EAC Deputy Secretary General Hon. Jesca Eriyo
EAC Deputy Secretary General Hon. Jesca Eriyo has announced that the EAC Arts and Culture Festival, taking place later this year, will be hosted by Rwanda. The decision was made following careful evaluation by a committee, who ultimately agreed that Rwanda’s proposal was the most promising.
Rwanda’s big competition to host the event was Uganda, the other EAC Partner State which had previously expressed great interest in hosting the first-time arts and culture festival. The decision to implement an annual festival came in September of last year, when the 23rd Council of Ministers decided that the EAC region should develop a major artistic and cultural event.
It is hoped that the festival will develop a sense of East African cultural identity, and help to create an environment where East Africans are able to illustrate their cultural diversity, as well as promote and develop African arts as a potential tool for socio-economic expansion.
Potential for tourism has also been considered, with the preservation and promotion of a rich cultural heritage as other cited benefits that the festival could provide.
"The theme of this year's festival will be 'Deepening Integration through Culture and Creative Industries', with the main objective of bringing artistes and East Africans together to dialogue, learn, exchange, network, and celebrate the region's rich and diverse cultural heritage," Eriyo said
Eriyo also went on to say that the festival will serve as a platform for East Africans to celebrate their similarities as well as their differences, while continuing to broaden the scope of the arts and culture market and promote a better understanding of the importance of community integration.
The upcoming festival will take place over nine days, and will feature a wide range of arts and cultural activities that will appeal to locals as well as overseas visitors. These include cultural villages, art exhibitions, fashion shows, workshops, symposiums, and live performances.
These events will take place across five different venues in Rwanda, and it is expected that the festival will attract a minimum of 3,000 visitors, who will stay an average of 10 days while spending an average of $70 per day.
If all goes according to plan, it is estimated that these figures will generate a visitor expenditure of $2.1 million.