The Amani Peace Festival began in 2013 when the notorious rebel group, M23, occupied the city of Goma in eastern Congo. Now in its fifth year, the festival is inspiring proof of Congolese resiliency. It’s also just a lot of fun.
A day of music and art, the Amani Festival attracts people from across Goma’s multi-ethnic landscape to celebrate and encourage cultural harmony. While creating much-needed smiles with music, acrobatics, and art, the Amani Festival also creates opportunity for aspiring Congolese businesses.
Amani’s organizers believe that peace and economic stability go hand in hand. In the last two years, the festival has expanded to include an entrepreneurial support program. In 2017, the festival gave out three grants, including $1,000 to Janvier Kubuya, founder of Green Africa. With Amani’s help, Green Africa purchased a nursery and has planted 10,000 fruit trees in Goma. As Janvier says, “The business that I started helps me make money and I feel at peace with other people.”
Below, ECI Videographer Gerry Kahashy showcases the sights and sounds that make up this important day of peace in Goma and interviews Amani’s Director Guillaume Bisimwa and Green Africa founder Kubuya Janvier.
In Congo today, worthwhile events that create opportunities for communication and togetherness are needed more than ever. ECI is honored to partner with Amani and to support Congolese-led solutions.