Pan African Dance Festival comes to Rwanda in February


FESPAD, the Pan African Dance Festival, is coming to Kigali and will launch with a big ceremony on the 23rd of February before reaching its climax in March 02nd.

Hosted by the Ministry of Sports and Culture in conjunction with the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism Department the festival will bring over 40 African countries to Rwanda where dance groups will showcase both classic African tribal dances as well as contemporary dances for the audiences coming to see the event.

The event is seen as a litmus test for Rwanda hosting more continental and global events of this kind, now that additional meeting and hospitality capacity has been created and more is on the way yet with the opening later this year of the new Marriott Hotel in Kigali.

Ms. Rica Rwigamba, Head of Department at the RDB and in charge of Tourism and Conservation, in a meeting with this correspondent last Friday in Kigali confirmed the event developments and mentioned that the festival will create a platform to position Kigali as international events destination while promoting the great aspect of Africa unity through dance.

She then added that the festival is expected to promote tourism as well as investment, and promote the good image of the country in general as part of the country’s strategy of development. RDB will provide more information to the general public in coming days about the performances of traditional dances and especially the planned dance workshops that will include Salsa, Hip hop and Kinyarwanda dances as it was the case of the 7th edition of the festival which was held in 2010.

She also explained that the 8th Edition of FESPAD was shifted to a February date instead of the common July dates, because the organizers felt the traditional low season experienced in Rwanda could be utilized by artists to showcase their talents and not clash with other high profile festivals.

Rwanda will also host an East African Community (EAC) festival dubbed ‘Jam Fest’ which will take place between February 11th to 16th, starting in two weeks time already. Both events have been marked as major events in Rwanda and in fact Eastern Africa to promote and create awareness on the many opportunities in Rwanda today, for tourism and other sectors of the economy, in the Land of a Thousand Hills.