (Aug 4) opening of the week-long conference, Mr. Golding told some 200 representatives from the United States of America (USA), Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and Jamaica that they represented a tremendously powerful resource that the country possesses.

“It’s a resource that has been there for some time. It’s a resource that is anxious to become involved and to become part of the problem-solving endeavour that all of us must engage ourselves in,” the Prime Minister said. He said the Government must therefore provide the facilities and the interface to create the opportunities where these young future leaders can become involved.

The Prime Minister noted that in Jamaica there are more than one million persons over 20 years, but under 45 years and that there could be an equivalent number within this same age group living outside of Jamaica.

Explaining to the future leaders the state of the economic affairs and the rationale behind the Government’s decision to return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Golding said the Government is seeking to ensure that it protects those gains made over many years of sacrifice, so that the country does not have to travel that road again. “We are seeking to ensure that we get the support while recognising that we cannot flinch in terms of our commitment to human development in education and other critical social security areas and particularly, in terms of the protection we provide for the poor and the vulnerable,” Mr. Golding said.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding seems to be very encouraged by the enthusiasm of these young future leaders from Canada, the UK and the USA here attending the inaugural future leaders Jamaican Diaspora Conference now on at the UWI, Mona.

The Prime Minister said the country has to look beyond the present economic crisis to make sure that the people create the environment and build the foundation on which the Jamaican economy can grow. He noted that the economic crisis came at a time when the country was not prepared and was not in a position to cushion the blows that resulted.

“We have to make sure we work our way through this storm and focus much of our attention on removing the binding constraints to growth; those things which have held us back, even in the best of times, so that when the storm has passed, we will be in a position to move forward,” he added.

“It is in that area of positioning ourselves for that development and growth that I want to invite you to become partners with us, because no matter how long you have been away from home, or that you may have been born abroad or are visiting.this land is your land. This land belongs to you and I, and I want to urge you to become partners with us,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Golding commended the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign affairs, and in particular the Minister of State, Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, for the work that has been done in putting together the Future Leaders conference.

The conference is a collaborative effort of the Jamaican Diaspora future leaders, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and Youth, Sports and Culture, and the Mona School of Business at the UWI. It is being convened under the theme: ‘Connecting Diaspora future leaders, solidifying our places in our homelands and Jamaica’.

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