Inaugural Kigali Triennial Festival to showcase African arts and culture on global stage

By Esther Muhozi
On 14 February 2024 at 06:57

From February 16 to 25, Kigali will play host to the inaugural Kigali Triennial Festival, bringing together over 200 artists from 25 countries.

This celebration of African arts and culture aims to establish the Rwandan capital as a global cultural hub. Organized every three years, the festival is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Youth and Arts, the City of Kigali, and the Rwanda Arts Initiative.

Theme and purpose

With the theme "Where Art, Knowledge, and Economy Converge," the event seeks to highlight dynamic artistic talents, foster international collaboration, and position Kigali as a global cultural center. The festival signifies Rwanda’s commitment to promoting the arts, as stated by Mayor Samuel Dusengiyumva during a press conference on February 12.

Government support for arts

According to Sandrine Umutoni, the Minister of State for Youth and Arts, the government’s involvement in the festival demonstrates its dedication to supporting the arts as a means of youth development.

Umutoni emphasized the vital role of arts in youth development, stating that the government actively supports initiatives like the Kigali Triennial Festival. Arts, she believes, can strengthen national unity, act as a catalyst for job creation, economic prosperity, and contribute to the overall enrichment of cultural heritage.

Cultural exchange and partnerships

Umutoni sees the festival as an opportunity for Kigali to showcase the power of the arts in bridging cultural gaps. It’s not only a chance to highlight Rwanda’s artistic offerings but also to establish strong partnerships with different countries.

Event highlights

The inaugural Kigali Triennial Festival will take place at various locations, including the Car Free Zone Center, Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village (former Camp Kigali), Canal Olympia, Club Rafiki, and Cine Elmay (Mayaka). The diverse program includes 60 performances, exhibitions, and events spanning music, dance, fashion, theater, cinema, gastronomy, and visual arts, among others.

Forums and workshops

Beyond performances, the festival will host forums, workshops, and masterclasses for cultural professionals and the general public. This provides an opportunity for knowledge exchange and skill development in the cultural sector.

Mayor Dusengiyumva encourages residents of Kigali to participate in large numbers, urging them to explore the diverse program and discover something that resonates with their interests. He envisions the festival not only creating a vibrant atmosphere in Kigali but also advancing the entertainment scene in Rwanda.

The Kigali Triennial Festival not only promises a lively atmosphere but also aims to elevate Rwanda’s position in the global cultural landscape. By showcasing diverse artistic expressions and promoting international collaboration, Kigali is set to become not just a hub for services and conferences but also a prominent center for entertainment on the African continent.

The festival is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Youth and Arts, the City of Kigali, and the Rwanda Arts Initiative.