MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – The over 1,000 registrants for the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference is a good sign that Jamaicans worldwide are making final preparations to attend the premier global forum for Jamaica and its Diaspora.
The Conference, under the theme;”Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity”,will begin this Saturday, June 13 with pre-forum activities such as the 2nd Jamaica Diaspora Golf Tournament at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course and the two days (Saturday & Sunday) of worship services that Conference participants are being encouraged to attend.
Jamaicans from as far as Namibia, Belgium and Sudan have already registered for the six-day event which ends on Thursday, June 18 with the island-wide roll-out of Diaspora outreach activities, labelled Diaspora Day of Service. Registrants have also, this time round, come from Colombia and The Bahamas.
A highly-anticipated calendar event, the Biennial Jamaica Diaspora conference connects Jamaicans in the Diaspora with the Jamaican Government, industry leaders and other stakeholders keyed into the development agenda of Jamaica and its Diaspora.
“The Conference with an equal emphasis on social development and trade and investment has, indeed, become the global forum for Jamaicans worldwide to be actively engaged,” says the Hon. Arnaldo Brown, MP, State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
Ambassador Sharon Saunders, Director of the Diaspora and Consular Affairs Department, advises that, “A special feature of Conference 2015 will be the presentation of the Report Card which will highlight the implementation of recommendations made at Conference 2013. It will therefore have updates on the: Diaspora Mapping Project;the Diaspora Policy and the International Migration and Development Policy.We are also very pleased to be able to present the inaugural symposium on immigration and deportation.”
The programme has been meticulously planned to ensure that the major issues affecting members of the Diaspora and their engagement with Jamaica are covered. In addition to the presentations by Government ministers, business leaders and Diaspora Advisory Board members, there will be a number of panel discussions followed by interactive sessions which will provide several opportunities for conference participants to make their contribution.
The JAMPRO team will lead business matchmaking meetings and Diaspora attendees can take advantage of the “Government at Your Service” zone where selected government agencies will be available to fast-track business transactions.
The exceedingly popular MarketPlace, an exposition for buyers and sellers of Jamaican products and services has been expanded to include cultural offerings throughout the conference under the banner “MarketPlace Live.”
It is anticipated that the Montego Bay Convention Centre and this environs will be a beehive of activities come this weekend going into the week, with one last Hurray on the beach of the Hilton Rose Hall on Wednesday night, to be followed by the Thursday, June 18 Day of Service philanthropic activities.