Home African Caribbean Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference 2023 Dubbed ‘A Resounding Success’

Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference 2023 Dubbed ‘A Resounding Success’

by D Fitz-Roberts
1 comment

The inaugural Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference 2023 (GDSIC2023), a project of HenleyCaribbean Sustainable Ventures Ltd., Held on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th November 2023 at Kensington Town Hall, Hornton St, London W8 7NX, brought together a diverse group of professionals including, entrepreneurs, academics and Guyana Government policymakers to discuss and strategize on leveraging the diaspora’s potential for sustainable development and investment in Guyana. The conference aimed to foster collaboration, share insights, and explore opportunities for harnessing the diaspora’s skills and resources to contribute to the economic and social growth of Guyana.

Alex Graham, moderator Day I opens conference. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Under the theme: ‘Securing Guyana’s future through diaspora engagement,’ the conference was officially opened by veteran media professional Mr. Alex Graham, managing director, Tagman Media who briefly outlined the ethos and context of the conference while conference Chairman David F. Roberts provided a welcome address, setting the tone for discussions around sustainable development and investment in Guyana but not before referencing the difficulties and innumerable challenges experienced in the planning of the event.

Chairman David F. Roberts delivers welcome address. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

The chairman outlined the vision for Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference, which is to be the forerunner in the effort to mobilise the Guyana diaspora to engage with the government of Guyana on development issues through collaborative partnerships. He highlighted the importance of the diaspora’s role in the nation’s progress and emphasized the need for collaborative efforts between the government, private sector, and the diaspora community.

Chris Mohan from CCA Cargo in Guyana traveled to London for GDSIC2023. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Mr Roberts assured the gathering that through HenleyCaribbean’s academic, business and civic linkages they hope to forge strategic partnerships with influential institutions in the United Kingdom such as the London Stock Exchange, Universities of Reading and London as well as select Chambers of Commerce to provide key training and development opportunities for Guyanese in the diaspora.

The Voice Newspaper represented by Garfield Robinson. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Chairman Roberts stated the mission of GDSIC, “is to be the quintessential source for cultural enrichment where we preserve and propagate our heritage; economic impact through trade and investment initiatives; diplomatic influence where we can assist in building bridges between Guyana and the UK thereby fostering diplomatic ties and understanding; and knowledge exchange where we will, through our partners, exchange knowledge and expertise thereby contributing to innovation, education and professional networks in Guyana.”

Delegate Jacqueline Woodland chats with GUSDA representative Orin Alexander. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

In closing the chairman promised, “Ours is the goal to play a crucial role in assisting in shaping Guyana’s interconnectedness with the United Kingdom, cultural diversity and socio-economic development.”

Dr Terrence Blackman, director GBJ. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

The conference featured a range of sessions covering various themes, including:

Investment Opportunities in Guyana: This area was undertaken by the Government of Guyana’s Chief Investment Officer, with the Office of the President, Dr Peter Ramsaroop who’s presentation was complemented by Dr Rosh Khan. Separately, they presented on the current economic landscape, highlighting sectors with potential for growth and investment. Discussions included agriculture, education, renewable energy, technology, and infrastructure.

Dr Peter Ramsaroop. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Diaspora Engagement Strategies: Head of Diaspora Unit, Ms Rosalinda Rasul shared many examples of diaspora initiatives and the challenges some have experienced. She professed the department’s commitment to serve the global diaspora to increase engagement and thereby applauds the GDSIC initiative in this regard. Ms Rasul is open to exploring effective ways to engage the diaspora, to discuss initiatives that encourage involvement in economic development, education, and healthcare. The importance of building strong networks and communication channels was emphasized.

Dr Rosh Khan. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Sustainability, Renewable Energy and Environmental Conservation: Recognizing the ecological richness of Guyana, the conference delved into sustainable practices and conservation efforts by the University of Reading’s Dr Emmanuel Essah and Dr Stefan Smith. Discussions covered eco-tourism, responsible resource management, and green technology.

Dr Stefan Smith. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Skills and Knowledge Transfer: The sole panel discussion focused, in part on how the diaspora could contribute to skill and knowledge transfer and how Guyanese in the diaspora can effectively participate in the development of the country from a distance. Strategies for improving customer relations at government institutions, building educational partnerships, and collaborative research initiatives with the University of Guyana were explored.

Dr Emmanuel Essah. Photo courtesy CaribDirect


Government Commitment: Ms Rosalinda Rasul expressed her gratitude for the initiative and gave her commitment to work with GDSIC to produce another relevant and impactful GDSIC2024 thereby creating an enabling environment for diaspora engagement in the United Kingdom.

Ms Rosalinda Rasul. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Successful Diaspora Initiatives: Case studies were presented showcasing successful projects initiated by the diaspora. These included business ventures, community development projects, and philanthropic efforts.

Networking in progress. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Networking Opportunities: The conference provided ample networking opportunities, allowing attendees to connect, share experiences, and explore potential collaborations. Business matchmaking sessions facilitated discussions between diaspora members and local entrepreneurs.

London Stock Exchange’s Ibukun Adebayo. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Key Introductions:

(1) Dr Peter Ramsaroop was introduced to London Stock Exchange Group, Sustainable Finance & Investment Strategy director, Mr Ibukun Adebayo who is keen to work with the Government of Guyana to assist with improving the country’s international credit profile.

Genevieve Leveille , CEO AgriLedger. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

(2) Mr Alex Graham was introduced to AgriLedger director Ms Genevieve Leveille with a view to entering into a MOU with respect to collaborating  on a unique agricultural project under the Tagman AgriBusiness aimed at developing new agricultural services in Guyana and the Caribbean.

Joel Bhagwandin, director SphereX Professional Services. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

(3) A member of the audience representing a UK private company has offered to enter into a strategic partnership with a well-connected private company based in Guyana for the development and delivery of a hydroelectric plant to mitigate some of Guyana’s electricity problems.

Dr Coreen Jacobs-Chester, University of Guyana. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Youth Engagement: Recognizing the importance of involving the younger generation, specific sessions focused on youth empowerment, education, and creating platforms for youth to contribute to the development agenda.

Michella Abraham-Ali, moderator Day II. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Challenges and Opportunities:

Challenges identified during the conference included concerns about bureaucratic hurdles, the need for improved infrastructure, the fast pace at which the development is moving and ensuring the inclusivity of all diaspora groups. However, participants also highlighted the numerous opportunities, such as untapped markets, innovative partnerships, and the potential for sustainable development.

Dr David Lewis director Manchester Trade. Photo courtesy CaribDirect


The Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference 2023 proved to be a significant platform for fostering collaboration and dialogue and has in effect created a niche in the diaspora market. Attendees left with a renewed sense of commitment to contribute to Guyana’s development. The success of this conference lies in the continued implementation of the ideas and mission, testing and adjusting strategies discussed, as well as ongoing collaboration between the government, Guyana and UK private sector, and the diaspora community.

Dr Juanita Cox, University of London. Photo courtesy CaribDirect


  • Establish a task force or committee to include select members of the audience with specialised skills who expressed an interest to support the team to follow up on the action items and initiatives discussed during the conference.
  • Develop a comprehensive diaspora engagement strategy, incorporating the ideas and feedback generated during the conference.
  • Facilitate ongoing communication channels between the government, diaspora, and local stakeholders to ensure a sustained collaborative effort.
  • Develop a strategy to encourage Indo Guyanese to embrace the concept of the Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference and participate.

First Panel Discussion on Day I chaired by Alex Graham. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

The Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference 2023 marks a pivotal moment in the journey towards a more sustainable and prosperous future for Guyana, driven by the collective efforts of its diaspora.

Second Panel Discussion on Day II, chaired by Dr. Juanita Cox. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Planning for Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference 2024 has begun in earnest. For more details: Email: [email protected] Website: www.guyanadiasporaconference.com or call: +44 (0) 204 577 3776.

Follow Us on: X, Instagram, Facebook, TIKTOK, YOUTUBE

Team Group Photo. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

GDSIC2023 Deputy Chair, Cristina Caus. Photo courtesy CaribDirect


Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell wows the audience with his mixology skills and info on Guyana rum. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Caribbean Councils’s Cristopher Griffith. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Audience participation. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Team Group Photo. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

D Fitz-Roberts

D Fitz-Roberts

D Fitz-Roberts is a multi-talented writer on socio-economic issues having worked in journalism across the Caribbean (Grenada, Guyana and BVI) in the 90s. He has worked in London with Black Britain Online, New Nation Newspaper and Caribbean Times. An academic with a passion for research on distributed ledger technologies in emerging economies he is keen to see the Caribbean embrace bitcoin and blockchain technologies to keep pace with the west. He writes periodically for mainstream publications and is the founder of CaribDirect.com. He is also the author of Caribbean children’s book LifeSucks! available on Amazon.


You may also like

1 comment

Gulbert Nurse November 24, 2023 - 11:27 am

Guyana Investment Forum was a very good thing to harness the talent of Guyanese in The UK


Leave a Comment

Copyright © 2024 CaribDirect.com | CaribDirect Multi-Media Ltd | CHOSEN CHARITY Caribbean New Frontier Foundation (CNFF) Charity #1131481

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy