Richardson: Diaspora Conference important to move St. Kitts-Nevis forward


BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – In an exclusive interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), Dr. Leonard Richardson, who due to unforeseen circumstances could not attend the inaugural St. Kitts-Nevis Diaspora Conference, said that conferences such as these are imperative to move the country forward.

“This Diaspora Conference is extremely important because that’s part of the solution to the opportunities that we have to grow in,” said Richardson, who is also a native of St. Kitts and Nevis. “This Diaspora Conference is one of those areas of opportunity and growth. I think we have people in the diaspora involved in not only medicine, but in research, in the private sector, in governments – a multitude of specialties and professions throughout the diaspora.”

Richardson added that by engaging citizens and creating a forum where they can come and share their ideas would be key in moving forward. He added that St. Kitts and Nevis should make use of the experiences that people have had beyond its shores. “Utilize technology, utilize the fact that we are spread around the world and we are obtaining experiences from so many different facets,” he said. “Utilize that, bring that home, make that one big institutional memory and just create a better future for ourselves.”

The medical doctor noted that St. Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean should explore new medical technologies to treat people in the region without having to travel to extra-regional countries. This, he stated, can be achieved through relationships within the diaspora. “Let’s create sustainable relationships with our neighboring islands and colleagues and let’s share our resources,” he said. “That, I think, is the future as we just utilize the talents and the skills that we have throughout the diaspora.”

Richardson reiterated that the conference was important and that the next conference will be highly anticipated. “I’m really glad that we are having this Diaspora Conference,” he said. “I look forward to future diaspora conferences and just exchanging ideas with my colleagues and old classmates and others.”

The Diaspora Conference was held June 26-28 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort under the theme “Building Partnerships Towards Sustainable Development.” It provide a forum for dialogue with the diaspora, government and its agencies, the private sector and civil society organizations to enhance collaboration toward the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the further development of the federation.