The armed forces of the East African Community (EAC) member states will hold their annual sports competitions and cultural interactions in Kigali slated for between June 13 and 27 this year.
The games which include football, athletics (for both men and women), boxing, netball, handball, chess and tennis will be conducted in accordance with current International Federation Sports Rules and technical regulations.
This was established during a consultative workshop between Defence Experts Working Groups (DEWG) from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania held at a local hotel on Wednesday.
According to the current chairperson of East Africa’s DEWG, Brig Gen Alex Ibambasi, each partner state and the Defence Liaison Office will be responsible for enforcing procedures, regulations and overall conduct of the event.
He said that it would provide Rwanda, which is hosting the event for the first time, with a chance to learn from more experienced partners and pledged maximum hospitality and home care.
“Despite that Rwanda participated in a limited manner last year in Kampala, we are ready to face the bigger challenge of hosting over 800 participants,” said Ibambasi.
As the host nation, Rwanda is expected meet administrative expenses which include transport, accommodation and feeding.
Organization and coordination of technical meetings constituting the organization committee and provision of the event’s Budget is also a task of Rwanda.
The 2nd Edition of the Cycle of the EAC Armed Forces Sports and Culture Week is in conformity to the EAC Treaty Article 119 which provides for Partner States to promote close co-operation amongst themselves in culture and sports.
Brig Gen Norbert Kalimba, the Dean of EAC, said that this will also strengthen bilateral cooperation in regional peace and security and improve bonds of friendship and solidarity.
Kalimba, who represented EAC Secretary General Juma Mwapachu, emphasized that the event which takes place on a rotational basis would only be attended by serving army officers.
“Since Rwanda was able to successfully host the recently completed African Junior Championships, we hope to receive the best out of a country that I am proud to be associated with,” he said.
The games come at a time when Rwanda chairs the EAC with President Paul Kagame as the Chairperson of the Heads of State Summit.