The 'Jamaica 50' programme is in full swing, with a packed slate of activities throughout the month of July into August.
“Over the next four weeks, July 1- 31, there is a Jamaica 50 event on every day in the month of July, which will lead us into the official celebratory period, August 1 to 6,” said Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna.
She was speaking on Tuesday July 3rd, in her contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
Minister Hanna informed that the Ministry of Local Government is “working in earnest with the parish councils to decorate parish capitals with our national colours and the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has approved a range of $150,000 to $250,000 for each Member Parliament (MP) to stage a community event during this period."
A fully developed and funded programme is in place in keeping with the guidelines and $688.5 million budget approved by Cabinet.
Of the amount approved, $366.5 million came from the consolidated fund and $322 million from the private sector and public bodies.
“Let me pause at this time to thank the private sector companies and public bodies, which, at very short notice stepped forward, even though their 2012 budgets were already cast. They have demonstrated true commitment to partnership as together we celebrate this national milestone,” Miss Hanna said.
The Minister also congratulated the Jamaica 50 Secretariat within the Ministry of Youth and Culture, which has been able to achieve a lot since the budget was approved in May.
The Jamaica 50 national events began their rollout with the National Senior Athletics Trials at the National Arena this past weekend and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Military Tattoo.
Also, the Jamaica 50 merchandise and the ‘Pins of Pride’ initiative were launched recently.
The vision of the Government is to use the occasion of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary to: encourage serious national introspection on our achievements as a nation since 1962; create a national celebration emphasising our history and culture as a people; brand Jamaica internationally and improve our world standard and image particularly leveraging the opportunity presented by the London Olympics.
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Other objectives are: to create events, memorabilia and merchandise so that the spirit of Jamaica 50 can resonate within people’s minds now and for years to come; and strengthen the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to promote its work in communities across the country and provide the Commission with adequate funding to achieve this objective.
The celebrations will also create public and private sector partnerships critical for uniting the country; create legacy projects in education, heritage, infrastructure, culture, academic symposia, literature and the arts that will, in themselves, act as meaningful economic stimulants; and to energise the youth as the generation responsible for taking Jamaica forward into 2062.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter