By Felix Andrew
THE East African Community (EAC) Secretariat together with Partner States will hold the 3rd edition of the ‘Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni’ Festival (JAMAFEST) from 7th – 15th September 2017 in Kampala, Uganda.
According to organizers, the main objective of the Festival 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.
The JAMAFEST 2017, will run under the theme; “Culture and creative industries: An Engine for unity and Employment Creation”. A theme Song has been composed and will be played throughout the festival period as part of the publicity campaign of creating awareness of the role of arts and culture in regional integration.
Main venue of the festival will be Kololo Ceremonial Grounds where the main stage for cultural performances, the exhibition and market place will be located.
The subsidiary venues include Uganda National Cultural centre where specialized shows including film festival, comedy and drama will be conducted.
This year’s festival will also host a Carnival which will run through different selected parts of Kampala City.
Festival events will run for seven days and will include a Carnival, live musical performances, theatre/comedy, arts and craft exhibitions, literary works, film shows, poetry, storytelling, acrobatics, workshop/symposium, culinary art, fashion show and children theatre.
It will also have a Cultural Market place which is specifically designed to provide opportunities to Festival Participants for selling and buying of cultural products and cultural business networking.
The festival is expected to bring cultural communities within the region together, foster social cultural interaction and promote peace and harmony among the people of East Africa and enable people move across borders to share experiences and ideas thus creating long-lasting connections.
In addition, Jamafest is envisaged to help to develop a new audiences for the region and promote Cultural tourism in the EAC as well as generate income and jobs while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development.
JAMAFEST, is a regional Arts and Culture Festival held in the East African Community Partner States on a rotational basis. The Festival is a result of the 23rd Council of the Ministers directive to the Secretariat to organize and hold regional Arts and Culture Festivals and Sports Tournaments as one of the strategies for fostering socio cohesion among East Africans.