Political Leader of main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Senator Burke has cited the need to integrate the Diaspora in to plans for the long term development of the country.
This is one of 12 core principles announced by the Party Leader in the newly developed 13-year (2017-2030) NDC Policy Agenda presented to the nation last week Thursday.
“Our Government must be committed to taking the necessary steps to incorporate and ensure the participation of Grenadians living in the Diaspora in the long term development of our country,” Sen. Burke said as he pointed to some of the benefits that can be derived as a result.
It is said that there are approximately 350,000 Grenadians living abroad.
Sen. Burke noted that many of these persons are “highly educated (and) have skills talents that we don’t have and badly need in our country.
“Many of them are retired people who are simply looking for ways to contribute to somebody or to some cause. Many of them are high net worth individuals who are looking for places to invest. Many of them have worked in international corporations of high repute and have made international connections and networking and wish to somehow use their contacts to give assistance to our country,” he said.
However, the Congress leader pointed out that, “In spite of this potential, 42 years have gone since our independence and no government has been able to develop a plan for integrating the Diaspora for the long term development of our country”.
Describing this as a “tragedy”, Sen. Burke cited the need for an improved and modern health care system in the country.
He stressed that there are many persons living in the Diaspora who would like to return home but are reluctant to do so due to what he referred to as the “poor health care system” that currently exist in Grenada.
He said the NDC believes “that those who are out there love Grenada and want to help, serve and contribute to Grenada (but) it must not be a one way street”.
“…We must understand that they too have interests and we must be prepared to listen to their needs and interests and circumstances and see how we can make this arrangement mutually beneficial because at the end of the day we can all benefit from it”, he remarked.
Congress is trying to regain the seat of power which it lost in a devastating 15-0 defeat at the polls to the New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The party has already put its supporters on watch for a possible snap poll before year-end by Dr. Mitchell who is seeking a record fifth term in office.