Zinduka Festival originates from the need for a people owned and driven integration process as envisaged in the East African Treaty and more specifically as enunciated in Article 127(3) and (4) of the treaty. Zinduka is a catalyst that compliments other ongoing as well as future efforts by state and non-state actors to build a sustainable East African Community by making it a people-driven-process as opposed to a political process. The Festival therefore presents a platform that among other things seeks to ‘awaken’ East Africans to the urgent need for them to take charge of their destiny by sensitizing them on the status, challenges and opportunities for a rapid and valuable East African Integration. Zinduka Festival also aims at facilitating collaborations amongst the people to strengthen advocacy on the East African Community integration process for sustainable development, by specifically enhancing Civil Society Organizations (CSO) engagement in the process.
The festival brings together participants from the world of Academia, Social Movements, Civil Society Organizations, Media, Business Community, the EAC secretariat, and East African Governments. This rich mix of participants offers invaluable insights, ideas and share experiences that go a long way in solidly rooting the integration process by putting the East African citizenry at the forefront.
The Inaugural Zinduka Festival
The inaugural Zinduka Festival was held between May 30 and June 1, 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania during which many East African citizens, through their participation shared experiences on the integration process. The rationale for choosing Arusha as the venue is because it hosts the secretariat of the East African Community, and harbors numerous historical memories in the efforts of integration and the spirit of Pan-Africanism.
The key objectives of the festival are to
- Provide a platform for people to engage in discussions regarding East African integration and its linkage to Pan-Africanism and sustainable development
- Present a platform for East Africans to interact, appreciate and celebrate the regions rich diversity and
- Facilitate collaborations amongst the people to strengthen advocacy on EAC integration for sustainable development.
The festival envisions the active participation of individuals and regional organizations that embrace the spirit of Pan-Africanism with the aim of raising East Africans’ consciousness to the opportunities that accrue from EAC integration process as well as address the common issues facing East African citizenry. Such advocacy efforts and lobbying guarantees that the voices of civil society and people from the region are heard.