Opening Remarks by Julienne Uwacu, Minister of Sports and Culture

Dear Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen all protocol observed.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all participants – (Sri Lanka, UK, Rwanda, Kenya, Iraq, Belgium, US, Nigeria, DRC, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Egypt, Canada and Uganda). 
Murakaza neza.

It gives me great pleasure to see Rwanda host an auspicious event such as this that brings artists from all over the world to discuss issues of humanity. 
As you are aware, our recent past let us down in our fight for humanity but we are adamant in our resolve to rebuild our nation. Art has continuously proved that it can and has played a major role in this resolve.

Ubumuntu Arts Festival stands for being human together. My take on this is that the organisers understand that we can do so much when we are united. United for a positive outcome. The idea of converging here in Rwanda for the last three years and sharing our personal stories through art, highlights the fact that we are not alone in our daily struggles. Permit me to encourage you to learn from the stories emanating from the various performances you will see over the next three days.

The Rwandan Government is committed to supporting the work of artists, and has put in place various platforms and programs to operationalize this commitment. We commend the many initiatives taken by the Rwandan artistes, Ubumuntu Arts festival being one of them and we will endeavor to provide support.

Without further ado, I would like to declare this festival open.
Thank you.