Gov’t to Revitalize Independence Celebrations


The government will be revitalizing the annual Independence celebrations and come next year, Jamaicans can once again enjoy traditional festivities such as street parades, marching bands and the popular grand gala.
“We intend to bring back the good old days of Independence celebrations,” Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, told Jamaica in London earlier this week.
“Festival 2008 is going to be awesome,” she said. “We are going to go back to the grand gala at the National Arena, street parades, costume groups and the marching band competition.”
According to Mrs. Grange, the intent is to encourage citizens to develop “a real appreciation for all of our cultural influences”.
“We want to take back the streets of Jamaica for the real Jamaican culture, the real Jamaican excitement and the feeling of pride when we celebrate our Independence,” she stated, noting that she also wanted to ensure that Jamaicans in the Diaspora experience the same richness of the Independence celebrations in their own activities.
Turning to other imperatives for the Ministry, Mrs. Grange said that systems will be established for the protection of intellectual property. She informed that the Ministry will be setting up a special entertainment section and instituting a public education programme targeted at songwriters and other artistes.
With regards to youth development, the Minister told the audience that the goal was to build careers and secure the future of the country’s young people. She said there will be a focus on school leavers to channel then into programmes such as the National Youth Service, as well as reviving community centres and community programmes.
Minister Grange, who also has responsibility for women’s affairs, said that the national gender policy will be available in November. She however expressed concern about the underachievement of males in the society and informed that there will be a special desk in the Bureau of Women’s Affairs to look at this issue.
The Minister stopped in London en route to Jamaica, after meetings at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
While in London, she also met with the British Minister of Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe, and discussed among other things, Jamaica’s interest in developing a formal memorandum of understanding in sports with the United Kingdom, and accessing development assistance for community sports programmes.

JIS Social