As Rwanda’s tourism sector continues to grow by leaps and bounds attracting more international visitors, cultural enthusiasts are looking at how best to cash in on cultural tourism.
One of such initiatives is Ikobe Arts, a cultural platform, which was launched over the weekend, that seeks to promote and expose Rwandan culture and traditions to tourists.
Even before its official launch at Kiberinka Cultural Centre, Ikobe Arts has been providing tourists with dynamic and creative performing arts showcased at different cultural events it organises as well as cultural exhibitions it holds at craft shops.
Doreen Ingabire, the brains behind Ikobe Arts, said they are looking to expose Rwandan culture through different activities aimed at promoting the country’s cultural tourism.
“We realised that we still have a lot to do to market Rwanda’s cultural tourism. Many people coming for tourism or conferences in the country lack a culture exhibition hub, where they can learn Rwandan culture and traditions,”
“We want to promote cultural tourism through different initiatives with traditional nature to help people coming to visit our country understand better the Rwandan culture and traditions before they leave,” says Ingabire.
Doreen Ingabire, founder of Ikobe Art, at the ceremony with one of her guests.
Ikobe Art currently organises regular traditional events at Kigali Culture Village whereby a traditional ballet/troupe is invited every Tuesday and Thursday evening to entertain tourists, international delegates and local culture enthusiasts.
During the events, foreigners community gets an opportunity to learn Rwandan culture through traditional dances while they also tour a traditional shop to visit and buy interesting traditional items like imbehe, imigongo and agaseke among many souvenirs they can carryback to their respective countries.
Ingabire added that they are also planning to set up a special cuisine at Kiberinka Culture Centre, Kibagabaga, whereby visitors can be treated to traditional foods and drinks during cultural diners accompanied by traditional performances from cultural troupes.
They will also establish an education hub where different lectures and sessions will be held to share Rwanda’s cultural values with the international visitors.
Ingabire said Ikobe Arts will be a one-stop-centre for tourists to learn about Rwanda’s rich culture and past.