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ECOWAS to partner FEMUA in deepening regional integration

Kadre Desire Ouedraogo

The ECOWAS Commission has pledged to strengthen partnership with the organisers of the Urban Music Festival known as Festival des Musiques Urbaines d’Anoumba (FEMUA) as a way of deepening integration of the region using culture and music.

Speaking at the opening of the just-ended 8th Edition of the Festival in Anoumabo, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, the President of the commission, Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, described music as an instrument of integration and communion without language, religious, racial or geographical barriers.

The ECOWAS chief, who was the Patron of this year’s edition of the festival held under the theme “Integration and Unification of People,” also laid the foundation stone for a school being built by the musical group Magic System, conveners of the Festival.

In a statement made available on Monday in Abuja, Ouedraogo expressed optimism on the acceleration of movement towards complete integration of West Africa, given the festival’s popularity and attraction of a growing number of young artists.

The commission’s president also used the opportunity to brief guests and artists on the ECOWAS 40th Anniversary Celebration this year.

“Since its inception eight years ago, FEMUA has become an annual event bringing together acts from within and outside Africa,” the statement said.

In his welcome address, Salif Traore Alsalfo, Magic System’s lead singer and a UNESCO Ambassador, said FEMUA has grown to become a reference point for music festivals in Africa.

It has also become a platform for integration and social cohesion of people, he said, hence the choice of this year’s theme.

The statement reads: “This year’s festival held 21-26 April, 2015, featured Concerts at the French Institute and the Golf Hotel both in Abidjan, as well as at Anoumabo and the Koumassi Sports Complex, Abidjan.

“It also featured sporting activities dubbed ECOWAS Tournament supported by the Commission, with participants from Member States.

“The ECOWAS Director of Communication, Mrs. Sandra Oulate F. Elleingand, presented a gift to the best football team on behalf of President OUÉDRAOGO at the closing ceremony in Koumassi, Abidjan.”