Jamaica helping Guyana to digitalise services needed by diaspora


Guyana is seeking the support of its sister Caribbean Community (CARICOM) state, Jamaica, as it moves towards the digitalisation of services needed by members of the diaspora.

This was made known during a Ministry of Foreign Affairs workshop held this week in collaboration with the European Union (EU); the workshop focused on diaspora engagement efforts.

An EU Delegation, government officials from various ministries and agencies, and representatives from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were in attendance at the event held on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Wednesday, Lloyd Wilks, the Director of the Diaspora Unit in Jamaica explained that Jamaica held many engagements with its diaspora and continues to do so to satisfy the interest of the diaspora. It relies heavily on creating investment opportunities because for the most part, the diaspora is interested in how it can make money when it visits or returns to the homeland.

Representatives from the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s Diaspora Unit during a meeting to discuss the country’s transformation for digitalisation of diaspora-engagement services (Photo: EU Global Diaspora Facility)

Wilks, however, said Jamaica wanted to create a system that provides information and access to registering without physical presence or to allow for a shorter process when present.

Digitalisation seemed to be the solution.

“We have received support to develop a digital registration portal and the benefit of this portal- which is now ready- is that we can gather information from the diaspora that covers all angles and they receive a benefit from it meaning that they can register for themselves and access different things about Jamaica about agencies, investments opportunities, and government agencies in general,” the Director said.

Guyana wants to do the same, according to the Head of the Diaspora Unit under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Rosalinda Rasul.

Rosalinda Rasul, Head of the Diaspora Unit under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Photo: News Room/ June 15, 2023)

She explained that the unit currently acts as a bridge for the diaspora to connect to local agencies. At this workshop, however, the agencies were informed of the necessary technical guidance they need and systems that must be established to meet the demand.

“We actually have our website under construction right now.

“We’ve already had all the information for it and it’s just to launch it and part of that website actually speaks to exactly what we heard in that workshop where there will be what we call the low-hanging fruits of investment for the diaspora, something that reaches their finances, and their pocket.

“If we can get a lot of the ministries and agencies who engage the diaspora to digital, I think that would really transform diaspora engagement,” Rasul said.

She added, “We are in a better position in understanding how other countries who have engaged the diaspora much longer dealt with the same challenges and what new systems can be implemented.”

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