Jamaica: Harnessing the island’s creativity for sustainable development

Jamaica: Harnessing the island’s creativity for sustainable development

Jamaica’s vibrant cultural and creative industries are most notably known on the global stage for the success of its musicians and music producers. Festivals and the film sector are also burgeoning, indicating that the cultural and creative industries (CCI) are a key driver for Jamaica’s sustainable development and job creation. To harness this momentum, a multi-stakeholder consultation will take place to launch the project and to inform key stakeholders on the participatory policy monitoring processes as well as Convention’s principles and objectives.

The multi-stakeholder consultation will tackle issues such as media diversity, digital technology, mobility of artists and gender equality in the culture and creative industries. It will be the occasion to engage the participants in an open discussion on the CCI in Jamaica as well as how to monitor policies fostering the diversity of cultural expressions.

Jamaica recently revised its National Policy on Culture and Creative Economy, with the support from the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). The National Policy includes three goals:

  • increased appreciation of Jamaica’s culture and identity among Jamaicans.
  • more robust presence of Jamaica’s cultural and creative industries within the global arena.
  • enhancement of Brand Jamaica.

A multi-stakeholder national team, formed especially for the project, will be in charge of drafting and finalising the country’s first quadrennial periodic report, a mandatory report to be submitted every four years by Parties to the Convention. The national team gathers members from various ministries, the private sector, professional associations and civil society organisations. The national team will undertake a national training workshop in Kingston, Jamaica on the periodic report processes and the Convention’s monitoring tools, led by Ms Avril Joffe, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility. Organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in cooperation with the UNESCO Office in Kingston, the training will explore the state of Jamaica’s cultural policies.

Ms Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will open the ceremony alongside Ms Marisa Benain, Director of Cultural Policy and Monitoring, Mr Everton Hannan, Secretary-General at Jamaican National Commission for UNESCO, Ms Katherine Grigsby, Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean and Peter Goldson, Honorary Swedish Consul to Jamaica.

The capacity-building activities are part of the project “Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions”, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The project, which includes 16 beneficiary countries amongst which Jamaica, aims to strengthen the human and institutional capacities of governmental and civil society actors in order to monitor and report on policies and measures that protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.