USA | May 11, 2023

Jamaica’s South Florida Diaspora briefed on positive happenings back home

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith has briefed the Jamaican Diaspora in South Florida on the positive trends currently taking place in the island.

This was done during her whirlwind visit there, last weekend (May 6-7).  She pointed to reductions taking place in Jamaica’s fiscal debt as well as in criminal activities, explaining that this has resulted from hard work, short, medium and long-term programmes over a period of time. 

The Minister made mention of the increase in police mobility, renovation of police stations, training programmes for security personnel among other infrastructural development. 

Johnson-Smith told the Jamaican South Florida Diaspora that the reduction in debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is trending down significantly, now at 84 per cent, creating fiscal space to do more for economic growth at home.

She encouraged the Jamaican Diaspora to follow the positive news coming out of Jamaica, as well as continue to pray for the nation, the security forces, and for the eradication of ills in the society. 

“We’re not just trying, we are doing” she said while addressing members of the Jamaican Women of Florida (JWOF), which hosted an informal reception in her honour last Sunday (May 7) at the Island Space Caribbean Museum in Fort Lauderdale.


The Minister spoke of the role of the Jamaican Ministries of National Security, Health, Labour and Social Security supporting the work of the Diaspora addressing concerns about Jamaica.

She commended the members of the South Florida based group now celebrating its 10th anniversary, for their exemplary role in the Florida community and in Jamaica. 

As an advocate of phenomenal women and their impact on community, Johnson-Smith expressed pride for the role the organisation played as accomplished women in “opening doors in real and practical ways for our young people to follow”. 

The Minister proposed follow-up engagement with JWOF members in further discussions to look at programmes in which they could collaborate more deeply, creating opportunities for young people and families – programmes in health, education and the social sector.

Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith and Mayor of Miramar, Wayne Messam.

Speaking to the wide representation of Jamaicans at the event, the minister thanked the group of professionals, corporate leaders, businesspersons, artists, philanthropists, and media personnel for their contributions in various areas of the Jamaican society as well as to development across the Diaspora.

Expressing her desire to again visit the Island Space Caribbean Museum, the first of its kind, Johnson-Smith lauded the executive team for this space, which she described as emblematic of our Caribbean history, culture, excellence and political sphere.

The museum now celebrating its fifth anniversary was started by two Jamaican principals, Calibe Thompson and David Muir. The patrons at the reception were treated to entertainment by members of the artistic community, jazz guitarist, Eugene Grey, who shared musical talent with pieces done with the late Harry Belafonte. Dub poet, Malachi Smith also performed pieces of love and passion of country.


The Minister received several gift items including the Keys to the City of Miramar by Mayor Wayne Messam.  She was also presented with a gift package celebrating the 10-year anniversary of JWOF. 

JWOF President, Janice McIntosh presented the Minister with an anniversary souvenir bag with a scarf designed and produced by JWOF member and designer, Denise Katz. 

The Minister also received a painting by Jamaican artist, Chris Butler “The Market Place” which she described as the economic hub of Jamaica, another aspect of the Jamaican society depicting the role of women in building communities and families. 

Calibe Thompson also presented the Minister with an autographed copy of “Pieces of Jamaica – Jamrock Edition” by David Muir and Sean Henry.


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