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Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government is committed to strengthening Jamaica’s entertainment, culture and creative industries (ECCI).
Noting that the Government is the largest funder of these, with a 2023/24 budgeted allocation of $15.4 billion, Minister Grange said approximately one-third of the provision was earmarked for her portfolio.
She added that with a marginal increase of the budget ceiling for 2024/25, she will continue to seek more funding for programmes and projects.
“It is within this context that I call for harmonisation and collaboration on matters dealing with the ECCI, so that we can better manage these limited resources. It is no secret that there is too much fragmentation across the ECCIs in Jamaica,” she said.
Minister Grange delivered remarks during the British Council’s Future of Creativity Symposium, held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Youth, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the National Education Trust and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Monday (November 27).
To date, she said $1 billion has been committed to support local film and animation development.
Minister Grange said a film fund will also allow for the activation of the Jamaica/United Kingdom co-production agreement.
She added that work is ongoing for a similar co-production agreement with Canada.
“In developing internationally competitive industry structures towards building authentic and transformational culture, as put forward by our Vision 2030 [Jamaica] National Development Plan, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, with assistance from the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has committed to developing the creative economy and creating a framework for a coordinated and structured culture and creative industries sector,” she shared.
Minister Grange further informed that 3,113 persons and 251 creative companies have been registered in the National Registry of Entertainment Industry Practitioners, since its launch more than 10 years ago.
“The future of creativity is bright. Together we should and we will work to ensure that all the formal economic and other structures prioritising culture, in the building of our knowledge economy, are powered by a fully digitally literate populace and girded by advanced education,” she stated.
Meanwhile, PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said Jamaica’s cultural and creative industries currently contribute far below their capacity, in terms of potential for earning and employment generation.
He said these industries are essential to inclusive economic growth, reducing inequality and achieving the goals set out in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
“The Government of Jamaica’s strategic objective is, therefore, to establish structures, mechanisms and other arrangements for local and global marketing, promotion and distribution of Jamaica’s cultural and creative products and services,” Dr. Henry pointed out.
He added that the symposium is a “timely intervention to provide a springboard to attack the impediments to developing the cultural and creative industries”.