PJ Patterson Will Speak on first Day of the State of the Black World Conference
Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Hon. PJ Patterson, will deliver a keynote address on the opening day of the State of the Black World Conference (SOBWCV) slated for Baltimore, Md. from April 19-23. He will focus on the mission to transform post-colonial societies in the Caribbean and Africa and to enhance democracy and development in those parts of the Black world.
Patterson holds the distinction of being the longest serving prime minister in the history of Jamaica. Currently he is “Statesman in Residence” at the PJ Patterson Center for Africa-Caribbean advocacy at the University of the West Indies. The Center coordinates public policy and advocacy in fostering development relations between the Caribbean and Africa and promotes dialogue at the level of Heads of Government.
“From our history, we gain an insight,” said Patterson, “and we define a challenge. The insight is an understanding that the modern pursuit of democracy and development reflects nothing more than the yearning of our Ancestors for freedom and agency. The challenge is for us to build inclusive societies, encompassing social, economic and environmental progress, fully cognizant that this is nothing less than a sacred trust from the past.”
Commenting on Patterson’s participation in the SOBWCV, Dr. Ron Daniels, Convenor of the conference and President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century said, “we are honored and delighted to have this prestigious global statesman be engaged with the conference. Former Prime Minister Patterson will bring an unprecedented depth of experience, wisdom and guidance to this historic gathering that will help the global Pan-African movement set a course for the rest of the 21st Century.”
Patterson is credited with having laid the groundwork for the economic growth of modern Jamaica, presiding over massive infrastructure development including the construction of highways, modernization of airports, telecom liberalization and expansion, as well as significant foreign investment inflows to the country’s tourism industry.
“Those who were engaged in the anti-colonial movement several generations after Emancipation, fully understand that the political departure of the colonial masters at independence was an important step, but only a solitary step on the journey to inclusive societies genuinely responsive to the needs, interests and aspirations of each inhabitant,” added Patterson.
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