Understanding the Value of the Cultural and Creative Industries

I assert that we are bold in our determination, ambitious in the establishment of our goals,

beneficial in our interaction with our stakeholders, strategic in the organisation of our missions

and purpose, and impactful in our outcomes.


It is 2017 and yet I am compelled to admit that in spite of tremendous

global acceptance, certain aspects of our culture — the things that make us uniquely

Jamaican — are still fighting for appropriate recognition, acceptance and support right

here at home. It is rooted in a lack of appreciation and respect for the value of the

culture and creative industries and their contribution to national development.


I think the word ‘value’ is at the heart of the challenges that my Ministry is facing as it

tries to implement its programmes. Do we value what our people create? Do we see

value in the way of life and identity of our people? Do we really understand the

economic value of Boys’ and Girls’ Champs or the annual Independence Grand Gala or

Fun in the Son, Rebel Salute, Reggae Sumfest or Dream Weekend?


It is estimated that the culture and creative industries contribute at least 5 per cent of

GDP and generate between US$15M and US$20M in revenue each year. Tourism is

said to contribute 7 per cent of GDP yet tourism’s main inputs are precisely these areas

I mentioned earlier: namely culture and entertainment to include sport.


You can appreciate therefore that much is anchored in the revised Policy, titled National

Policy on Culture and Creative Economy of Jamaica 2017-2027. The document will

provide a framework for creative and cultural goods and services to become major

contributors to the transformation of the Jamaican economy. We are shaping a

framework that facilitates economic growth and development through positive

adjustments to existing GDP and supports the creation of new jobs and wealth creation



The focus of this Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in this financial

year will be on making innovative investments, taking a data- centric approach to

entertainment and creative industries development and preparing the framework to

increase the contribution to GDP of the sectors we represent.


Jamaica’s superpower status in global culture, entertainment and sport

didn’t just happen. It is the result of blood, sweat and tears of our creative industry



It is also the significant investment in these areas with the building out of infrastructure,

the establishment of institutions and the development of programmes.


GoJ spending on culture, entertainment and sport from 2008 to 2016 has been in

excess of 20 billion dollars. This was not a hand out. It is an investment, which has

yielded good returns.


The spend in this financial year must be seen as an investment towards

sustainable economic development not just in these sectors but indeed for the future of

this nation!


So even as we attempt to double the contribution of these sectors to GDP, we are acutely

aware that our cultural assets and activities have intrinsic worth beyond their capacity to turn a dollar.

This worth is expressed in historical value, social value, symbolic value, aesthetic value and spiritual value,

improving our quality of life by helping to create a more peaceful, cohesive, healthier, and happier nation.


We place people at the heart of everything we do.

We believe that culture is the great equaliser and transformer that makes ordinary men and women great.

We believe that gender equality is essential in a modern society.

We believe that an entertained person is a happy person and happy persons make happy societies.

We believe that physical activity enhances lives and sport is the medicine that heals and corrects.

Olivia Grange


  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4-6 Trafalgar Road

Kingston 5

Jamaica, W.I.

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