Jamaica Plans Boost for Creative Sector


By the Caribbean Journal staff

As part of a growing Caribbean trend, Jamaica’s government will establish a National Commission on Cultural and Creative Industries.

The commission, which was announced by Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller Tuesday, will aid the government in setting policy and legislative frameworks to “maximize” the benefits of Jamaica’s cultural and creative sectors.

“This process requires that cultural and creative industries span sectors administered by nine ministries of government,” she said. “This sector will see joined-up government at work.”

From music to food, dance to art, Jamaica’s creative sectors represent “significant value with tremendous economic potential,” she said.

“All the elements involved in maximizing the economic benefits from our cultural and creative activity cannot continue in an unplanned manner,” she said. “We have to take a new approach to how we treat with our cultural and creative industries.”

Simpson Miller’s announcement follows a call by Barbados Cultural Minister Stephen Lashley last week. The Minister said cultural industries would be a key driver of Barbados’ economy going forward.

Last year, former Prime Minister Andrew Holness called for Jamaican students to leverage their natural creativity both in culture and the development of technology.

“The jobs that we seek, the growth and the development that we want, will not come by shortcuts,” he said at the time.

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