Growth & Jobs | UNESCO partners with JBDC to develop Jamaica’s cultural and creative industries
THE JAMAICA Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has announced a new initiative to develop Jamaica’s orange economy.
The project, ‘Evaluation of Jamaica’s Cultural and Creative Industries through Economic Impact Studies and the National Statistics System’, is funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), through the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD).
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Harold Davis, says the agency is elated about the partnership with UNESCO.
“We are heartened that this is among six projects being funded by UNESCO worldwide this year, because it is a huge honour for Jamaica’s CCI (cultural and creative industries) and also a signal that we are on the right path. The development of Jamaica’s CCI is a significant undertaking and, therefore, the JBDC has sought to partner with major international and local entities to achieve this goal,” he said.
The JBDC will be implementing the project with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). It follows on the heels of the historic mapping of the Jamaica cultural and creative industries undertaken by the JBDC and the British Council in 2020. This has positioned the Jamaica Business Development Corporation to build on the CCI mapping data and develop a robust CCI profile for further in-depth studies for strategic development.
Davis says the project is timely, given the huge impact experienced by the tourism industry, and the cultural and creative sectors as a result of the current COVID-19 crisis. In Jamaica, curtailment measures such as nightly curfews and the prohibition of cultural events to halt the spread of the virus have significantly affected the livelihoods of artists and cultural practitioners, while limiting cultural production and access to a wide range of cultural expressions.
“The CCIs have been hardest hit by the pandemic globally. However, the JBDC has not paused its quest to develop this segment of business which forms the core of who Jamaicans are as a people. Creativity and talent are innate, and it is largely what has brought global recognition to Brand Jamaica. We have barely begun to squeeze the juice from our orange economy, so the mission continues with initiatives like this important project,” he added.
The project is aiming to:
1) Develop a comprehensive profile of the Jamaican cultural and creative industries (CCIs) to guide cultural policy-making.
2) Measure the economic contribution of the CCIs.
3) Identify recommendations and strategies for the development of key sectors.
The JBDC will be engaging local industry practitioners and stakeholders. Other regional entities will be engaged through knowledge-transfer sessions to be hosted virtually. These include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The IFCD is a voluntary multi-donor fund created under the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions to support the emergence of dynamic cultural sectors in the developing countries. The fund aims to support sustainable systems of cultural governance, create an enabling environment for cultural entrepreneurs, facilitate market access, and ensure the accessibility of diverse cultural expressions for all.