Colleague Minister of Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa, the Honourable Lulama Xingwana, Members of the media, Ladies and Gentlemen
Welcome to this media briefing where Minister Xingwana and I will, with your help, update the peoples of Jamaica and South Africa on the agreements we have made to co-operate in the area of culture, including the arts and the creative industries.
Our two countries enjoy good relations and a strong bond. Our aim is to foster an even better relationship whilst providing opportunities for our peoples.
The Governments of Jamaica and South Africa understand the value of arts and culture to our peoples’ quality of life and to our economies.
For us, culture is the essence of Brand Jamaica. And we envisage that the promotion and development of our culture through this, and other cultural co-operation agreements, will strengthen Brand Jamaica and provide opportunities for exposure, wealth creation and poverty reduction for our cultural artists, entrepreneurs and professionals.
This agreement is also in keeping with the Government of Jamaica’s objective to improve our relationship with the continent of Africa. Africa is important to us as the ancestral home of most Jamaicans. And as a government, we believe we must enhance and strengthen our interaction as part of the African Diaspora.
Today, Jamaica and South Africa have agreed to encourage co-operation and exchange of knowledge, experience and achievements among our institutions, associations and peoples in the fields of arts and culture.
The agreement covers the arrangement of cultural exchanges in which artistic people and/or groups (including theatre groups, visual artists, actors, dancers, musicians, writers and journalists) will participate in festivals, fairs and other events staged in each country; and the exchange of cultural professionals across institutions.
We have also agreed to promote co-productions in film, video and other audiovisual works; and to collaborate on projects and programmes to enhance both our cultural industries.
As such, we have agreed to share information related to the cultural industries, including natural history, art and craft; and to encourage greater participation in the activities of cultural institutions, especially in relation to documentation, studies and research. In relation to studies and research, we will encourage co-operation between institutions of higher learning and research institutes.
This agreement presents opportunities for both Jamaica and South Africa.
Opportunities for both of us to learn and to earn; and to improve the quality of life of our peoples.
It is my honour to welcome Minister Xingwana and her delegation. It is my pleasure to have played a role in the development of this mutually beneficial agreement.