An understanding was reached between the Kingdom of Eswatini and her closest neighbour, Mozambique, yesterday, where both countries agreed to jointly host the rest of Afrca to a cultural festivivity in 2022.

Representing Eswatini, Hon. Moses Vilakati, Minister of Tourism and Environment who chaired a virtual meeting where the agreement was sealed was full of confidence that the agreement between the two countries would yield a positive result, culminating into a festival never held before on the continent.

He also reiterated the commitment of Eswatini government at ensuring that the event would take place in the enchanting Eswatini through which they hope to showcase their cultural prowess to the global community.

Hon. Vilakati further assured that in the next couple of days that all the necessary arrangements would be in place to kick start the discussions.

On his part, Hon. Fredson Bacar, Vice Minister of Tourism and Culture, representing Hon. Minister Eldevina Materula expressed his enthusiasm about the agreement, informing the meeting about his country’s readiness to swing into action with his team which had already been constituted to take up the tasks alongside other committees.

He also gave an assurance that Mozambique would do all it could to deliver a world-class cultural festival for Africa in Collaboration with Eswatini by 2022.

Also making a contribution at the meeting was Mr. Ibrahim Ayoub, the Group Executive Officer of International Tourism Investment Conference, (ITIC) an international tourism investment entity who expressed his delight at the initiative and promised to bring in an invesment dimension-a greater opportunities into the event which he described as the “IBM of Africa” .

He praised the initiator of the idea and emphasised on the need to make it an investment driven event with all sense of festivity it deserves.

Responding also, the African Tourism Board Chairman,(ATB) Mr. Cuthbert Ncube did not fail to shower is appreciation at the initiative which ATB is a very strong partner as well as the UNICEF by giving an assurance that ATB would continue to collaborate with the Kingdom in all her activities more than ever before especially when the organization’s headquarters has been moved to the Kingdom.

He appreciated Hon. Vilakati for the initiative and applauded Mozambique for accepting to rally behind Eswatini at delivering the task of uniting Africa through cultural festivity.

Also in attendance was ATB Amb. Linda Fernando who facilitated a greater interpretation from English to Portuguese seamlessly alongside ATB Amb. Kazeem Balogun who has been instrumental in disseminating the festival’s agenda to the global community.

It may be of interest to note that an arrangement had been put in place to stage the event in the Kingdom of Eswatini alone but on a larger findings by the UNICEF informed the Kingdom to expand the scope of the festival by adding Mozambique for a joint hosting in order to have a more robust and all inclusive outing in 2022 where more than 27 countries in Africa will be participating with a contingent of about 3,000 descending on the two locations for the truly first cultural festival in Africa.

By Kazeem Balogun

Kazeem Balogun is the Managing Editor of Kalo Africa News.

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