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  • The Government has formed a National Cultural and Creative Industries Commission.
  • The Commission is to undertake the development and implementation of a policy and master plan within two years.
  • The Commission is chaired by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

The Government has formed a National Cultural and Creative Industries Commission, which is to undertake the development and implementation of a policy and master plan within two years.

Speaking at the Regional Conference on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries on February 11, in Kingston, hosted by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Chair of the Commission’s Technical Working Group, Dr. Deborah Hickling, informed that following the drafting of its justification and structure, the Commission has been approved by Cabinet.

“We’ve started. A number of (government) agencies now sit on that committee and the first meeting should be held this month,” she said.

The Commission is chaired by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

“Ours is the backroom work where there is no camera and no publicity, doing the analysis that will lead to the development of the policy,” Dr. Hickling noted.

She informed that the Prime Minister has given instructions on the priorities of the Commission. “She gave us some imperatives as to some of the things we are supposed to be doing. We have objectives (and) a rationale,” she added.

Dr. Hickling pointed out that the policy and master plan will be implemented simultaneously. “What this means is that once a decision is made, if it needs to be implemented immediately, you are not waiting until the policy is developed and published,” she explained.

Outlining the steps that should be taken in coming up with the policy, Dr. Hickling said consideration must be given to certain factors, such as the nation’s philosophy, political ideology and economy; the policy framework, and the operational realities.

“We have to move very gingerly when we make some of the decisions that are required, and we must develop a model that is right for us within our own economic circumstances,” she argued.

She pointed out that while developing countries face a number of challenges, including bureaucracy and a lack of adequate research, there is tremendous potential for economic growth and job creation.

“We’re here to make change. That is what the objective is. We have got the buy-in, we’ve got the go ahead, so we are going ahead,” Dr. Hickling said.

The three-day conference was staged in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It was attended by stakeholders from the region with interest in different areas of the creative industries, including publishing, music, animation, gaming and information technology.