tourism
Tourism

The East African Community intends to use this year’s Arts and Culture Festival (JAMAFEST) to promote regional tourism products to the world.

tourismEAC Secretary General Richard Sezibera said on Monday that the event is scheduled to take place from August 2 to 9 in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

“We are expecting large number of artists from all corners of the region and Africa at large to take part in this annual showcasing event. And this is an avenue where we can promote our socio-cultural diversity,” the bloc’s chief said.

He said the festival provides a platform to showcase culture as a primary driver of EAC integration and sustainable development, bringing together East African cultural practitioners and administrators to celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the region and providing space for intercultural dialogue among East African people.

East African’s scenic natural attractions are complemented by its rich culture and fascinating heritage.

“With growing interest worldwide in cultural tourism, this subsector has the potential to play a central role in economic development. So, there is a need for more attention when it comes towards promoting tourism in the region as there are tourists who come in East Africa just to see our cultural diversity,” Sezibera said.

“We are hopeful JAMAFEST 2015 will gain recognition beyond EAC borders like any other international festival,” he said.

According to Sezibera, the participation of foreign tourists will bring the world’s attention to East Africa, taking this event to another level.

The year’s lineup includes musical, drama, acrobats, dance and movement performances, poetry recitals, story-telling sessions and a carnival. In addition, there will be children’s interactive games and other fun activities to entertain the youth.

Owora Richard Othieno, EAC head of Communications and Public Affairs, described the event as an important platform for East African artists to network and market their cultural and creative talents regionally and internationally.

He said that drawing in a large crowd from the East African bloc, diplomatic missions, tourist hubs and media houses, this year’s festival is expected to promote dialogue and learning experiences between the discussants and participants. Discussions will be held on topics under the theme “Unleashing the economic potential of cultural and creative industries in the EAC”.

“The art enthusiast can indulge in array of artistic exhibitions of traditional and contemporary paintings, carvings, weaving, beading, pottery, film/documentary and photography. Also included in this category are recycled art, body art, traditional medicine, design, fashion and body adornment, food and beverage, and literary works and publications,” the official said. Enditem

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