THE Pan African Dance Festival (FESPAD), a biennial cultural event that has been taking place in the country for more than a decade is back. The festival will run from August 1-5. Unlike previous editions, this year’s festival will be a local affair.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Julienne Uwacu, the Minister for Sports and Culture, said the idea of having local artistes to headline is part of efforts to support and promote local artistes, and the music industry in general. Uwacu added that several African countries were invited to the event.
However, some people are still wondering whether the festival will attract as many people as previous festivals, which were graced by international stars.
Lucky Dube, the late South African reggae musician, American singer and Grammy Award Winner Lauryn Hill, Jamaican Dancehall Star Beenie Man, Nigeria’s Ice Prince, and Congolese soukous singer Koffi Olomide, are some of the international musicians who graced past festivals. FESPAD has not been staged for the last three years. The last time the festival took place was in 2013.
The week-long festival will attract 14 countries from across the continent celebrating Africa’s unique cultures under the theme “Culture, the cornerstone of development”.
FESPAD will be celebrated along with National Harvest Day (Umuganura) across the country.