Kingston 27 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says Jamaica endorses the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019”.
The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is an initiative of the Government of the Republic of Ghana which is intended to encourage people of African descent to visit Africa.
Speaking at the Caribbean launch of the Year of Return in Kingston on Sunday (today), Minister Grange said:
“Jamaica looks forward to a successful Year of Return and we will work with Ghana towards a successful year. Jamaica observes the International Decade of People of African Descent and so it is all very timely that we work together.
“We are connected. Ghana was a major hub for the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and we are happy that you have opened the door this year for people in the African Diaspora to return.”
“And as Jamaicans, we’re proud to see that our Reggae music will form the soundtrack for the Year of Return.”
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Her Excellency Catherine Afeku said it was important to begin the Year of Return programme for the Caribbean in Jamaica.
Minister Afeku said:
“This is the Maroon country where liberation struggles started even before Independence. So we started here for symbolism. We want to invite you home, but we want to invite you coming back with that sense of strength that you are a descendant that survived.”
Minister Afeku said the Year of Return was an opportunity to highlight the strength of African peoples who survived the transatlantic slave trade.
According to her, “We have scientists who are the descendants of slaves, we have astronauts who are descendants of slaves. We have the Bob Marleys who are the descendants of slaves. We have the Usain Bolts who are the descendants of slaves. That is a positive story.”
The Ghanaian Minister is encouraging Jamaicans to make a pilgrimage to Africa, beginning with her country, even once in their lifetime.
“Ghana is opening its arms. Ghana is opening its doors. We want you to come and take a heritage that belongs to you. So it is not a favour, it is yours. We are here to assure you that you can make a home on the continent starting with Ghana,” said Minister Afeku.
Minister Grange said consideration is being given for direct flights between Jamaica and Ghana in support of the Year of Return initiative.
The year-long celebrations include music and food festivals, summits, investment fora and product exhibitions.
Kingston, January 2 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is urging participating sports associations in the Technical Cooperation Project on Sport Coaching between Jamaica and China to make the best use of the opportunity.
Minister Grange was speaking today as she welcomed a new batch of Chinese coaches at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
“I want to charge the associations to ensure, as much as possible, that training starts on time, that athletes embrace the values of hard work and discipline and that your coaches learn as much as they can from this visit,”
Minister Grange said.
Seven coaches, representing seven disciplines: Synchronised Swimming, Gymnastics, Swimming, Badminton, Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Football and Women’s Basketball, a team manager and an interpreter are now in Jamaica to commence year two of the project which started last year with the arrival of the first batch of coaches.
During the summer of last year a delegation of 138 athletes, coaches and managers also travelled to China for a period of 60 days for specialised training and competition.
“I want to remind the associations of the goals that you set for yourselves – to qualify for and improve Jamaica’s ranking in major regional and international competitions including the PanAm Games this year and the Olympics next year,” Minister Grange added.
Under the agreement, the Chinese government has also donated equipment for the seven sporting disciplines. The donations include a completely outfitted gym for gymnastics, which is already landed.
“On behalf of the Government and People of Jamaica, I want to express our sincere gratitude to the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China for the equipment. They are securely stored and my office is working out the details with the Chinese Embassy for an official handing-over ceremony to be held before the end of the month,” Minister Grange said.
Kingston, 30 August 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says her Ministry will organise a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the late Jamaican music pioneer Count Prince Miller.
Minister Grange said this was one of the commitments she gave to Count Prince Miller when she visited him in hospital in London shortly before his passing.
“The Thanksgiving Service will be held at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre at a date to be announced, and will be open to members of the public who wish to pay their last respects to this patriot who has played such an important role in bringing our music and culture to the world,” said Minister Grange.
The Culture Minister said the Government was giving official support to the family of Count Prince Miller in the arrangements for the singer and actor’s final farewell both in Jamaica and the United Kingdom.
The Thanksgiving Service in Jamaica will follow cremation and a service of celebration in the UK on Tuesday, 4 September 2018 at the Holy Trinity Church, Prince Consort Road. The Jamaica High Commission in London will host a repast.
Clarence Linberg ‘Count Prince’ Miller passed away on August 16. He had been ill for a while. Minister Grange has described him as the quintessential showman. He was a recording artiste and an actor of note with the James Bond film ‘Dr No’ and the iconic record ‘Mule Train’ among his work.