UG Press releases first book

12th December, 2018 0 comments

The first publication of the recently established The University of Guyana Press (UGP), Dynamics of Caribbean Diaspora Engagement: People, Policy, Practice, will be launched on Thursday, December 13, at 17:30 h in the Education Lecture Theatre of the University’s Turkeyen Campus. The 452-page book was edited by Professor George K. Danns, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Georgia, USA; Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of Guyana; and Dr Fitzgerald Yaw, Director of Strategic Initiatives at UG.  

According to Vice-Chancellor Griffith, “the launch of this book—in print and kindle versions—is an historic milestone in the journey along Renaissance Road, as we boost our academic enterprise in the area of research and publishing. This is one of several initiatives to strengthen research and scholarship by faculty and students, to make UG a place of pride in relation to research and scholarship.” The Vice-Chancellor explained that, “UGP Press will not only publish books; we soon will release the first monographs in an occasional paper series called The Renaissance Papers, with the first authors being Professors Jay Mandle, Michael Scott and Gomathinayagam Subramaniam, and Mr Charles Ceres.” 

Building on UG’s first Diaspora Engagement conference, which was held in 2017, this ground-breaking volume highlights the multidimensional points of diaspora engagement and commences the conversation towards a systematic and structured approach to harnessing all the Diaspora has to offer. In his endorsement of the book, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of UWI, said: “The Caribbean nation-building project was conceived within a development discourse that sought to eliminate political boundaries that kept citizens apart. It has not fulfilled its potential. Now, a new discursive leadership is emerging within academia that shows how diaspora is to be deposited in the heartland of the nation in terms of both policy and praxis. This is the key to unlocking a new Caribbeanness in energetic and innovative ways. Our editors, Danns, Griffith and Yaw have given us a text that serves as the manifesto for the mission.”  

The volume brings together contributions from over 30 authors, from the academy, government and NonGovernmental Organisations, and they include scholars, diplomats, and entrepreneurs. It is organised into seven sections: Overview of the Caribbean Diaspora, Enhancing Development through Diaspora Engagement, The Role of Hometown Associations, Identity Issues in the Caribbean Diaspora Experience, The Lived Experience, Diaspora Policy and Practice Lessons from Another Diaspora Experience. As well, it covers economics, culture, migration, politics and development, scholarly perspectives as well as the lived experiences of the Caribbean Diaspora, all explored with a view to enhancing diaspora engagement. 

Professor Neville Ying, Pro-Chancellor of Mico University College and Executive Director of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, described the book as “an important addition to the literature on Caribbean Diaspora Issues that can inform Policy development and Practices for effective Diaspora Engagement by CARICOM countries.” He further said, “I invite the authors and readers- researchers, practitioners and policy-makers - to interrogate the content and focus on the practice aspect of the theme of the book. A useful starting point is using this book as a source document for initiating dialogue and collaborative initiatives with institutions and agencies in the CARICOM Region such as the Jamaica Diaspora Institute and the Planning Institute of Jamaica which have done and are doing important and ground breaking research and development initiatives that contribute to the development of policies and practices for Effective Diaspora Engagement.” 

His Excellency Dr Riyad Insanally, Ambassador of Guyana to the USA and the OAS, is “confident that Dynamics of Caribbean Diaspora Engagement: People, Policy, Practice will prove to be an invaluable contribution to the burgeoning national conversation on the role of our Diaspora and the need for a more systematic and structured approach to go beyond nostalgia and patriotism and tap into the huge reservoirs of talent and finance available in our large and far-flung Diaspora.” He believes that, “ it is hugely significant that this is not only the first title to be published by the recently-established University of Guyana Press but also purports to be the first comprehensive collection of published materials on diaspora engagement in the Caribbean.” 

Ambassador Insanally further commended the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ivelaw Griffith, “for having convened the First Diaspora Engagement Conference, in Guyana, in July 2017 and for following-up, in collaboration with co-editors, Prof. Ken Danns and Dr Fitzgerald Yaw, with this publication as a concrete output of the Conference. In drawing on the more thoughtful presentations made regarding experiences across the region but with a primary focus, of course, on Guyana, they have provided us with indispensable reading, integral to building engagement and charting a course towards a brighter and more inclusive future.” 

The book is available for US$ 39.95 or G$ 8,400 at the UG Campus Store and the UG Press Office at Turkeyen. It will also be available at local bookstores,,, and (Kindle book). 




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 116 under-graduate and post-graduate Programmes including the Natural Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Business, 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.

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