February 9, 2013

Hundreds Gear Up For First East African Arts Festival

At least 500 participants have confirmed taking part in the Jamafest, the East African Arts and Culture Festival, which opens on Monday in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Jamafest aims to promote regional socio-cultural integration through arts and culture by providing a platform to showcase culture as a primary driver of EAC integration.

A statement from the Regional Steering Committee says the participants at the six-day event are from the East African Community (EAC) Partner States.The committee says the number of confirmed participants by Thursday evening had doubled the Festival organizers’ initial target of at least 250 participants, with every one of Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda exceeding their quota.

Kenya is sending 165 participants, three times the 50-man quota originally allowed, while Uganda will send a team of 114 participants. Tanzania had by Thursday confirmed travelling party of 70; while Burundi has confirmed that 64 people will make the short trip from Bujumbura.The chairperson of the Organizing Committee in Kigali, Lauren Makuza, expressed the host country’s delight in the fact that Jamafest has attracted such widespread interest among artists in the region, and reaffirmed Rwanda’s readiness to host what he called a magnificent event.

Jamafest aims to promote regional socio-cultural integration through arts and culture by providing a platform to showcase culture as a primary driver of EAC integration. A number of events and activities are planned as part of the six-day event, including a carnival,  symposium, a visual arts exhibition, live performances, dance, fashion shows, plus a ‘Jamafest Village of Countries’ at which the Partner States will showcase various aspects of their cultures.The Festival is envisaged to be held every two years and hosted by Partner States on a rotational basis

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