Mauritania: International Handifestival in limbo
The 6th International Handifestival will be held from the 1st to the 4th of December in Nouakchott despite the financial difficulties confronting the organizers with less than 25% of the budget acquired. The event is organized by the ‘Nyellitaaré Légnol’ musical group managed by Mohamed Camara who also serves the president of the Mauritanian musicians.
One of the major financial shortcomings is the state decisions to limit its contribution to 1,5 million ouguiya rather than the usual 2million which takes care of the accommodation of guests. The total budget of the event stands at 10million ouguiya. Local artistes cry foul play because they believe that “some officials have maneuvered and used their influence to prevent the festival from taking place” as people with disabilities can’t still understand the contempt behind such an international cultural event.
Faith seems to be eluding them as their demands for sponsorship resulted to nothing tangible and were only answered by few institutions and organizations. One of the members of the organizing committee said that “it is really a sad reality that only a few care about uplifting disabled people and their events throughout the country.”
International participants coming from The Gambia, Senegal, Morocco, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Benin, Togo and France have already confirmed their participation. Nyellitaaré Légnol will be doing a presentation; the blind will do a musical performance, the deaf a dance and the motorized disabled, music.
Venues for the festival are former Youth House for the opening and closing of ceremony of the event, the Sebkha stadium will host concerts and exhibitions while forums will be held at the New Youth House.
The festival is geared towards the promotion of the disabled people in the society and their participation towards the socio-economic development of the country.