All set for FESPAD cultural festival

National Ballet Urukerereza will participate in the upcoming FESPAD edition. Here, the traditional troupe was performing during Umuganura ceremony in Nyanza. Sam Ngendahimana.

The 2018 edition of the Pan-African Dance Festival (FESPAD) is back, with different activities lined up on the opening day at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali on July 29.

The six-day-long festival will also be held in five other districts outside Kigali, namely; Musanze, Rubavu, Huye, Rwamagana and Nyanza.


It will feature cultural products exhibition and traditional dance performances by participants from different parts of Africa.


This will be FESPAD’s 10th edition.


The event is being promoted and organised by Ministry of Sports and Culture, in conjunction with different partners. 

This year, the ministry collaborated with a team from Nyanza District in order to prepare for the harvest day, locally known as Umuganura.

Speaking at a news conference, Julienne Uwacu, the Minister for Sports and Culture, said the aim of the festival is to bring together Africans to promote peace and unity through traditional African music and dances.

By press time, besides Rwanda, countries that had confirmed participation include Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, and Burkina Faso. Some of the invited artistes include Sauti Sol (Kenya) and Zao Zoba (Congo-Brazaville).

According to the minister, the event is also part of efforts to support and promote local artistes, and the music industry in general.

This year, the festival will not only focus on agricultural produce, but will also highlight other activities that contribute to the development of the country.

“This festival is something important for our country, as our culture meets with other African cultures in a beautiful way,” said Leocadie Nyirankuzimana, the ministry’ spokesperson. 

“We are hopeful it will attract big crowds as was the case in the past,” he added.

FESPAD was initiated in 1998 by the African Union and its organisation entrusted to Rwanda by the 67th Conference of African Ministers in charge of culture.

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