The 10th edition of FESPAD, a pan-African dance festival, was launched Sunday at Amahoro stadium in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
The five-day festival, which will be running through Aug. 3, drew participants from various member states of the African Union (AU).
Participants from countries like Rwanda, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Senegal will stage performances in different Rwandan towns before the closing ceremony, in Nyanza district in southern Rwanda.
The African continent is endowed with rich cultural heritage and traditions that should be used to strengthen continental integration and the culture for peace, cohesion and cooperation among AU member states, AU representative Angela Martins said at the launch.
FESPAD was initiated by the AU in 1998, with the aim to bring together Africans and to promote the culture of peace through African traditional dances.
This year’s festival is being celebrated together with Rwanda’s annual national Thanks Giving Day festival, Umuganura.
The AU Commission and Rwanda are the co-organizers.
Marked by Rwandans at the beginning of every harvest, Umuganura is celebrated every first Friday of August and is a public holiday in Rwanda.