The 5th edition of East African local Authorities of Sport and Cultural Associations “EALASCA” games is taking place at Bujumbura. The activities have started at “Tempête” Ground from 16 to 29 December 2013.-By Diane Uwimana
For the first time, Bujumbura City Council is holding EALASCA games where four countries are present except Tanzania. The launching ceremony has begun with a multicolour parade of all participants. It was good to witness and hear when a Ugandan tried to talk few words in Kirundi, just to address greetings! It was also wonderful to watch when Masai (from Kenya) trying to dance following the rhythm of the well-known traditional Burundi drums in the world. Each show number raised curiosity of others and ended up with claps. A kind of conviviality reigned and it was not Burundi anymore but it was just EAC. “It is an opportunity for EAC youths to share experience and cooperate between them”, says the Kampala Mayor City Council present in Bujumbura, before reminding that a country without culture is like a tree without roots. James Rusimbi, from Rwanda and Deputy Chairman of EALASCA Committee indicates that the EALASCA is a bridge between various countries: “You can take breakfast at Bujumbura, lunch at Kigali and dinner at Kampala as well as spending night at Nairobi.” EALASCA was created in 2008 by EAC municipalities. The first festivities were held at Nakuru (Kenya) in 2009. Uganda hosted it in 2010, followed by Kigali in 2011. In 2012, Kenya organized it for the second time and this year, the honour has come to Burundi (Bujumbura).
Sport activities including football, basketball, volleyball, netball and athletics as well as cultural competitions (from 16 to 20 Dec. 2013) will be accompanied by a trade fair during which products made in East Africa are exhibited on “Tempête” Ground (from 16 to 29 December). Edouard Nduwimana, Burundi Home Affairs’ Minister recalls in his opening remarks that peace and security are no longer a dream in Burundi, but a reality. Hence, this shows how these EAC countries now trust Burundi:”participants will enjoy Lake Tanganyika, good beaches along the Lake and a good climate that none could find anywhere except in Burundi”. Pushing them to taste Burundi marvellous things, Minister of Home Affairs has offered a box of Burundian coffee to different guests. The same joy was expressed by various guests from Kenya, who could show up their satisfaction while dancing to the rhythm of Burundi drums. The Chairman of EALASCA adds that “it is an opportunity for inhabitants of the different municipalities of EAC to share experience about the good governance and cleanliness of their cities”