Training cultural officials and statisticians in cultural information systems, satellite accounts and the collection of data on the island???s creative industries, is a step in the right direction.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, made this assertion today when he addressed the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Ministry of Culture at the Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael today.

He added that this training would be helpful in mapping the economic potential of the sector, noting these types of statistics are necessary to demonstrate the significant economic impact of the cultural industries.??

However, the Minister lamented that the importance of culture to national development could not be clearly ascertained by most developing countries because the sector???s contribution remains largely under reported and under analysed.

He argued that Barbados ???has been grappling with the dearth of available data for years??? within the cultural sector, noting that while existing data gave ???some??? indication of the industry???s contribution to the economy, it was still inadequate.

Pointing out that the existing systems needed to be improved; he said this would allow for effective sector analysis and evidence-based policy development.

Minister Lashley lauded the OAS for hosting the workshop and commended its continued commitment to cultural development on the island. Moreover, he stressed that the workshop also demonstrated Government???s seriousness.

???It signals to our colleagues and partners in the sector that we are serious about mainstreaming this industry into national development; equipping it to reach world class standards; and paving the way for it to become integrated into the global creative economy. Of course, this would redound to the benefit of Barbados and its economic growth,??? the Culture Minister said.

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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