Economic gains anticipated from UG's Diaspora Conference - Vice Chancellor

28th June, 2017 0 comments

Any university that has suffered the kind of neglect that the University of Guyana [UG] has experienced needs not only money to recover, but other support as well. This assertion was made during the past week by UG Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith. It was with this, among other things, in mind, that the University has collaborated with key stakeholders to organise a Diaspora Engagement Conference [DEC] which is slated for July 23 – 28, 2017 at the Ramada Princess Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara.

At a recent press conference held at the Mexico Embassy – which is also collaborating with UG to convene the DEC – Professor Griffith said, “we will be asking, and have been asking Diaspora Guyanese and non-Guyanese, not only to give money. We are not only looking for help in monetary ways, but we are also looking for people to open doors…part of it is monetary; part of it is non-monetary.”

As such, the intent of the Conference, is to ascertain, “how Diaspora Guyanese and non-Guyanese can help to give not only financially, but time, treasure, talent and open doors to help us connect, to help our students, help our faculty, help our university overall”. According to Professor Griffith, the week-long Conference, which was in the making for just under one year, will not take on a traditional form.\

“We are spending a week doing a variety of things; only two days of which are the traditional conversations, but those conversations are not only by academics…we have businessmen, we have civic society, we have diplomats, we have government officials as part of the conversation mix,” Professor Griffith noted. The DEC will see Guyanese participants travelling from as far as Nigeria, Russia, the United States, Jamaica, Trinidad and other countries. In fact, the event is even slated to be attended by the President of the Caribbean Development Bank.

President David Granger is scheduled to host the welcome reception and deliver a keynote address to declare the conference officially opened. Speakers will include: People’s Progressive Party Chief Whip, Ms. Gail Teixeira, several ministers of Government, and it is expected that there will be video messages from Baroness Valerie Amos, Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies in the United Kingdom and Gina Mille, the founding partner of Spencer Churchill Miller, an investment company of Brexit fame.

Other speakers will include Mexican Ambassador, Mr. Ivan Roberto Sierra Medel; Mr. Glen Khan, Chairman of LAPARKAN and Mr. David Lammy, British Member of Parliament. And since Guyana’s Diaspora and Guyana’s homeland have a wonderful cultural diversity, the Vice Chancellor added that “we want to end the conference by showcasing some of the cultural diversity, that mix of music, and dance and culture.” This will translate to a cultural extravaganza also on the last day of the conference which is being organised by renowned flautist Keith Waithe.

Waithe, who is one of Guyana’s musical icons, resides in London. According to Professor Griffith, he had a hand in including Waithe in the Conference, “to be our distinguished artist and resident. He will be coming back in that role. He will be organising Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora for that extravaganza that showcases the right talent of our races, culture, our sports.”

Tasked with the role of being Chairman of the Planning Committee of the entire conference is Dr. Fitzgerald Yaw, UG’s Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives. Dr. Yaw returned to Guyana last year August to take up the appointment at UG. According to him, he has returned to work with the University and help the Vice Chancellor with the project of rebuilding and restoring UG to the place it has to hold in the development of Guyana.

As such, the Conference is expected to play an integral role in this regard. Dr. Yaw has been working with a diverse group both in Guyana and other parts of the world, helping to organise the Conference.
“Working in Guyana and seeing the challenges directly, living in it really just reinforces for me the importance of the Diaspora in the rebuilding of Guyana…” Dr. Yaw noted, even as he disclosed that the Conference is one that is expected to lead to the establishment of a Diaspora Centre at UG, that will help to deepen and strengthen the engagement of the Diaspora with Guyana and the Caribbean too.

As such, the Conference is expected to play an integral role in this regard. Dr. Yaw has been working with a diverse group both in Guyana and other parts of the world, helping to organise the Conference.
“Working in Guyana and seeing the challenges directly, living in it really just reinforces for me the importance of the Diaspora in the rebuilding of Guyana…” Dr. Yaw noted, even as he disclosed that the Conference is one that is expected to lead to the establishment of a Diaspora Centre at UG, that will help to deepen and strengthen the engagement of the Diaspora with Guyana and the Caribbean too.

“We are not saying that the Diaspora is not being engaged… we all know that it is. It is just a matter that we want to deepen and enhance it,” related Dr. Yaw. Persons locally and broad, including students, business persons, among others are encouraged to register to participate in the Conference. Registration is being done at varying costs to the participants. But according to Professor Griffith, the hosting of the Conference will have significant economic benefit for Guyana as a whole. “Think of what this week – even if we have only 200 people come to this Conference, think of what that does to an economy. Each of those people who comes for the investiture from abroad, paying an airfare, part of it comes to this country, staying at a hotel, part of it comes here, taking the taxi around, buying souvenirs…there is economic value added,” Professor Griffith asserted.

Article adapted from: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2017/06/26/economic-gains-anticipated-from-ugs-diaspora-conference-vice-chancellor/


UG to set up diaspora centre, upbeat about upcoming conference

26th June, 2017 0 comments

AS the University of Guyana (UG) prepares to host a major inaugural diaspora engagement conference, plans are in train for the launch of a Diaspora Engagement Centre in December this year.

