By ABCafrica reporter
At the just ended 3rd EAC Art and Culture Festival; in Kampala, the EAC Deputy Secretary general Jessica Eriyo (Tanzania) has advised East Africa member states to join their culture and Tourism ministries as a move to promote culture as a tourism product. Eriyo further said that having the culture ministry, under the ministry of gender labor and social development is more of a disservice to both the tourism and cultural sectors. “I think Tourism can work much better with culture, because besides the fact that many tourism sites have an attachment to a cultural background, many cultures can stand as independently tourism attractions if marketed and promoted well,” Eriyo explained. She was addressing EAC delegates at the closure of the two-day JAMAFEST arts and cultural symposium that has been taking place at Hotel African as part of the week-long 3rd edition of 2017 JAMAFEST held in Kampala.
She said that the Ugandan Government should initiate talks on this matter, same thing to parliament and see whether it’s implementable. “Through tourism, people will know that there is value in culture and then they can actually conserve it,” Ariyo stated. The EAC chief explained that there is need to have the two departments moved and joined because the country has many tribes and tourism sites attached to history of people in the region where they are located. Pius Bigirimana, the permanent secretary of the gender and culture ministry supported the move, saying there is need for the idea to be implemented by respective EAC respective states. “If the EAC leadership thinks joining the two sectors is the best move in the the region, so be it. Nevertheless it remains the same government,” he said.
After the symposium, delegates headed to National theatre where all the member states acted cultural theatre plays for the EAC JAMAFEST Audience. According to EAC secretariat officials, this year JAMAFEST has had a bigger number of participants from other member states than that of the two previous countries and this is because there was good publicity in the other member states. “The first and second editions in Rwanda and Kenya respectively, had more host participants than guests from other member states, and I congratulate organizers in Uganda for making better publicity in other countries,” Eriyo explained.