The New Times (Kigali)

25 February 2013

Rwanda: Africans Urged to Embrace Fespad

Beenie Man's hit song. ( Resource: Beenie Man - Dude

African countries have been urged to embrace the annual Pan African Dance Festival (FESPAD) that is taking place for the ninth time in Rwanda. According to Sports and Culture minister Protais Mitali, the festival is a major vehicle towards promoting unity in Africa as a continent.

The week-long event, that commenced on Saturday attracted hundreds of people from different countries.

"This is a sounding structure or framework that leads to promotion of cultural diversity on the continent but should also be recognised as a major contributing factor toward unity among Africans," said Mitali while speaking at the launch.

According to Clare Akamanzi, RDB's acting CEO, this will enable learning more from one another as well as strengthening relations among different countries.

This year's Festival, according to an official from Rwanda Development Board, will cost the government Rwf500 million.

Frank Murengwa, the coordinator of the event, said that the amount will cover all the activities that have been planed during the week-long festival.

"With this amount of money, we are sure that all the activities will be catered for; and make the festival achieve its mission," Murengwa told The New Times yesterday.

Among other activities, there will be special arrangements, where participants from other countries will have a chance to learn Kinyarwanda as well as dance workshops to teach them traditional dances.

Yesterday, several countries showcased their culture through dance in Kigali and the Eastern Province, while today, the shows will be taken to Northern Province, before going to Southern and Western provinces.

A Gala Night is planned on Wednesday at Kigali Serena Hotel and a Jungle party in Rubavu while the closing ceremony will be on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium in Remera.

During the opening of the festival, participants noted that the initiative builds strong bonds among participants.

This year's FESPAD attracted artistes from Uganda, Egypt, Liberia, Madagascar, Burundi, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, among others.

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