The Full Story
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is advocating for increased acceptance and guidance of Jamaica’s culture, to maximize the range of accruable benefits.
“It is more than dance and music. We have to take the cultural excellence in those areas and also place it in our academics, in our art and craft [and] in our science and technology,” Mr. Holness said.
He was speaking at a floral tribute and commemorative ceremony at National Heroes Park in Kingston, on Friday (May 28), to mark the 91st anniversary of the birth of late former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, post-Independent Jamaica’s fifth Head of Government.
Mr. Holness noted that Jamaica’s culture has primarily moved to the realm of entertainment, which has the potential to become a significant economic driver.
He said, however, that in some quarters, “we haven’t really embraced it’ to the extent that people who are at the forefront of the development of culture understand that “[it] can go two ways.”
The Prime Minister argued that while culture has the potential to be positive force, it can be equally negative and, as such, justified the need for its guidance.
Mr. Holness, in reflecting on Mr. Seaga’s contribution to the development of the Jamaican culture, said it was important for this priceless intangible asset to be exposed.
“In the same way we promoted Ska which morphed into Reggae, which showed the power of the music through Bob Marley with the National Peace Concert, it’s the same way we are at this juncture now [with culture],” he noted.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Mr. Seaga was instrumental in initiating the establishment of National Heroes Park, lobbied for Ska music to be played on the international stage, and local culture to be taken to uptown communities.
Mr. Holness said it was imperative that the role and value of culture in national development be borne adding “let’s be clear that Jamaica depends heavily on its culture.”