Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government will be undertaking infrastructural and other sustainable development activities in Accompong Town, in St. Elizabeth.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 280th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Treaty between the Accompong Town Maroons and the British in the community on January 6, Ms. Grange said the Government has placed primary focus on policies geared toward “engaging economic value from all our activities and our assets.”
As a result, she said the Ministry will be playing its part in the sustainability of Accompong Town, by extending its economic opportunity programme to the area.
The Minister added that the departments and agencies within her Ministry will be charged with the responsibility to implement the requisite preparatory training programmes to make the 2019 celebrations a world-class one.
“We created an economic programme for the Maroon communities that surrounded the Blue and John Crow Mountains and we are now expanding that programme to Accompong as we prepare the dossier for the Cockpit Country to be designated a World Heritage site,” she said.
“My officers will be working along with the Colonel and his team and the community to provide training and the guidance that you will need to assist in making this celebration an event that will be well-organised, proper infrastructure put in place and proper promotion, so that this can be marketed to the world through the Ministry of Tourism,” Ms. Grange said.
As it relates to the roadway that leads to Accompong Town, she said the Ministry will be working in conjunction with the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation to have them rehabilitated this year.
The Minister commended the performance of students of the Accompong Primary School for what she said was their “amazing display of Maroon tradition and culture” at the event.
Calling on the Maroons not to take their history and heritage for granted, Ms. Grange said all the requisite support will also be provided to help the residents of Accompong create the kind of artefacts and art and craft that will reflect their culture.
She said special attention will be given to preserving the legacy of Maroon Chief Cudjoe, with whom the British signed the peace treaty in 1738, in exchange for full freedom and land, putting an end to decades of hostilities.
“We will ensure that Cudjoe’s grave/headstone is appropriately established,” Ms. Grange said.