Rwandan dancers steal limelight in Stockholm
STOCKHOLM—Sweden-based Rwandan dancers, Imanzi cultural troupe, were on Friday the highlight of the annual Africa Day cultural gala in the Swedish, capital Stockholm.
Performing for the fourth year in a row—the only cultural group to have done so over that period—the group comprising eight dancers and a backup team of singers and a drummer delighted guests at Ethnographic Museum.
“Imanzi represent the cultural wealth and talent that is abundant in our country”, Rwanda’s envoy to Sweden, Venetia Sebudandi, said after the music and culinary spectacle.
Africa Day in Stockholm, organised by the 21 African Embassies based in Stockholm, is observed through cultural and informational events. Ambassador Sebudandi was the Chairperson of the organising committee for Africa Day 2012.
In addition to the cultural gala, a symposium on the theme of Africa Day 2012—‘Youth and Development’, was held at the Swedish Parliament. The seminar was jointly organised by the Group of African Embassies, the Swedish Chapter of the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA) and the International Department of the Swedish Parliament, which featured among others young African executives participating as panelists at the seminar via video conference that included Rwanda’s Clare Akamanzi, Chief Operations Officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
The others were Director of Africa at the World Economic Forum, Elsie Kanza (Tanzania) and CEO and founder of MBLE, Barkue Tubman (Liberia), legislators, diplomats, business moguls and civil society leaders.
Akamanzi outlined Rwanda’s achievements since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, while highlighting the role of the youth in the said accomplishments.
South Africa’s Minister for sports and recreation, Fikile Mbalula was the key note speaker at the event. He called for African ownership of the ongoing transformation of the continent.
In her closing remarks, Sebudandi said that: “If there was ever any need for a reminder, today’s seminar is testimony to a continent that has turned the corner. We have heard from, and about, the true drivers of this change—Africa’s youth.”
Besides chairing and coordinating the organising committee, the Embassy of Rwanda in Sweden built, designed and is running the event’s blog (www.africaday.se); further showcasing the country’s advanced use of ICT.