Tue | Aug 22, 2017

GRANGE LOOKS TO POSITION CULTURE AS GROWTH DRIVER

Published:Monday | May 9, 2016 | 5:02 PM

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is moving to strengthen partnerships with key ministries as it looks to position culture as a driver of economic growth in Jamaica.

Portfolio minister, Olivia Grange, said there would be increased engagement with the ministries of tourism; education, youth, and information; industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries; economic growth and job creation; local government and community development and national security.

She said the partnerships would highlight the cross-cutting nature of culture within other sectors of the economy, while "promoting economic growth by way of a vibrant creative economy and the enhancement of Jamaica as the creative hub of the Caribbean."

She was addressing the symbolic signing of the US$60,000 funding agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (UNESCO) International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), for the revision of the National Culture Policy.

The review of the policy, implemented in 2003, is expected to be completed by the end of March 2017.

Grange said the revision forms part of the ministry's commitment to position culture and the creative industries, as critical social and economic pillars in national development.

She said the ministry was seeking to partner with global enterprises to expand the global reach of Jamaican culture and entertainment and generate increased revenue streams.

Director and Representative for the UNESCO cluster office for the Caribbean, Katherine Grigsby, commended Jamaica for undertaking the process of revision, which will involve engaging stakeholders in the fields of culture, youth, academia and the indigenous and minority communities.

She said on completion of the review, there should be greater awareness of the relevance, value and benefits of the policy. A popular version is to be published and disseminated.

The IFCD is a multi-donor fund established under the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. It seeks to promote sustainable development and poverty reduction through support of projects that aim to foster the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector.

This is done primarily by facilitating the introduction of new cultural policies and support for the creative economy.

To date, the fund has provided approximately US$6 billion in support of over 80 projects globally.