‘Jamaica 55’ Legacy Projects for National Development

Photo: Donald Delahaye Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, speaking at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on July 26.

Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the ‘Jamaica 55’ Legacy Projects that have been identified for implementation will be leveraged as catalysts for national development.

They include: the development of sport infrastructure, national monuments and Jamaica 55 publications, which she said are intended to “deepen the spirit of patriotism and nationalism of all Jamaicans.”

Ms. Grange noted that the projects would provide economic opportunities for more than 600,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 24, as well as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), “many of which are creative businesses.”

These engagements, the Minister added, are also intended to preserve the cultural and creative expressions of Jamaica for future generations.

“There is no denying that what we are promising is enormous. But we believe it is achievable especially if we have you, our family in the Diaspora, as partners,”

Ms. Grange emphasised.

She urged members of the Diaspora to support the projects which she noted required significant investments totaling over US$150 million to undertake.

The Minister was addressing a session on the creative industries at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston on July 26.

Meanwhile, Ms. Grange continues to underscore the importance of the creative and cultural industries, noting that the rewards can be derived from these areas.

She said data indicates that both industries account for approximately seven per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), with growth to 10 per cent projected.

Additionally, Ms. Grange said a study conducted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, showed that the creative industries have become a new engine of growth and development in the global economy.

“This supports our belief that the creative industries can become a pillar for economic diversification and export growth in Jamaica,” she said.

Ms. Grange also advised that she was seeking to have Reggae music inscribed on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

For her part, Senior Director in the Ministry’s Entertainment Division, Gillian Wilkinson-McDaniel, emphasised the need for a creative satellite account (CSA) system.

The CSA determines the share of culture in the GDP, export, import and domestic demand of an economy.

The facility draws on information provided by national accounts, such as data on gross domestic product and GDP shares of various industries.

Mrs. Wilkinson-McDaniel said Jamaica’s would seek to pattern its CSA format off Colombia’s model.

The Diaspora Conference is being held under the theme: ‘Partnering for Growth’.

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