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Afrika Mashariki Fest continues quest for integration

By James Bakama

Added 2nd September 2016 03:34 PM

AMF insists that the power of sports in the integration process is something that cannot be underrated

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Afrika Mashariki Fest executive director Ronex Kisembo. Photo by Johnson Were

AMF insists that the power of sports in the integration process is something that cannot be underrated

Their quest for regional integration recently had them in the stands at the Rio Olympics supporting Eastern Africa athletes.

Afrika Mashariki Fest members led by executive director Ronex Kisembo were in Rio de Janeiro to cheer sportsmen from Kenya, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

AMF is a youth platform that uses sports and art to promote regional integration in Eastern Africa.

"We are here to show solidarity as East Africans by cheering participating teams from our region" stated Kisembo.

"It is a great feeling to see for example people from the other East African states stand up to cheer an athlete from Burundi." added Kisembo.

Kenya topped the region with six gold, six silver and one bronze while Burundi had one silver.

Kisembo who stayed in Brazil to also attend the Paralympics says the youth must be the vanguard of our regional integration process.

“That's why we rally them through awareness creation to make them truly understand the benefits they stand to enjoy upon East African partner states becoming fully integrated” said Kisembo whose travel was sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines.

AMF insists that the power of sports in the integration process is something that cannot be underrated.

Through its annual rotational Half Marathon AMF reaches out to youths across the six EAC partner states to seek their engagement and support towards this Dream of a United East Africa.

"It was a great moment seeing the new Olympic Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge and other athletes from Tanzania and Burundi join in a moment of solidarity for our regional integration.”

Kisembo was also in Guiyang, China for the World Cross-country in 2014 promoting the same ideals.

AMF will in December again mobilize youth across the six EAC partner states travel to Mombasa for the Kenya Chapter half marathon.

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