3 February 2013

Tanzania: Dar to Send Delegation of 120 for Kigali's Jamafest

TANZANIA plans to send a delegation of nearly 120-strong to promote cultural tourism in the East African Community Arts and Culture Festival (Jamafest) to be held in Kigali, Rwanda later this month.

However, to fulfill its ambition, the country has to raise 170m/- that is needed to foot the bill which includes transportation and accommodation during the six-day festival. The festival, the first of its kind, will be held on the theme - "Fostering the EAC integration through the cultural industries".

Slated February 11 to 18 this year, the festival will feature among others a carnival, live musical performances, theatre, arts exhibitions, workshops and symposiums at more than five venues across the host country.

Tanzania Association of Cultural Tourism Organizers (TACTO), Chief Executive Officer, Fred Massawe said in a press release that the festival is an opportunity for Tanzania with 120 tribes to showcase its cultural richness.

"There are potential tourism trades in cultural festival in Rwanda because we expect it would attract tourists," Massawe said, citing the Brazilian Rio Carnival, which makes nearly 500 million US dollars annually.

TACTO chief further made a passionate call upon private and public sectors to contribute financially to facilitate the Tanzania's delegation to Rwanda, where it would promote the country in terms of cultural tourism. "We need about 170m/- to take 120 people to represent Tanzania at Jamafest in Rwanda.

Our northern neighbour Kenya would dispatch 180 people to promote their country," he explained. Tanzania's team would comprise cultural tour players, fine artists, curio craftsmen, cultural dancers and women involved in beads trade as well as journalists.

The event would be held biennially with the primary aim to promote socio-cultural integration through arts and culture by providing a platform to showcase culture as a primary driver of EAC integration and sustainable development. Massawe explained that cultural tourism is the most effective way to transfer tourist dollars to the common people.

"Cultural tourism is a potential tool not only to fight against poverty, but also to inspire local folks to understand the importance of conservation after reaping the benefits," he stressed. More than 300 participants have already confirmed they will take part, while thousands of EAC citizens are expected to join in the celebrations.

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