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‘Mama Culture’ appointed to develop national cultural policy

‘Mama Culture’ appointed to develop national cultural policy

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Former Minister of Culture René Baptiste has been delegated to head a national consultancy for the development of a cultural policy of St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Baptiste, known in cultural circles as ‘Mama Culture’, will lead key stakeholders in the UNESCO funded drive to prepare a revised document, which is expected to be ready by December this year.

At the official launch of the consultation, which took place at the National Insurance Services Training Room on Tuesday, Chairman of the SVG UNESCO National Commission Janeil Henry congratulated Baptiste on her latest appointment, and said that she looked forward to the completion of the process and its speedy implementation.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Culture has realized that our country has an abundance of very capable individuals, and has recruited one of our intellects, a profound charismatic Vincentian in Miss Baptiste.”

“Miss Baptiste will help to ensure that our revised cultural policy is linked to the National Development Plan, policies and strategies. She will focus on the legislation that governs the implementation of specific areas and themes that governs this cultural policy.”

“It is expected that this updated policy will help improve the sustainability and viability of our cultural industries, support more substantial business oriented initiatives, and facilitate the creation of new cultural associations on the ground.”

Cecil McKie, Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture also endorsed the selection of Baptiste as the policy consultant.

“As we undertake this process for the next three months, who is a better person than someone who has been intimately involved in the development of culture here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for many years, both in terms of a policy maker and in terms of an active practitioner; someone with the necessary legal training that can bring all of this expertise together in one individual to perform the consultancy as it relates to our new national cultural policy.”

“And as we can see, she has not given up her contribution to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines where culture is concerned.”

McKie called on the stakeholders to do their part in making the policy a document that would be used as a major national developmental tool.

“Culture defines a people, and as we know here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, our culture is very varied; involves every sector of our society, involves every individual living in our society, and then more and more we have to recognize that fact that we need to focus and pay attention to the development of this very important sector.”

“We have two productive sectors here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: tourism and agriculture; and there is absolutely no reason why we cannot utilize our human resource where culture and sport is concerned, make an industry of sport and culture and let that be the third productive sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

During the consultation, meetings will be held with members of the public and various stakeholders, the first of which should take place on September 21.

“We have to make sure that the document that is prepared at the end of the day is a document that is reflective of our reality, but it is also a document that passes international muster… so that we can engage board members and the governments that they represent to assist us in our programming….”(JJ)

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