SPEECH FOR THE MASHARIKI AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL BY HON. AMB. VALENTINE RUGWABIZA, MINISTER-MINEAC
REPUBLIC OF RWANDA
MINISTRY OF EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
SPEECH FOR THE MASHARIKI AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
BY HON. AMB. VALENTINE RUGWABIZA, MINISTER-MINEAC
8th TO 14th MARCH 2015
MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS;
DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES FROM THE EAC AND BEYOND;
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
It is with a great pleasure and honor that I welcome you all to Rwanda on this auspicious occasion of the 5th Mashariki African Film Festival, the first time it is hosted in Rwanda. I wish to extend a warm welcome to our guests participating from the EAC and beyond. Karibuni sana! Murakaza neza!
Holding such an important festival in Rwanda reflects the fact that Rwanda is very keen on strengthening its relations with the rest of Africa and other places especially in the field of entertainment and recreation, which go hand in hand with tourism as well as fostering cultural ties.
We trust that hosting this great event is the first of many opportunities where we will have the honor to provide filmmakers in the East African cinema industry, a platform for developing their talents, and to explore Rwanda’s rich flora and fauna.
We gather here in Kigali this week as East Africans; as One People with a Common Destiny, to celebrate and acknowledge the great importance of our cinema industry while appreciating the significance of coming together to interact, share experiences and expertise aimed at fostering the creative industries.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
There are many East African artists in our countries who aspire to excel. They are highly talented and work very hard, often with limited resources and little if any recognition. These talented men and women look forward to a day when their talents will be recognized and rewarded not only in the region, but also on the global stage. They also look up to global icons in the cinema industry and believe that they too, will also make a decent living from their skills and talents. While this is possible, I believe that it requires hard work and a supportive environment.
Governments and private sector in the EAC should do a lot more to support the development of the cinema and creative industries in the region. The Mashariki African Film Festival is therefore a perfect opportunity for Governments and private sector to lend their support, in order to boost talented local artists while at the same time developing the industry. In the long term, a dynamic creative industry will create jobs and also foster economic growth and development in the EAC.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
There is no doubt that this festival will have a great impact on enhancing and deepening cooperation between Rwanda and the participating countries. I wish to take this opportunity to welcome you all to enjoy the numerous tourist attractions that Rwanda has to offer. Please take time after the festival to experience the mountain gorillas; the canopy walk in the tropical forests in Nyungwe; or a game drive at the Akagera National Park.
Let me conclude by reassuring all the participants, particularly the talented artists that Rwanda and the EAC is fully committed to developing and strengthening the entertainment industry. We are committed to supporting initiatives that will empower talented youth and at the same time foster the growth of this nascent industry. I have no doubt that this festival will be one of the most vibrant celebrations for filmmakers and creative artists in the EAC.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors of this festival. Your contributions and generosity is recognized and appreciated.
Once again, I warmly welcome you and wish you a pleasant stay in Rwanda. Please make sure to explore our beautiful country. I guarantee you an unforgettable experience!
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the festival!