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Jamaican Reggae Month ends with Prime Minister’s Reception

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#KINGSTON, March 5 (JIS):   Earlier this week, the lawns of Jamaica House came alive with the pulsating sounds of authentic reggae music, with the staging of the Prime Minister’s Reggae Month Reception.

Photo by JIS News

The venue was transformed into the centerpiece for a live stage show, which culminated Reggae Month celebrations in February. The setting was replete with the customary trappings of a popular stage show, including professional lighting and the rhythmic instrumentals of renowned live band – Lloyd Parkes and We the People Band.

The celebratory atmosphere was punctuated by swaying bodies, bobbing heads and tapping feet. So infectious was the music, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; and members of the Diplomatic Corps could not resist ‘dropping legs’ to the sounds of reggae acts such as Luciano, Shuga, Julian Marley, Gee Wiz, Rohan Morris, and Michigan, who gave electrifying performances.

Prime Minister Holness, who spoke to JIS News following the event, said it signified a celebration and appreciation of Jamaican music.

From Bahamas Ministry of Health

“This is the event which marks the end of the Reggae Month celebrations. It was truly a great event, a great display of talent and celebration of what is good about reggae. It is also a demonstration, in a real way, of the Government’s commitment to standing by the development of what is probably the greatest music form to have been created in the 21st Century,” he said.

Mr. Holness noted that through the staging, the Government is ensuring that the organisers of the music, the singers, the managers and all the people who are involved in the industry are brought together to reflect on the music, to discuss the issues and also to have a fraternity.

 “As we socialised, we managed to get in a few conversations about what is important for the Government to develop music. Infrastructure came up. The music fraternity is saying they need a place or several places where they can truly develop the art form without having to contend with permits and lockdowns and all the other issues that plagued the music industry last year,” he said.

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“We are committed to that. Minister Grange has started one of the entertainment zones, which we have committed to, and I know that this year there might be one or two more developed,” the Prime Minister added.

For her part, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the reception marked the end of the “biggest and the best” staging of Reggae Month.

“We have been able to cover all the genres, all the age groups, and the different aspects and elements that have gone into making Jamaican music the best in the world,” she added.

Ms. Grange said the celebrations also involved the diaspora for the first time, noting that Reggae Month celebrations were held in Miramar, Florida, in the United States (US) this year, and that there are plans to extend the celebration further across the US to Los Angeles, New York and Toronto next year.

Vice-Mayor, City of Miramar, Florida, Alexandria Davis, who was also in attendance, shared with JIS News that when she visited Jamaica for the launch of Reggae Month in December last year, she decided at that point that she wanted to be a part of “spreading this love of reggae music outside of the island of Jamaica and celebrating Reggae Month”

“I had not heard of such a month… so I wanted to add that [to our other celebrations] and it was very fitting that it fell in the month of February as we celebrate black history, and so we dubbed it ‘Black History Meets Reggae’.”

Ms. Davis further mused that a “sound clash” could be a “nice addition” to the activities for Reggae Month next year.

In the meantime, Chairman, Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), Ewan Simpson, said he was heartened by Reggae Month activities, which he said “brought extra life, extra energy, and extra visibility to brand Jamaica through reggae music.”

Public Relations and Marketing Director, Reggae Month 2020 Secretariat, Jacqueline Knight Campbell, told JIS News that she was extremely excited and pleased about the exposure that the brand, Reggae, has achieved for 2020.

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She noted that reggae was exposed globally through multiple marketing streams and activities, including live streams, through the Reggae Month mobile app, which was installed on thousands of cellphones in six different languages across the world.

“We have had over 3,000 [persons] log on to the app [and] over 30 countries being exposed [to Reggae Month activities],” she said.

The reception also featured the work of two local artists – Christopher McKenzie and Patrick Kitson – who have done paintings and illustrations of many of Jamaica’s musical greats.

The Prime Minister was quite impressed with the work of Mr. McKenzie, who was recently diagnosed with a progressive neurodegenerative disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Mr. Holness bought a painting of artiste Koffee, made of coffee. The Prime Minister was also given a painting Mr. McKenzie did of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, as a gift.

Reggae Month activities were celebrated under the theme ‘Come Ketch di Riddim’ and included an exhibition titled, ‘Jamaica Jamaica,’ at the National Gallery, which showcased the evolution of Jamaican music; the ‘Children of the Icons’ concert, that featured the offspring of some of the industry’s most influential artistes; and the Echoes of Sound Systems event at the National Indoor Sports Complex.

Reggae Month involved collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, JaRIA, public and private-sector entities and other major stakeholders.

JIS News by ALECIA SMITH

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Caribbean News

CHTA President Praises Jamaica’s Hurricane Preparedness, Assures Ongoing Support

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KINGSTON, Jamaica– President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig, has praised the strength of local and regional public-private sector partnerships, while congratulating tourism stakeholders across Jamaica for their strong level of preparedness in weathering the dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl, which impacted the island this week.

