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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Reggae Symposium in Washington D.C.

Principal Director of Culture and Entertainment in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Sydney Bartley, says there is an urgent need to sustain reggae at the forefront of the world's cultural treasures and ensure Jamaicans attain sustainable prosperity from it.

Delivering the keynote address at a reggae symposium entitled, "Celebrating the Life of Bob Marley: Contribution to Jamaica's Development", on Friday (February 26), at the Jamaican Embassy, Washington, D.C. Mr. Bartley said reggae was the most fundamental and significant element of Brand Jamaica.

"As a people, we must wake up to certain realities and create the necessary waves, to ensure that there is no erosion to the brand. In fact, our global mission must be to enhance this product for the greater glorification of our people," he added.

He argued that while reggae has made its way onto the world stage, and is successful internationally, Jamaicans must come to terms with the fact that many practitioners are not prepared for the business of the music.

He said the challenge the industry now faces, is the creation of strategies to exploit creativity in ways and means that will accrue greater revenue to local creators and the wider community.

In his welcoming remarks, Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, said that the idea of Reggae Month was to have people reflect on the contribution of the industry to Jamaica, and how it can be exploited and be improved for the benefit of Jamaicans.

The event was staged for the second time by the Embassy of Jamaica and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), in observance of February as Reggae Month.


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