The National Harvest Day (Umuganura) and the Pan-African Dance Festival (FESPAD) 2016, opened officially on Monday with various activities taking place from the very first day.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Julienne Uwacu, the minister of sports and culture (Minispoc) thanked people from across Africa who decided to be part of the continental big event.
“I would like to take this opportunity to first of all recognise our fellow Africans who have travelled all the way from Senegal, Kenya and other countries to join us in this important event that will run for the next four days. We are hopeful that this will bring out the best as we will have enough time to deliberate on what we have on our continent,” she said.
The official ceremony was preceded by street carnivals showcasing dozens of cultures, artistic rhythms, performances, and songs.
Stage 1 of the FESPAD carnival walk started from Club Rafiki (Nyamirambo) to ONATRACOM in the Biryogo area while Stage 2 started from Kigali City Market via Kipharma to the downtown bus station.
Stage 3 of the showpiece started from downtown bus park to Kinamba (Nyabugogo), and Stage 4 started from Remera via Chez Lando to Petit Stade where the official ceremony took place.
The opening day also featured performances of the national ballet Urukerereza, a Senegalese dance troupe and other local artistes like Jay Polly and Patrick Nyamitali among others.
Day one also featured exhibition of several handicraft federations, ministries, National Library and museum, and other private and public institutions. It is taking place at the Stadium.
The week-long festival runs August 1-5, and is expected to feature different countries from across the continent celebrating Africa’s unique cultures under the theme “Culture, the cornerstone of development”.Follow https://twitter.com/Julio_Bizimungu