Hamwe Festival 2020

A Virtual Event on Social Justice and Mental Health

UGHE Vice Chancellor Dr. Agnes Binagwaho and Hon. Minister of Youth Rosemary Mbabazi celebrate the opening night of the inaugural Hamwe Festival in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2019.

The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) is pleased to announce that a second series of the Hamwe Festival was held virtually on November 11 – 15, 2020Hamwe Festival is an annual event that celebrates and encourages the contributions of creative industries in the global health field. This year, the festival was exclusively held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To view the recordings of this year’s Hamwe Festival events, click the link below.


Hamwe Festival is a collaboration between global health professionals and creatives who share the same belief that, to achieve global health equity, bridges must be built across sectors. It
aims to bring together professionals and artists from all over the world who hold discussions and performances respectively, about the role of the arts in public health.




Social Justice and Mental Health was the key theme for this year’s festival, which featured discussions on the decolonization of Public Health & Medicine in contemporary medicine and the role that music can have in preventing, treating and informing about mental illnesses and reducing stigma. 


This year, Hamwe Festival announced a partnership with Wellcome, the independent global charitable foundation, as part of Mindscapes, their international cultural programme about mental health. Wellcome supports scientists, takes on big health challenges, campaigns for better science & helps everyone get involved in research. Hamwe Festival embodies these values through the provision of a creative outlet where implementors and artists discuss better, more innovative ways to improve health care through the arts

Dancers perform at the Dance and Global Health event during the inaugural edition of Hamwe Festival in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2019

The first edition of the Hamwe Festival was held from November 8th to 13th 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. It saw an attendance of about 3000 people who came together to discuss and learn about building bridges between the arts and health sectors. Hamwe Festival believes that including artists in the design and implementation of more health programs, can be a catalyst for action against seemingly intractable health challenges and looks forward to continuing to build this platform to encourage more collaboration and innovation.