Ministry of Education, Guyana

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:19

University of Guyana launches book

– to tackle Guyanese Diaspora challenges

The first publication of the University of Guyana Press (UGP) has been launched, and copies are now available for purchase at the University of Guyana (UG)’s Turkeyen Campus.

The publication, ‘Dynamics of Caribbean Diaspora Engagement: People, Policy, Practice’, is said to tackle challenges within the Caribbean Diaspora, and at the same time aid in the development and enhancement of our country.

As such, Guyanese are being urged to equip themselves with the said book to come to the realisation of how we can work together to establish human capital development.

Edited by UG’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith; Professor Ken Danns, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Georgia, USA; and Dr. Fitzgerald Yaw, Director of Strategic Initiatives at UG, the 452-page book brings together contributions from over 30 authors from the academy, government and non-governmental organisations, and they include scholars, diplomats, and entrepreneurs.

It is organised into seven sections, namely: 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.

It also 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 Yaw said that the book goes in to the various levels at which the diaspora can engage in development of the region. “The diaspora engagement discussed in this book reflect the reality of the global world in which we live and the people’s connection in which the diaspora really represents,” he said.

Speaking on the impact ability of this new book, former presidential adviser to youth empowerment, and current Head of Office of Migration, Department of Citizenship, Aubrey Norton, said that he believes this book is what Guyana needs and it could not have come in a timelier manner.

“This publication comes at this juncture when Guyana needs access to human and other resource capabilities of its diaspora. As we move to benefit from the oil and gas discoveries in Guyana, we need the involvement of all Guyanese who have an interest in ensuring that all our people benefit from it… This publication helps us to better understand the reach of the diaspora,” Norton said.
He further pointed out that the migration of Guyanese to other countries has long been a negative for Guyana, in that we have lost a lot of skills and resources necessary for Guyana’s success, and the responsibility before us is to confront these challenges that we face.

“At the same time, it has opened new vistas for us to turn our negatives into positives. In this regard, there is need to develop the institutional framework and the appropriate attitude that will create conditions for richness. I wish to point out that diaspora engagement, like all other social phenomenon, are complex. But with our collective abilities, our willingness to listen and learn and engage each other we can so reach our success,” Norton stated.
In his endorsement of the book, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the 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 book is available for US$39.95 or GYD$ 8,400 at the UG Campus Store and the UG Press Office at Turkeyen.


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