The initiative was announced by the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr Ivelaw Griffith, who along with Mexico’s Ambassador to Guyana , Ivan Robero Sierra Medel and other university officials, briefed the media at the Mexican Embassy on Brickdam on Thursday of UG’s upcoming diaspora conference . The event is slated for July 23-28 at the Ramada Georgetown Princess on the East Bank of Demerara.

According to Dr Griffith, the diaspora centre is being pursued as an avenue to assist the university in working with persons in the diaspora. He said the idea of the establishment of the centre is to enable a permanent entity to facilitate a variety of events over time. These include facilitation of linkages between the university and the diaspora, ”Guyana beyond the university “ and he noted that it is expected that the centre will undertake conferences and hold a talent databank. “One of the things we will be asking the centre to do is to manage that,” he said of the talent database of Guyanese persons.

Griffith said that one of the outcomes of the conference is a discussion of a concept paper that will advance dialogue on the centre. He said several organisations have been engaged on funding of the facility, noting that the idea presents an opportunity to UG to extend its partnerships beyond Guyana. He said that physical location of the centre has to be decided.” I’m excited about the centre”, Griffith noted.

Griffith said he anticipates, as part of the diaspora conference, that there will be structured guidance about the timeline leading to the opening of the centre, noting that the facility will be established in a phased process commencing this September.

As regards the conference, UG is looking to host at 100-150 participants at the event which will be held under the theme, “Dreaming Diaspora Engagement, Doing Diaspora Engagement.” Griffith noted that while persons may not be able to attend, the interest in participation is there. “For me participation in the conference is only a small proportion of interest,” he said.

The objectives of the conference include engagement of the diaspora in facilitating the pursuit of entrepreneurship, innovations and social and human capital opportunities. In addition, the event will be used to discuss global best practices in diaspora-engagement policies and strengthen partnerships with organisations overseas.

Griffith said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been engaged in many areas in terms of the partnership with the university in the lead-up to the conference. Dr Fitzgerald Yaw, Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives at UG, noted that the Government of Guyana is reviewing its diaspora-engagement strategy and the university plans to ask the government to launch or discuss the strategy at the conference in July. As regards the Mexican Embassy’s participation in the event, Ambassador Medel noted that he has a good relationship with the university and as such, the embassy is in conversation with the institution as regards the hosting of the event. “We are open to this very important potential area”, he said. Ambassador Medel is among a list of persons who are expected to speak at the conference.

As part of the calendar of events, President David Granger is expected to host the welcoming reception on the opening day of the event and he is also expected to deliver the keynote address the following day. Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, will also speak during the early days of the event, while several government ministers have confirmed their participation.

In addition, British Member of Parliament, David Lammy, is expected to speak during the conference, while academics, civic leaders, businesspersons and members of the diplomatic community are also expected to participate in the inaugural event. Meanwhile, the conference will see the investiture of Dr Griffith as UG’s 10th Vice-Chancellor on the last day of the event. It is the first time a VC will be officially installed as head of the university. The event’s last day will also be highlighted by a cultural extravaganza and will be organised by London –based musician Keith Waite.

Article adapted from: http://guyanachronicle.com/2017/06/22/ug-to-set-up-diaspora-centre-upbeat-about-upcoming-conference

 

 


President David Granger and Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira to speak at the UG inaugural Diaspora Engagement Conference

26th June, 2017 0 comments

The University of Guyana (UG) will host the historic inaugural Diaspora Engagement Conference (DEC 2017) from July 23 to 28, 2017, at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel, under the theme: Dreaming Diaspora Engagement, Doing Diaspora Engagement. The Conference is expected to attract over one hundred participants from within and outside Guyana.

His Excellency President David Granger will host the Welcome Reception on Sunday, July 23 and deliver the keynote address to declare the conference open on Monday, July 24, 2017, while the Opposition Chief Whip, Hon. Gail Teixeira, will deliver the luncheon address on Tuesday, July 25. Additionally, several government ministers, including those for Business, Public Telecommunications, Finance, and Public Health, have confirmed their participation. Video messages also will be coming from Baroness Valerie Amos, director of the School of Oriental and African Studies in the UK, and Ms Gina Miller, founding partner of Spencer Churchill Miller (SCM) Direct, of Brexit fame.

Additionally, Mr Glen Khan, Chairman of LAPARKAN; Mr David Lammy, British MP; and Mexican Ambassador to Guyana Mr Ivan Roberto Sierra Medel will speak at the conference, along with 40 other keynote speakers and presenters. The Indian High Commission will also share India’s experience in engaging its Diaspora. Guyanese businessmen, academics, and civic leaders scheduled to speak and chair sessions at the conference will be coming from the United States of America, Nigeria, the British Virgin Islands, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Canada, and Russia. They will join local civic and business leaders, government officials, diplomats, and academics in discussions on the various panels, the ministerial roundtables, and the business dinner.

