The fourth edition of the East African Community’s Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni Festival (JamaFest) is set to take place between September 21-28 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at the National Stadium grounds.
Jamafest seeks to promote regional socio-cultural integration through arts and culture. It was started after the EAC council of ministers in September 2011 directed the EAC Secretariat to organise regular festivals.
Rwanda was selected to host the first edition of the festival in 2013. It is a bi-annual festival and in 2015 Kenya played host then Uganda in 2017.
“We are currently receiving the final line-up up of artistes from all member states. We are going to have activities like music, dance, fine art, fashion and tourism stalls showcasing businesses,” said one of the organisers Joyce Fissoo.
The theme for this year’s festival is Cultural Diversity: A key driver of regional integration, economic growth and the promotion of tourism.
Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Susan P Mlawi said the country is honoured to host the fourth edition of Jamafest and is committed to delivering a successful event.
Ms Mlawi also urged the festival organisers to use the platform to promote Kiswahili as the lingua franca of the EAC.
The festival will have sub-themes with Uganda tasked with preparing the keynote on the JamaFest’s main theme. Tanzania has been tasked with presenting on the topic of “Cultural tourism and regional economic development”.
Burundi will talk on “Cultural diversity and the empowerment of women youth & children.”
Kenya has been assigned the topic of “Persons with disabilities and cultural diversity for regional integration,” South Sudan is to present on “Policy and regulatory frameworks for the promotion of culture and creative industries”.
Rwanda will present on “The Kiswahili language-a catalyst for regional integration”.