The first Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 5th Biennial Jamaican Diaspora Conference was held on Monday, September 24 at the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade (MFAFT).
This initial Preparatory Committee meeting was chaired by the Honorable Arnaldo Brown, Minister of State with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs. The occasion was used to install the new Chairman of the Preparatory Committee Mr. Richard Powell, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Victoria Mutual Building Society, replacing outgoing Chair, Mr. Earl Jarrett, General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society.
Attending the Preparatory Committee meeting were Professor Neville Ying, Executive Director, Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI), representatives of key public sector entities and private sector partners.
The Conference is expected to take place over the period June 16 – 19, 2013. Over the years, the success of the biennial conferences has been due to an effective partnership amongst key stakeholders including private sector, civil society, NGOs, the Diaspora and the Government of Jamaica. Although the conference will cover many issues, the main focus will be on economic development and trade opportunities.
A review of the outcome of the Convention in 2011, expansion of next year’s Conference to include a wider cross section of Jamaican entities as well as consolidation of the gains made to date and other programming details were some of the topics discussed.
Last year’s staging of the Diaspora Convention, hosted at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios under the theme: Jamaica and its Diaspora in Partnership involved over 300 Diaspora and local representatives.