Plans are now in gear for the staging of the 9th biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference in June 2022, this following a meeting between Senator the Honourable Leslie Campbell, State Minister with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, and Senator Don Wehby, Conference Chair and Group CEO of GraceKennedy.
The Conference will coincide with milestone celebrations including the 60th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence and of the Foreign Ministry, as well as the centenary of GraceKennedy, which is one of the Conference’s legacy partners.
The Conference, which was initially slated for June 2021, was postponed due to the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and a virtual Diaspora Symposium was held instead.
During the meeting held on 9th December 2021, Minister Campbell thanked Senator Wehby for his willingness to serve as Conference Chair and noted the longstanding commitment that GraceKennedy has shown over the years to this very important Diaspora event, which is an excellent demonstration of Public/Private Partnership.
The State Minister also explained that the Conference was expected to take place over three days in June 2022, and will build on the success of previous Conferences as well as the 2021 Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium. Minister Campbell continued, “It will also present a programme and content through consultation with all stakeholders – including the other legacy partners: Jamaican National Group, Victoria Mutual Group and J. Wray and Nephew Limited– as well as highlight the Ministry’s achievements over the past sixty (60) years in its ongoing Diaspora engagement”.
For his part, Senator Wehby expressed his pleasure at chairing the Conference at such an important time in Jamaica’s history and in the history of GraceKennedy. He noted that the Diaspora is integral to GraceKennedy’s operations and to Jamaica’s development.
He also explained that as part of GraceKennedy’s 100th-anniversary celebrations, events and activities targeting the Diaspora are being planned in the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom, depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. These events will not only celebrate the important milestone of GraceKennedy’s centenary but will also present an opportunity for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to promote the Conference.
The ninth staging of the Conference marks nineteen years since the historic step was taken to formalize and strengthen linkages between Jamaica and the Diaspora.