Preparations are in high gear for the 5th Edition of the East African Community (EAC) Arts and Culture Festival, popularly known as Jumuiya ya Africa Mashariki Utamaduni Festival (JAMAFEST) scheduled for 4th -12th September 2022 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
The main objective of the festival themed “Harnessing cultural resources to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in the EAC” is to promote regional socio-cultural integration through arts and culture by providing a regional platform to showcase culture as a prime driver of EAC integration.
Addressing delegates during the 5th meeting of the Regional Steering Committee (RSC) held via hybrid format, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of the Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo said that the main venue of the festival will be at Intwari Stadium in Bujumbura where the main stage for cultural performances, the exhibition, and market place will be located.
Hon. Bazivamo said that the subsidiary venues of Palais de Arts and Institut Francais will host specialized shows including film festivals, comedy, and drama while Kiriri Garden Hotel is expected to host the Symposium.
Hon. Bazivamo reaffirmed the readiness of the Republic of Burundi to deliver a successful JAMAFEST and urged the RSC to work closely with the National Organizing Committee to ensure the event was a success.
Hon. Bazivamo underscored the significance of JAMAFEST as a platform for fostering regional socio-cultural integration in East Africa, adding that the festival was aimed at promoting unity in diversity, sharing cross-cultural experiences and dialogues, cultural exchanges in addition to celebrating the rich and diverse cultures and heritage of the people of East Africa.
“I urge the Partner States to use the festival to promote economic growth and revival of the tourism industry in the regional integration,” said the DSG.
The Deputy Secretary General disclosed that a theme Song for the festival has been composed and will be played throughout the festival as part of the publicity campaign of creating awareness of the role of arts and culture in regional integration.
During the 5th RSC meeting, the Partner States agreed on sub-themes which shall also form topics for discussions during the Jamafest Symposium 2022 by the Partner States.
The United Republic of Tanzania was assigned to prepare a presentation on the adoption of new regional languages in the EAC; the Republic of South Sudan was tasked with making a presentation on the role of modern technologies in advancing cultural expression and arts – the impact of social media on culture; while the Republic of Kenya will tackle Indigenous Knowledge and Traditional Medicine.
The Republic of Rwanda was assigned Arts, Industry, and Tourism; the Republic of Uganda will handle Youth Participation and Employment while Burundi will handle Research, Innovation and Investment in Arts and Culture.