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.
The GJDC will comprise of 14 elected members from across the Diaspora communities in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America.
The remaining 14 members are appointed from the Diaspora and Jamaica by the Minister with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, following their election or selection to join the Council. There are three categories of appointments: appointments according to regions, appointments according to sectors, and discretionary appointments.
Six (6) members are appointed following a selection process from regions not currently represented through the electoral process namely: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East.
Nine (9) members are appointed through a selection process to join the GJDC according to their respective areas of expertise in Agriculture; Education; Environment; Health; Arts, Sports, Culture; Citizen Security, Development Expertise; Faith-based Community, and Commerce. One of the nine members is appointed from Jamaica while the final member of the Council is a discretionary appointment.
WHAT WE DO
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 and 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 in sharing information on developments and opportunities in Jamaica.
Organized and executed outreach programmes in Jamaica, including a two-month health mission, based in the Savanah-la-Mar Hospital.
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.