The Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC) is the successor to the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board (DAB). Its conception arose out of the recognition that Jamaica needs to strengthen its Diaspora engagement mechanism and align it to the newly crafted goals, pillars, and focus areas outlined in the National Diaspora Policy. The framework for the GJDC was endorsed by the Diaspora Advisory Board and the attendees at the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference held in Kingston, 16th – 19th June 2019.
The GJDC is a mechanism designed to enhance engagement with the Jamaican Diaspora. It is the principal organ of the National Diaspora Policy with the responsibility to create modalities to realize the goals of the Policy. This is with a view to significantly contribute to national development in wide-ranging sectors such as education; health; agriculture and the environment, the arts, sports, and culture; citizen security; development expertise; faith-based community; and commerce. This will be done through productive, mutual, and sustainable Diaspora engagement, in advance of Jamaica’s national development. The responsibilities of the Council include the conceptualization and recommendation of support systems and administrative initiatives to enhance collaboration between Jamaicans at home and those living overseas.
To allow for greater inclusivity of Jamaicans living across the globe, the GJDC will comprise 30 members, who serve voluntarily. This will include 14 members elected from across the Diaspora communities in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America, as well as 6 members selected from regions not currently represented namely: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East. Nine sector representatives will be selected from Agriculture, Education; Environment; Health; Arts, Sports, and Culture; Citizen Security, Development Expertise; Faith-based Community, and Commerce and 1 individual will be a discretionary appointment. The Election Process for Membership to the Council provides further information.
ACTIVITIES OF THE GLOBAL JAMAICA DIASPORA COUNCIL (GJDC) 2020 - 2022
In addition to providing advice to the Minister with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs on a wide range of issues, the GJDC has worked hard to promote the deepening of engagements through a number of activities. Over their period in office, the GJDC has:
Convened and participated in various meetings and consultations with multiple stakeholders including Ministries, Departments, Agencies, the private sector in Jamaica as well as Community, business, and religious leaders in the Diaspora, to discuss various government priorities and in furtherance of the GJDC Work Programme.
Actively participated in the Diaspora Sustainability Symposium staged in June 2021 and the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference in June 2022 where members presented on areas of priority interest including education, health, youth engagement, climate change, and trade and investment.
Organized and conducted webinars on Doing Business in Jamaica, property acquisition, the role of the Faith Based Community in development, and Trafficking in Persons. The Webinars proved to be an effective tool for sharing information on developments and opportunities in Jamaica.
Partnered with the Area 4 Police Civic Committee to discuss ways of promoting peace and security through knowledge and resource transfers.
In partnership with private sector interests, developed a programme of support for professional learning at the Mt. Alvernia High School and Montego Bay High School and the provision of summer internships to students.