EAC integration

Playing sport to enhance local authority cooperation

Ugandahosted the East African Local Authorities Sports and Culture Association (EALASCA)from 28th September to 5thOctober 2014 in Kampala.By Yves Didier Irakoze

 “Burundians in the parade during the EALASCA competition” ©Iwacu

“Burundians in the parade during the EALASCA competition” ©Iwacu

The main objective of EALASCA is to reinforce friendship between City Councils in the region and to share cultures and customs.
Phocas Mpezindagano, Cultural and Socio-sportive Counselor in Bujumbura City Council, says that this kind of competition helps them to gain experience and showcase Burundi. “We can benefit from the experiences of local administration elsewhere, the problems they face and the solutions they find. Sport and culture are like a bridge to reach this objective.”

He goes on saying that the Burundians were very active during the event. “On Saturday, community work was organized and all Burundians were present. This was really appreciated by the Ugandans.” BelyseGateka, Captain of “Mairie ma ville” Basketball Club in Bujumbura states that this competition wasa great experience for her to meet other people. “We felt very appreciated. As far as the experience of playing is concerned, we found that we have the same level and we still have this spirit of friendship, we witness fraternal communion even when one of us fails”, says Gateka.

A volleyball player who participated in the event was happy with the opportunity to meet other people from different cultures, but alsohas some complaints.“During the last matches, there was cheating on the side of Ugandans who entereddifferent players than those who started the competition. This hampered our success, because we hoped that we would take the first place.”
Participants in this event came from Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya. Burundi was represented by a women’s basketball and men’s volleyball team. They came in second overall, after host country Uganda.

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