Jamaica’s Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon Olivia Grange, has appealed to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to assist Latin America and the Caribbean to develop, promote and preserve their rich cultural heritage.
Addressing the 2010 Seminar on Culture and Development, sponsored by IDB at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday (September 28), Miss Grange urged the IDB to lend total support to the creation and promotion of opportunities for employment generation, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and social transformation, within the cultural industry.
She said that the IDB could also assist in export diversification and market presentation afforded by investment in, and engagement of, the cultural industry in certain countries of the region.
Miss Grange was one of 13 culture ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean who participated in the one-day seminar. She described it as far-reaching and predicted that it would impact on the cultural industry in the region. She also lauded the IDB for the sponsorship.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon Olivia Grange, holds the attention of Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, during a courtesy call on the Ambassador at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (September 28).
“The gathering of 13 cultural ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean is a signal, that we want to ensure that the cultural industry, throughout the region, is being placed on the front burner and that it will get the attention that is so badly needs,” she said.
Miss Grange disclosed that Jamaica has established a Cultural and Creative Industry Council (CCIC), a one-stop shop to provide the industry with the focus fundamental to its sustainable development.
She explained that the CCIC will provide a space for policy development and monitoring, as well as: measure the health of the various industries; target intervention in the industries; enable capacity-building for associations and interlink them with established private sector organizations; create and manage a cultural industries enhancement fund; harmonize the work of the various public institutions in the sector; build linkages with other sectors; create major special events strategies; and promote intellectual property rights.
But, Miss Grange argued that financing is the greatest challenge to the sustainable growth of cultural industries.
“Much of the great work in the sector takes place in the bedroom or living room of creative geniuses. At the centre is that creativity which registers its potency in intellectual property. Yet, it is the one property that, ironically, banks do not recognize as real property and, therefore, [it] does not, at the moment, work as collateral,” she stated.
IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, explained that the seminar was convened to discuss the best practices and challenges countries face, as they include cultural policies in their national development strategies.
He said that while cultural activities of all types are widely seen as potential economic catalysts with positive social impact, rarely do government ministers in charge of cultural initiatives have an opportunity to share their unique challenges and success stories.
Culture ministers attending the seminar discussed how their policies and activities help bring about economic and social development.
The seminar also provided an opportunity for the IDB to learn how resources were being used to expand economic growth through cultural initiatives, and how the IDB could help by more effectively partnering with the cultural sector in the region.
Participating in the seminar were culture ministers from: Argentina (Jorge Edmundo Coscia); Bahamas (Charles T. Maynard); Barbados (Steven D. Blackett); Belize (Jos