The Jamaica 50 programme has been gaining significant traction as the country's golden jubilee approaches, with some $134 million already committed under the private/public sector funding component.
Making the disclosure at Wednesday May 2 Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, said that the money is part of the $194 million targeted in private/public funding. “All indications suggest that we are going to hit that target,” she said.
Minister Hanna informed that it was through the support of agencies such as the CHASE Fund, Airports Authority of Jamaica, HEART Trust/NTA, Development Bank of Jamaica, Tourism Enhancement Fund, and private sector entities, that the funds have been realised. “We are still in negotiation with some other private sector companies, and two government agencies,” she said.
Meanwhile, amidst the flurry of activities already underway, the tender process has begun for the Independence Gala on August 6, while two management companies have submitted bids for the Jamaica 50 Jubilee Village at the National Arena.
Miss Hanna informed that the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) has mobilised its parish committees and volunteers to ensure that rural Jamaica’s celebrations are dynamic and exciting.
“Each parish will boast Independence Day civic ceremonies and galas, and other major events such as evenings of excellence, ecumenical thanksgiving services, street parades and dances,” she informed.
She told journalists that seven companies have been licensed under the Jamaica 50 merchandising programme, with discussions underway with two others to produce and sell commemorative pins, beginning by the end of May.
She noted that opportunities will also be provided for small and medium-sized producers/entrepreneurs, through the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC). “Vendors (etc) will have an opportunity to come to the Jubilee Village, so get in touch with the JBDC so that no one is left out,” she urged.
The Minister also disclosed that efforts are now being made to provide additional staffing for the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, which now comprises only four persons. Persons assisting with Jamaica 50 will be trained by the JBDC and certified in events management.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Senior Reporter