Focus On The Orange Economy

Author: Nya Phillips/BGIS

Minister with responsibility for Culture in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, has encouraged the Caribbean and Africa to collaborate and seize the opportunities which await them within the creative industries or orange economy.

Senator Munro-Knight’s comments came while delivering remarks to open discussion on the topic: ‘Promoting the Orange Economy, Africa and Caribbean Cultural Industries’, at the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, last evening.

Expressing optimism in the ability of the two regions to become leaders within one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, given their rich culture and abundance of talent, she said there was “no time to waste”.

“The industry was estimated at USD 2.25-billion and contributed to more than 29.5-million jobs worldwide in 2015. By 2017, it had grown to more than nine trillion of the world economy and of 18-trillion according to McKinsey Global Institute,” she noted.

The Minister further stated that the sector “had the best potential to be resilient and nimble” and could help to not only generate economic revenue, but also redefine how the Caribbean and Africa are viewed in the global space.
“We know the global economy has traditionally been dominated by trade in goods…. As we have moved to engage in trade in services, our economies are still primarily tied to sectors that are highly dependent on the international fortunes.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its devastation of tourism dependent economies, as well as the crippling of our financial services industries by extra-regional over regulation suggests the need to look critically at how our economies are injected into the global infrastructure. We have the opportunity, (the Caribbean and Africa), to rewrite the script, if we can propel the expansion of the creative industries between ourselves,” she stated.

Senator Munro-Knight pointed out that the Government of Barbados was keen on developing the orange economy at the domestic level through creating an enabling environment for cultural practitioners and creatives, given its ability to “spur growth, specifically new jobs for a wider pool of persons in previously undervalued areas”.

She added that the Afro-Caribbean forum provided an excellent opportunity to network, collaborate and bring this vision to fruition.


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