Jamaica’s Prime Minister meets with Jamaica’s music industry stakeholders

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Monday (June 26), convened a meeting of producers and managers in the recording industry at Jamaica House, during which she called for a partnership between the government and stakeholders in the industry to use music as a vehicle to re-instill traditional values and positive behaviors in the nation’s youth.

The Prime Minister said it was important that ways be found through which music could be used to bring about a revival of positive songs that once touched the conscience of Jamaicans.
She commended artistes who had already accepted the challenge and were influencing positive values and attitudes across the country. “We need more of that. Help me as we move to organize, mobilize and empower communities,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She stressed that music was a significant factor which could do more to bring about peace, love and unity, adding that it was rivaled only by sports. “If we build strong communities, we will have strong parishes and a stronger Jamaica. In so doing, we will recapture some of the values passed on to us by our great grandmothers and grandfathers,” the Prime Minister said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said that Jamaica could be proud of its achievements in the global music industry, as the country had produced outstanding musicians, including Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Freddie McGregor, among others. “For a country of our size and population, we have given to the world far greater than any other country,” the Prime Minister emphasized.

She also lauded musicians, producers and managers for their efforts in helping to create ‘Brand Jamaica’, which had gained international recognition.

The producers and managers commended the Prime Minister for inviting them to participate in the meeting and accepted her call for a partnership. They pointed out that there were significant benefits to be had from the music industry, including wealth creation and the employment of hundreds of Jamaican young people.

It was suggested that a Reggae Preservation Act be drafted to regulate critical issues affecting the industry, given the fact that reggae music is one of the country’s export earners and should therefore be protected by legislation.

Other issues, including outstanding royalties in a number of countries, standards within the industry, the lyrical content of some songs, as well as musicians preparing themselves to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Cricket World Cup 2007, were also raised.

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