“Jamaica was spared the worst of the hurricane and we have now returned to regular business operations,” said Madden-Greig, who rode out the storm at her office in Kingston. She reported that Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios opened today, while Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston will open on Friday, July 5, after minor repairs are completed.

“We have no reports of any guests being injured during the passage of the storm, and the majority of the hotels and the tourism industry in general have emerged unscathed,” Madden-Greig added.

However, she expressed concerns for the south coast of the island, where many local communities were impacted, along with several independent hotels and villa operations.

“We will be including these operators in our disaster relief efforts, particularly in the Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth area,” she noted, explaining however that she had little doubt that this resilient community will rebound in the shortest possible time.

The trade association leader was encouraged with the reports emanating from the Cayman Islands, which confirmed no major impact on the sector there. “We are thankful to God for sparing us for the most part, and we are now resolved to getting our industry back on track, while serving communities (especially those in the Grenadines) who are in dire need at this time,” said Madden-Greig.

Individuals, businesses and organizations that want to contribute to regional hurricane relief efforts may make a monetary donation at www.chtaef.com.

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CARICOM raising profile and priority of its Migration Policy; curbing challenges ‘a tall order’

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is committed to work with Member States and other stakeholders to implement a “forward-thinking regional migration policy,” according to its Assistant Secretary General, Alison Drayton.

Addressing the opening of a recent three-day workshop titled “Towards a Regional Approach to a Migration Policy in the Caribbean,” in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, she said it is evident that the Region has been facing, and will continue to face, various challenges that affect the lives and livelihoods of Caribbean citizens.

“Namely, due to Climate Change, which has amplified displacements and the need for persons to migrate from areas that threaten their livelihoods or limit their opportunities to prosper and provide for their families,” the ASG told the forum, adding that the Climate Change and natural disasters remain “key drivers of displacements in the Region.”

“With the frequency and magnitude of events likely to increase in the future, this has contributed to many regional States facing demographic decline, which has impacted their workforce, our younger population seeking job opportunities outside the Region, and many key sectors being negatively impacted,” she stated.

The CARICOM official underscored that tackling the challenges would be “a tall order,” hence the Regional body’s commitment that would help address various aspects of Regional migration and human mobility as determined by Member State priorities.

Lauding the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for hosting the workshop, and the and valuable technical contributions made by the United Nations (UN) Migration Group and financial contributions from the United States Department of State, the European Union, and the Inter-American Development Bank, she said  the their efforts have been significant.

The contribution made by International Organization for Migration (IOM), has advanced the policy, with provision of consultancies to coordinate the Community’s work through the Regional Approach to Migration Policy (RAMP) Steering Committee and development of the framework, she highlighted.

For Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Minister, the Hon. Fitzgerald Hinds, his country is also committed to contributing to the development of a regional migration policy framework that reflects the priorities of the people of the Caribbean Community.

“As we embark on this journey together, let us harness the expertise, the insights and the experiences that we already have among us as we gather here today to shape the policy framework that is in front of us,” the Minister said, adding that the current migration realities “should prepare us for future challenges.”

The technical workshop brought together National Focal Points from the CARICOM Member States, and representatives of relevant regional and international organisations, building on IOM’s Migration Governance Indicator (MGI) assessments, and other consultations held with national Governments of CARICOM Member States in 2023.

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Government Earmarks $300M for Post-Hurricane Dengue Mitigation

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#Kingston, Jamaica, July 19, 2024 – The Government has earmarked $300 million to ramp up dengue mitigation activities, inclusive of fogging, treatment of mosquito breeding sites, removal of bulky waste and drain cleaning, in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl.

Addressing the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 16), Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the funds have been allocated to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which will spearhead vector-control activities over the next six weeks.

He further informed that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and National Works Agency (NWA), “are technically involved in this dengue mitigation [exercise] by trying to clear the environmental conditions that would create the growth in the vector”.

Mr. Holness highlighted the potential for a significant increase in the dengue vector, the Aedes aegpyti mosquito, which breeds primarily in containers, consequent on  the hurricane’s passage.

“We know that many communities are being plagued by the increase in the mosquito population… and other vectors [such as] roaches, rats and flies. Therefore, the cleanup and removal and clearing of waterlogged areas is of critical importance,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister noted that the hot summer conditions, along with rainfall, will further contribute to heightening the possibility of an increase in these vectors and the transmission of diseases.

As such, he appealed to Jamaicans to properly store water in covered containers and destroy mosquito breeding sites around their homes.

“I urge all homeowners who are storing water and… leaving the containers open, that an easy way to control the growth of the mosquito population in your households is to cover the containers,” Mr. Holness said.

He pointed out that the NSWMA will shortly announce a schedule for the removal of bulky waste from homes.

Prime Minister Holness further indicated that the NWA will be actively cleaning various gullies.

Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, and joint and muscle pains. These are often resolved through rest and adequate hydration along with the use of paracetamol to treat the accompanying fever.

 

Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS

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