By Phyllis Watwana, Nairobi June, 2015
The East African Arts and Culture Festival dubbed JAMAFEST – Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni Festival is set to make its first entry to Nairobi in August 2015. The 2nd Edition of the biennial event will be held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) under the theme “unleashing the economic potential of cultural and creative industries in the EAC.” The festival will be a build up on the achievements of the 1st Edition of JAMAFEST that was held at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda in February 2013.
The activity is expected to draw participants from the five EAC Partner States of Burundi, hosts Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
JAMAFEST 2015 will run for one week between 2nd and 8th August 2015 and is aimed at;
- bringing together East African cultural practitioners, workers and administrators to celebrate the rich diversity of East African cultural heritage and creativity;
- providing a platform and opportunities for marketing cultural and creative commodities;
- enhancing participants’ knowledge and competencies through workshops and symposia;
- providing a platform for festival participants to showcase culture and creative works, share knowledge and experiences; and
- create public awareness on the EAC integration agenda in efforts to deepen and widen the EAC cooperation for the mutual benefit of the citizens of the Partner States.
The festival activities will constitute; a carnival around the main highways, performing arts activities such as theatre, dances, opera and puppetry, Comedy, traditional and folk dances, Storytelling as well as music; Design and Creative Services such as Fashion shows and film; Exhibitions and Demonstrations; Workshops & Symposium; Children’s Games & Performances; visits to natural and cultural sites and a festival Marketplace where producers of cultural and creative products will market their commodities and establish networks.
It is anticipated that the debut will display regional creative and artistic works, traditional knowledge, and showcase the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Region with a high level of participation by artists and cultural practitioners from the five EAC Partner States. In addition, it is envisaged that the feat will offer global attention to East African Region while unlocking the economic potential of the cultural and creative sector of the region.