My fellow Jamaicans,
This year we celebrate Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee, our 60th anniversary of Independence, under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’. This aspirational call to action charges our citizens, at home and abroad, to collectively engage more deliberately, and motivate each other more purposefully, towards the realization of our national development goals.
As you enjoy the richness of our culture through the numerous festivities and celebrations that will be held within Jamaican communities across the globe, let us recall the contributions of our forebears and the struggles they overcame, leading to the establishment of a proud, free and sovereign Jamaica. They exhibited the enduring traits of resilience and resolve, the basis on which Jamaica stands and continues to proclaim our independence. A grateful nation salutes their countless sacrifices and we honor and respect their commitment to build a Jamaica where all have opportunities to unleash their true potential.
Similarly, we also celebrate you, our Diaspora, who have left an indelible mark on the world stage, through music, art, sports, academia, business and so much more. Like our forefathers, you embody a spirit of resilience, creativity and tenacity. Through your hard work, you have succeeded in elevating the culture, profile and image of Jamaica to the world. You are unequivocal champions of ‘Brand Jamaica’. As investors, philanthropists, bridge-builders, Brand Ambassadors, lobbyists, marketers, and consumers, there is tremendous value in your experience and your networks which redound to the benefit of both Jamaica and your adopted homes.
You have stood with us through global recessions, natural disasters and global pandemics. In spite of these occurrences, we have been resolute in our mission of national development, due in large part to your support. Regardless of geographical distance, you have tirelessly offered assistance through remittances, knowledge exchanges and the countless contributions you have made in the health, education and business sectors, among others. Through your active contributions to various areas of life in Jamaica, you have played an important role in nation-building. A grateful nation salutes you and looks forward to a future characterized by a genuine partnership and mutual understanding.
I am pleased with the success of the ninth iteration of the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference, which was staged in June this year in hybrid fashion. The focus on digital transformation and innovation, sought to capitalize on the engagement opportunities offered by new and emerging technologies and the cultural affinity of the Diaspora to Jamaica, as we strive to deepen our engagement impetus with you and all of our partners. We encourage you to join this digital transformation effort which will greatly enhance the efficiency of our engagement strategies.
The recent approval of the National Diaspora Policy will help to codify and deepen our evolving partnership and commitment for our shared national vision of a better Jamaica, so that Jamaicans wherever they reside are empowered to achieve their full potential.
As we reflect, therefore, on the last sixty years of Independence, let us with pride and satisfaction, look forward to the years ahead with a renewed spirit and the will to transform our Jamaica into the place to live, work, raise families and do business.
I wish you, my Diaspora family, a Happy 60th Anniversary of Independence!