Jamaica preparing to host diaspora conference

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Preparations are under way for the staging of the ninth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

To be convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), the conference will take place from June 14 to 16, under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’.

The event, which was slated for June 16-18, 2021, was postponed by the Ministry due to the realities of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on its stakeholders.

Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, Undersecretary of Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division, MFAFT, Frantz Hall, said that preparations have started.

“Discussions have been held, having commenced with our Legacy Partners. The Chair of the Conference this year is GraceKennedy, and we certainly have a lot to look forward to in the staging of this conference,” he said.

According to Hall, the conference is being held as one of the activities to mark Jamaica 60 celebrations. This year, Jamaica is celebrating its 60th anniversary of Independence.

The Undersecretary said the conference will be in a hybrid format, that is in-person and virtually, because of the continuing effects of COVID-19 and “the uncertainties about the increased cases in other countries and potential impacts here in Jamaica”.

“We will have limited in-person participation, but we want to ensure that the experience of persons that visit, that attend the conference and persons online, that their experience is the same, so we are pursuing an innovative and different approach to the conference this year,” he added.

He pointed out that discussions at the event will focus on areas that are of traditional importance and interest to the diaspora, such as education, health and security.

“But we are putting all of that within the context of digital transformation of Jamaica. So, we are looking forward to an engaging, dynamic, interesting conference that will provide lots of innovative ideas as to how we can proceed in these areas,” Hall said. (CMC)

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