Mashariki, Swahili for “East”, makes reference to the contributors and audience’s positioning in the East African Community. Mashariki Journal is the digital forum of Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA) that generates discourse on culture’s role in development and regional integration amongst East African artists, cultural leaders and managers, the broader civil society and state actors.
CDEA is a service organization that aims to support artists, cultural leaders and creative entrepreneurs in cultural development in Tanzania.
CDEA defines culture as Celebration, Expression, Interpretation, Interaction, Negotiation and Value Systems. The cultural context of development includes the give-and-take of socialization, negotiation, protocol, the implementation of conventions at national and regional level, as well as through bilateral and multinational relations. We define development as the expansion of choices not just growth of material production.
CDEA is also at the nascent stage of setting up as a Creative Think Tank. At regional level, CDEA aims to use the Mashariki Journal as a forum for the exchange of ideas and information on cultural understanding and peace building in the context of East African regional integration and how the interweaving of cultural policies and other public policies can enhance sustainable development.
Mashariki Journal serves as a space for connecting artists, researchers, policymakers and organizations working on diverse aspects of culture and peace building; a venue for conversations about the critical challenges confronting peace building in conflict-affected areas in the region and showcasing how culture-based interventions can lead to social cohesion.
This issue brings you articles that interrogate the positioning of culture in various facets of development in the East African region. For example, the writing of a new constitution in Tanzania, the synergy between traditional and modern governance systems, investment in arts education and cultural preservation, and most pertinent to social justice, how the Black Monday Movement culture in Uganda could be adopted by East African civil society.
Mashariki Journal has published the voices of budding writers, under segment East African Voices, who share their thoughts on The East Africa We Want. We shall continue publishing these ‘voices’ in the upcoming issues. This will be a platform to encourage East Africans to read literature emerging from the region in form of poetry and short stories.
The Media Watch segment will be a tracker of ideas from the East African region on how African Values and Systems are being integrated in modern governance and development processes. This is in line with promoting NEPAD’s Capacity Development Strategic Framework (CDSF) that highlights six cornerstones of capacity development in Africa, one of them being ‘Utilizing African Potential, Skills and Resources’.
We welcome feedback from our readers.
Editor: Ayeta Anne Wangusa
Emmanuely Deodath Lyimo
Layout & Design: Crafdy, a service of Divicraft