Hosted by the University of Guyana with planning input from local and Diaspora stakeholders, DEC 2017 is organised around two overarching pillars: human, social and entrepreneurship development, and Diaspora philanthropy, diplomacy, and educational engagement. It is expected to provide the platform for developing a diaspora engagement strategy to inform the work of the first Caribbean Diaspora Engagement Center. The launch of the Center is expected to be a major highlight of the six-day conference. According to UG’s Vice-Chancellor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, “the conference will contribute to the development of a mechanism to effectively attract diaspora social and economic investment and engage the diaspora in educational and economic development.”

Brain-child of the Vice-Chancellor, the conference has several components, including academic and policy conversations, community engagement, a Know Guyana Day where local and international attendees will have an opportunity to make day visits to various parts of the country, and the second meeting of UG’s Education Resource Ambassadors. The academic conversations will focus on issues such as international and regional migration policies and experiences, cultural identity dynamics, financial transfers and remittances, role and contribution of hometown associations, diaspora trade and investments, and tourism.

The historic event will end on Friday, July 28 with two highlights. The first is the Investiture of Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith as UG’s Tenth Vice-Chancellor, the first time a UG Vice-Chancellor will be officially installed as Chief Executive and Chief Academic Officer. The second highlight will be a cultural extravaganza that will be free of cost to conference registrants. The extravaganza is being organised by London-based music icon Mr Keith Waite, and it will spotlight Guyana’s rich cultural diversity at home and abroad. Performers will be coming from Ghana and the UK, and Mr Waithe will be returning to Guyana to serve a second stint as Visiting Distinguished Artiste-in-Residence at the University.

The period for submission of abstracts has ended. Registration, however, is still open, and can be done online at http://diasporaconference.uog.edu.gy/. Conference participants in Guyana can pay for their registration at Citizen’s Bank locations and at the Bursary at the Turkeyen or the Tain campus. Persons registering now will catch the ‘Early Bird’ rate, which ends on July 1.

The university appreciates the sponsorship received so far from LAPARKAN, Movie Towne, the Ministry of the Presidency, Fly Jamaica, the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel, Caribbean Airlines, Roraima Airways, Metro, Republic Bank, GBTI, ENetworks, Slingshot, Go-Invest,  the Ministries of Business and Public Telecommunications, E.C. Vieira Investments Ltd. Guyana, and the Guyana Tourism Authority.

###

For more information contact:

Dr Fitzgerald (Gerry) Yaw

Director, Office of Strategic Initiatives

Vice-Chancellery,

The University of Guyana

Tel: 592 222 8063

E-mail: ugdiaspora@uog.edu.gy

http://diasporaconference.uog.edu.gy

                          or

Mr Wayne Forde

Florida-based member of the Conference Planning Committee

Wforde94@gmail.com

 

UG IN BRIEF

With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, The University of Guyana (UG) has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queens College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more than 60 Under-graduate and Post-graduate Programmes including Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry and Nursing. Several online programmes are available and The UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). The UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.

 

Public Relations Division

June 22, 2017


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President David Granger and Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo invited to the first Diaspora Engagement Conference to be convened in Guyana

29th April, 2017 0 comments

The University of Guyana (UG) will host its inaugural Diaspora Engagement Conference from July 23 to 28, 2017, in Georgetown, Guyana, under the theme: Dreaming Diaspora Engagement, Doing Diaspora Engagement. The Conference is expected to attract several hundred participants.

Hosted by the University of Guyana with support from a team of leaders in the diaspora and other stakeholders, the Conference is organised around two overarching pillars: human, social and entrepreneurship development, and diaspora philanthropy and diplomacy.

The conference is expected to provide the platform for developing a diaspora engagement strategy that would inform the work of the first Caribbean Diaspora Engagement Center. The launch of the Center is expected to be a major highlight of the six-day conference. According to UG’s Vice-Chancellor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, “the conference will contribute to the development of diaspora policy and a framework to effectively attract direct diaspora investment and engage the diaspora in nation building.”

His Excellency President David Granger has been invited to deliver the keynote address and to declare the conference open on Monday, July 24, 2017, while the Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo was invited to deliver the luncheon address on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Additionally, Hon. Carl Greenidge, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will make a presentation at the conference, along with other keynote speakers and presenters.

The conference has three components namely; an academic symposium, a business forum, and community engagement. The symposium will receive academic presentations on key issues such as international and regional migration policies, cultural identities and the Diasporas, financial transfers and remittances, social remittances, tourism, diaspora trade and investments, among other areas.

Members of the large Caribbean diaspora in New York, Canada, and the U.K. are expected to attend and provide input, match skills and create trans-national networks to build a robust diaspora engagement and productive partnerships.

The highpoints of the conference include a cultural night which would see conference registrants enjoying a night of cultural extravaganza free of cost; and a number of Guyana tour options will be available to registrants to enjoy on Thursday, July 27, 2017.

The period for submission of abstracts has ended and a number of submissions were received on a wide range of topic areas. Registration, however, is still open. Registration can be done online at http://diasporaconference.uog.edu.gy/. Conference participants in Guyana can pay for their registration at Citizen’s Bank locations and at the Bursary on Turkeyen or Tain Campuses. Persons registering now will catch the ‘Early Bird’ fees.


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