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ALL ABOUT JAMAFEST Featured

NAME: Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni Festival (JAMAFEST)
Vision: A unified East Africa through Arts and Culture
Mission: Promote regional socio-cultural integration through arts and culture
Theme “Unleashing the economic potential of cultural and Creative Industries in the EAC”
Date: 2nd-9th August 2015
Venue; Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.
Festival Director: Nicholas Ole Moipei
Chairman Local Organising Committee: Mr. Wenslas Ong’ayo

Background Information

The 20th Meeting of East African Community Council of Ministers held in March 2010 and subsequent 23rd Council of Ministers Meeting held in September 2011, directed the EAC Secretariat to organize regular EAC Arts and Culture Festival in the EAC Partner States on rotational basis.
Pursuant to the Directive, the 1st Edition of the JAMAFEST was held in February 2013 in Kigali Rwanda and attracted an audience of over 17,500.
Kenya was granted the opportunity to host the 2nd Edition of the festival by the 11th Sectoral Council on Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports, a decision that was endorsed by the 28th Meeting of the Council of Ministers in November 2013.
The Festival Objectives are to:
1. To provide a platform to showcase culture as a primary driver of regional integration and sustainable development;
2. Bring together East African cultural practitioners and administrators to celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage as well as contemporary practice of East Africa;
3. Provide space for intercultural dialogue amongst the people of East Africa;
4. Foster the economic development of the EAC through nurturing the growth of a strong creative and cultural industry sector. and
5. Promote arts and culture as a tool in the celebration and branding of East African identity and image.
It is expected that the festival will;
i) Bring together EA cultural practitioners, workers and administrators to celebrate the rich diversity of East African cultural heritage and creativity.
ii) Promote cultural tourism as well as conservation, safeguarding and development of cultural heritage within the EAC;
iii) Provide platform and opportunities of marketing cultural and creative commodity outputs within the region and internationally.
iv) Enhance Participants’ knowledge and competencies through workshops and symposia; and
v) Create expose and provide Participants with a platform to showcase their Artistic works beyond national borders.
Justification
The festival will strengthen and consolidate the long standing political, economic, social and cultural ties between the peoples of the Partner States thus widening and deepening integration for their mutual benefit.
The festival will contribute to ongoing initiatives to actualize the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC. In Article 119 of the Treaty, the Partner States undertake to promote close co-operation amongst themselves in culture and sports, with respect to the promotion of cultural activities, including the fine arts, literature, music, the performing arts and other artistic creations, and the conservation, safeguarding and development of the cultural heritage of the Partner States including, historical materials and antiquities; among other activities aimed at promoting an East African identity. In addition, the Common Market Protocol provides for Partner States to cooperate in the field of intellectual and property rights, in the promotion and protection of creativity and innovation for economic, technological, social and cultural development.
The EAC has huge cultural resources and talents that have not been fully exploited therefore this Festival will be a forum to tap and nurture creative talents of artists from EAC Partner States. It is envisaged that artists will network and do business together which will enhance their empowerment and eventually translate to economic benefits to respective Partner States
The following activities will entail interactive sessions between cultural workers, artists and the public for deeper understanding of cultural and creative practices.
A. Performances
 music
 dance and movement
 poetry
 storytelling
 drama
 acrobatics
 carnival
B. Exhibitions and Demonstrations
 Paintings
 Carvings
 Weaving
 Beading
 Pottery
 Film/Documentary
 Photography
 Recycled art
 Body art
 Traditional medicine
 Design, Fashion and body adornment
 Food & beverage
 Literary works & publications

C. Discussions & Symposia
The symposia will be aimed at promoting dialogue and learning among the discussants and participants. Discussions will be held on topics selected along the theme of the festival and in line with the contribution of culture and the arts to the regional and global initiatives.
D. Traditional games
This will include popular traditional games within the region such as bao-ajua, kora and wrestling among others.
E. Children’s Games
This will include children’s interactive games and pastimes such as Kati, blada and muskumo among others play activities.
Activity 2: Visit to Natural and Cultural sites of Interest
In the spirit of social integration, festival participants will visit cultural and attractive sites in the host country to learn and share experiences.
Activity 3: Marketplace (Art craft Exhibition & Sales)
In light of economic empowerment; the festival will designate an area within the venue to have the local and participating artists showcase and sell their wares such as Jewelry, Clothing, Curios, Paintings, Sculptures, and Handicrafts among others.

Partnership
The hosting Partner State plays a key role in the organization of the festival hence the Ministry Sports, Culture and the Arts, being the implementing agency will partner with: the Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism; Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Devolution; Interior and Coordination of National Government; Labour and Social Services; Industrialization and Enterprise Development; Information and Communication; and Education, Science and Technology.
The ministry will also partner with all County Governments, Trade Mark East Africa, Brand Kenya, Kenya Investment Authority, Export Promotion Council, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Music and Cultural Festival (KMCS), Communications Authority of Kenya, UNESCO, Corporate bodies and Private sector organisations such as Media Houses, Banks, Retail Chains, Manufacturers, Airlines, Hoteliers and Independent Artistic/Cultural Organizations (Kuona Trust, Go Down Arts Centre, Sarakasi Trust) among others.

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