Omaj pou Ayiti

Haiti Reaches Out To Haitians In Florida For Help

A two-day Haiti investment conference opens in Miami Beach on Monday where the focus is on getting Haitians living in South Florida and elsewhere to invest in their quake-battered homeland.

The 2012 Investment Forum will feature 30 speakers, almost all of whom are Haitians. They include Haitian entrepreneurs already creating jobs in Haiti, outgoing Prime Minister Garry Conille and the country’s new ambassador to the United States, Paul Altidor.

Organizers have also invited Laurent Lamothe, the country’s prime minister designate and current foreign minister, who has called on his ambassadors and consul generals to promote business diplomacy by promoting investment opportunities back home.

Business diplomacy, if utilized properly, could “lead to economic growth and job creation,” said Altidor, who served as vice president for programs and investment for the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund before being tapped for his new diplomatic role.

But equally as important as the economic growth and job creation is the conversation Haitians in the diaspora need to have among themselves about how to better engage in their homeland’s future, said Johnny Celestin, executive director of the Haitian Diaspora Federation. The federation has partnered with the Sustainatopia conference at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Founded by Fort Lauderdale consultant John Rosser, Sustainatopia celebrates global and social change while focusing on Haiti’s sustainability.

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