Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett is calling on the members of the diaspora in the United Kingston to invest in ideas as the country celebrates its 60th year of independence, a milestone in its history. Speaking at the official launch of the Jamaica 60-year-long celebration in the UK on Monday, April 25, Minister Bartlett encouraged the diaspora to think big and innovatively.
The Jamaica 60th anniversary of Independence was officially launched under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’. The event, held at the White City Studio in London, was attended by 200 industry leaders and media representatives.
“Jamaica is a confluence of different ethnicities, cultures, and ideas. It is through this diversity the country has generated such iconic personalities and moments in history. We need the diaspora to continue to create new ideas that can be honed, converted, and monetized,” said Minister Bartlett.
Minister Bartlett further stated “Jamaica is a great nation that has produced iconic personalities and experiences, and this has been made possible through ideas. We have made and continue to make a huge global impact through our culture. As a people, we think it, believe it, and achieve it and as we look forward to another 60 years of one of the strongest democracies, we must invest in ideas,”
The Jamaica 60 activities will include a mix of exciting commemorative events and legacy projects. The country will be marking this anniversary with a year of cultural activity making this the year to visit Jamaica. And there will also be celebrations in the UK with lots of activity around the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.
Locally Prime Minister Andrew Holness, launched the Jamaica 60 program which Minister Grange described as a mix of commemorative activities and legacy projects that will bring lasting benefit to Jamaica.
Minister Grange made it clear that Jamaica 60, a yearlong celebration, is “not just a party, but it’s also a time to reflect and to build.”
Among the legacy projects to begin this year are the redevelopment of the National Stadium, the establishment of the Jamaica Sports Museum & Sports Hall of Fame, the establishment of the Harry Belafonte National Concert Hall, a monument to honor frontline workers in the pandemic, as well as the construction of the new parliament building.
Special commemorative events will include banquets where 60 outstanding women and 60 outstanding men will be awarded for their service to the nation, the Kingston Biennial Exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica, the Jamaica 60 Reggae Gold Awards, the JDF 60 Parade, the Independence Village from July 29 to August 7, and the Grand Gala at the National Stadium.