Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

8 January 2013

Tanzania: Locals Urged to Register for EAC Arts and Culture Festival

THE Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports has called on local artists to register for the East Africa Community (EAC) Arts and Culture Festival planned for Rwanda in February, next month.

Senior Cultural Officer in the ministry, Habibu Mohamed said the festival dubbed as JAMAFEST is an ideal place for the local artists to showcase their artistic and cultural talents. He said Tanzania has been invited to feature at the eightday festival starting February 9.

"It is very important for the local artists to feature at the festival where they will showcase and display their works to their East African counterparts," said Mohamed. He said all arts and culture stakeholders from designers, traditional dance groups and sculptures, among others, are invited to showcase and sell their artistic products.

"Interested parties should register before January 25 so that they are allocated spaces in the Tanzania pavilion at the festival for them to display their products," said Mohamed. However, the participants should be prepared to foot their travel and accommodation expenses throughout the festival.

Rwanda's bid to host the historic event eclipsed that presented by Uganda, which is the other EAC Partner State that had expressed interest in hosting the festival. The EAC Arts and Culture Festival comes to life following a decision by the 23rd Council of Ministers meeting held in Arusha in September 2011, to have the region host regular arts and culture festivals.

The festivals, to be hosted by the partner states on a rotational basis, aim to foster an East African cultural identity that depicts the cultural life of East Africans, illustrate their cultural unity in diversity and to create an enabling environment for the promotion and development of arts and creative industries, as a viable tool for sustainable socio-economic development.

The festivals will in the long run contribute greatly towards the promotion of cultural tourism as well as conservation, safeguarding and development of cultural heritage and the overall marketing of regional cultural groups, workers and creators with their diverse products at regional and international levels.

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.

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