Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jamaica's Cultural Vision As Stated in Policy

I was involved in the development of the Jamaican culture policy back in 2002-03. I'm proud to say it is a very ambitious document, at least one Dutch organization, The Power of Culture, agrees. Notwithstanding, significant progress towards achieving those ambitions is not visible. What should we be seeing now?

We should have been seeing significantly increased earnings from the arts, from media, from music and even some buzz about our tourism earnings. An April 4, 2009 speech by the current minister that has responsibility, laments among other things the poor market penetration. There is much talk about the European Partnership Agreement (EPA), which I do not disagree with in principle, but I can't help but think that when the rubber hits the road it will not be successful unless you have some significant hand holding. Having access is one thing, but how does an actual business person get their product to market? What are the step-by-step things that they must do? These are the little (big) details of running a business operation that we don't have sorted out - the how to, if you will. How do I negotiate a distribution deal? How do I package my product for the new market? Do I need to do it myself or do I need to seek a licensee?

It seems to me the vision threatens to overwhelm if Jamaica doesn't quickly find focus.

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