The much anticipated Jumuiya Ya Africa Mashariki Utamaduni Festival (Jamafest) kicked off on Monday despite a heavy and windy downpour that occurred in the afternoon.
The event, the first of this kind in the East African region, was graced by participants from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and was kickstarted with the raising of the East African Community (EAC) member countries flags at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.
Expected to showcase arts and culture, the festival is to be hosted biennially by the EAC states on a rotational basis.
In her opening remarks, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Jesca Eriyo called upon everybody to use the event to appreciate the diversity of cultures in the region. There was also a showcasing of works of art representing different cultures across the region.
Rwanda was selected by the evaluation committee to be the first host country after "having submitted the most outstanding proposal," Eriyo explained.