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Tanzania to take part in EAC cultural tourism festival

7th February 2013
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Tanzania is set to take part in the weeklong East African Community's annual cultural festival, scheduled to take place in the Rwandan capital of Kigali beginning Feb. 11 this year, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Joas Kahembe, an official of the Tanzania Association of Cultural Tourism Organizers (TACTO), said that more than 100 Tanzanians are expected to take part in the sixth-day cultural fair.

"This is an important opportunity for Tanzanian exhibitors to market cultural products in the region taking into account that the country has more than 120 large tribes and many more small clans," Kahembe said, adding that Tanzania is well placed to market its cultural tourism product in the EAC market of more than 130 million people.

"We have a number of cultural-related products which haven't yet tapped. Tanzanian troop will involve authentic African tribal arts and crafts, especially Makonde carvings in ebony sculptures, artists of different calibers," he said.

Another TACTO official Freddy Massawe revealed that Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda have also confirmed attendance of the festival named "Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni (JAMAFEST), " which means "East African Community Cultural Festival."

With the theme of "Fostering East African Community Integration through Cultural Industries," arts and crafts pieces, cultural wears, music and dance, literary works, foods and beverages will be showcased at the festival.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame will officially open the non- competitive festival with other regional leaders expected to grace the occasion.

The fair is organized by East African Community Affairs (EACA) in conjunction with Partner States. The Secretariat hopes to use the festival as a means to appreciate the diversity of East African culture in a bid to interweave the region's people.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN