By E. Hartman Reckord
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Jamaica’s creative sector generated approximately US$2.2 billion in earnings during 2022, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, Olivia Grange, announced, speaking during the second staging of the Jamaica Creative Career Expo. The event was hosted at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
Minister Grange said the sector accounted for 5.2 percent of Jamaica’s gross domestic product (GDP), and three per cent of direct and indirect employment.
“Indeed, the United Nations has estimated that the Global Creative Industries generate in excess of US$ 2 trillion in annual revenue and account for nearly 50 million direct and indirect jobs,” Grange said. The ministry is looking to simulate the local sector’s continued exponential growth, and explained that the ministry’s Jamaica Creative Division was formed to represent all sectors within the entertainment, cultural and creative industries.
“Jamaica Creative was established to have a council with representatives from the various ministries and from private sector [coming] together so [that] there is a coordinated joined-up approach to addressing the needs of the sector,” she said.
The minister advised that the body has, so far, produced a draft Cultural and Creative Industries Act, which will facilitate synergy throughout the sector.
Additionally, she said Jamaica Creative has facilitated practical learning opportunities for young and aspiring creatives through the provision of internships with companies and institutions in the sector.
Grange also informed that a representative of the Division attended the recent 16th session of the Inter-Governmental Committee of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, from February 7 to 10, in Paris, France.
“So, my ministry is, therefore, operating at the local and international levels to ensure the development and growth of our creative sector and to ensure that opportunities are available for those who can earn, create jobs and make a significant contribution to the country’s gross domestic product based on their creative expressions and talent,” she said.
The Expo, which was held under the theme ‘Bit by Bit, Putting it Together’, was attended by scores of tertiary and high-school students who are interested in pursuing studies in the areas of Culture and Creative Industries (CCI).
It was organised by Jamaica Creative, in keeping with its mandate to facilitate and improve the engagement and development of CCI stakeholders and public-private partnerships.