Thousand artists to perform at African festival


Abidjan (AFP)

A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling.

The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event.

This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and five other cities, the organisers said.

Artists include Ivorian jazz fusion drummer Paco Sery, traditionalist Malian singers P-Pentatonique and Cape Verde's Maria de Barros.

MASA was launched in 1993 by the International Organisation of La Francophonie, which represents French-speaking countries. It also offers African artists training for reaching an international market.

The festival was badly affected by political crises that struck Ivory Coast between 2002 and 2011. It was relaunched in 2014.

"We are doing better now than before the crisis," said the festival's communications chief, Chantal N'Cho Nabalema.