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Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says the young Jamaicans selected for the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards represent the best of Jamaica.

“What you are witnessing is the excellence of the next generation that will herald a new time for courage, passion, resilience and fortitude for Jamaica to remain the best cultural capital and country in the world,” she said.

The Minister was speaking at the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards ceremony, held at Emancipation Park on March 24 under the theme: ‘Youth on a Mission…Project 2062’. The event was organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), a department of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

[RELATED: 45 Persons Receive Prime Minister’s Youth Awards]

At the function, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller presented awards to 45 outstanding young men and women, who won awards for 2011 and 2012. The 2011 and 2012 nominees also attended the event.

Minister Hanna pointed out that the preparation and planning of the awards function were carried out by young people.

“This is everything about the best of our young people. What you are seeing here today are the producers who are young, the ushers who are our youth, our uniformed groups and our performers, and we say to them, ‘big up and nuff respect’,” the Minister said.

She told the large gathering that the ceremony also presented an opportunity for Jamaicans to witness “the best of our young people”.

“You are witnessing the next generation of academics, the next generation of politicians, journalists and persons who will vie for the post of Prime Minister when we are all gone,” Miss Hanna said.

The Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence, which began in 1998, is the premier national event that officially recognises youth excellence in Academics, Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, The Arts and Culture, Leadership, International Achievement, Sport, Youth in Service and Journalism.

By E. Hartman, Reckord, JIS Reporter