Above: Haiti PM Laurent Lamothe (Photo: OPM Haiti)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti Prime Minister called on a group of retired NBA players to invest in Haiti Saturday during a philanthropic summit in Miami.
The event at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, was additionally attended by former US President Bill Clinton, who traveled to Haiti on Sunday.
Lamothe addressed a group of attendees including former NBA stars including Glen Rice, Penny Hardaway and Haitian-born Olden Polynice, who was recently named a goodwill ambassador by Haiti President Michel Martelly.
The Prime Minister spoke of Haiti’s 5-E plan for development, which includes the areas of education, environment, the rule of law, energy and employment (all begin with “E” in French). Clinton also addressed the summit.
“I want to challenge you all — I challenge you to reexamine your perception of Haiti,” Lamothe said in his speech Saturday. “I challenge you to bypass sensationalist headlines, and come see for yourselves. I challenge you to spread the word amongst your friends and relatives. Haitians deserve it.”
The association, which was formed in 1992, helps retired basketball players (including those from the Harlem Globetrotters and the now-defunct ABA) “transition from the playing court into life after basketball.”
Part of membership includes a series of joint investment opportunities.
“We can help you align your investment profile with our nation’s priorities,” Lamothe told the group. “Come and participate in my country’s renaissance.”
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, some of the funds raised at Saturday’s summit will be invested in Haiti’s education sector.