The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is well advanced in its plans to establish a Diaspora Unit.
This was recently disclosed by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, as she delivered the Throne Speech to mark the Second Session of Parliament at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
The Diaspora Unit, according to Dame Sandra, will be a platform for advancing Barbados’ economic interests abroad through the Barbadian diaspora and Friends of Barbados communities, which were described as under-used assets with regard to their networks, skills and resources.
The Governor General added: “The power of the diaspora and Friends of Barbados must now be leveraged systematically to facilitate and enhance their contribution to Barbadian society and economy, especially through innovation and entrepreneurship, partnerships in various sectors, sustainable philanthropic initiatives, and attractive investment opportunities.”
Dame Sandra also stated that Barbados’ diplomatic missions must be at the forefront of efforts to identify new and emerging sectors that could propel and expand the Barbadian economy.
In the last 18 months, she said, Barbados established diplomatic relations with 12 countries in an effort to expand the country’s diplomatic footprint, as part of the national effort toward economic reconstruction and business generation, and plans are in place to establish new missions.
The proposed new missions are High Commissions in Kenya and Ghana, an Embassy in the United Arab Emirates and a Consulate at Casablanca, Morocco. Dame Sandra said, once established, Barbados would have representation at the only location in the South of the globe, of the principal agencies of the United Nations, including UNEP and UN Habitat.