Music In Africa Connects
Enlarge image Music in Africa Connects (© Music in Africa )
The Music In Africa Connects Project (MIAConnects) is a multi-faceted music development initiative aiming to support the musical sectors of African countries affected by conflict. The project is implemented by the Music In Africa Foundation together with partners in seven focus countries, namely Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria (North), Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. It is supported by the German Foreign Office and Siemens Stiftung. The project runs for a period of two years, from 2017 to 2018.
The broad objectives of the project are to
- connect music professionals in the focus countries with viable opportunities locally and beyond their boarder
- enhance the creative potential of focus countries’ music sectors by raising awareness of their works
- promote the production of marketable musical works/activities and relevant communities in the diaspora
- foster the sharing of knowledge and transfer of skills among music sectors and the professionals who operate in them
- facilitate the establishment of sustainable local structures capable of pursuing the aspirations of the project (associations, networks etc.)
In carrying out these objectives MIAConnects will
- provide training to music professionals in the focus countries
- discover new talent and strive to promote it to a wider audience
- provide financial support for artists to perform (locally, regionally and globally)
- promote exchange and collaboration among operators in the countries (locally, regionally and globally)
- conduct research and provide in-depth information about the state of the countries’ music sectors
- facilitate free access to knowledge and information to the music sectors
- promote and strive to create audiences for musical works from those countries
Music Industry research
Music In Africa will commission experts in the focus countries to research pertinent topics in the seven countries, and their key findings will be published on www.musicinafrica.net. Topics covered will offer well-researched information with a view to highlight not only challenges but opportunities that exist for music professionals. Topics will cover areas such as effects of conflict to the music sectors, efforts towards re-igniting the music industries, music as a social and political catalyst, success stories, new music and opportunities for music professionals. As the unifying point for the project, www.musicinafrica.net will play a key role in the project, not only as the host and distributor of content but as a central online point where interest groups can apply for participation and receive project updates.
This is done with the aim to develop the skills of music practitioners in the focus countries, including but not limited to musicians, music managers, event organisers and sound engineers. Implementing partners are responsible for designing and implementing training and up-skilling workshops based on the needs identified in their counties. Four countries will implement these particular workshops in 2017, namely Chad, Mali, Somalia and Sudan.
Training programmes broadly cover:
- Technical (sound, lighting and stage)
- Musician-focused training (performance, marketing, theory, production, recording, industry etc.)
- More training areas will be identified by partners
Facilitating artist exchange and mobility
Artists all over the world face mobility challenges on a regular basis. MIAConnects will aim to provide financial support for artists to exchange, travel and perform within their own countries, regionally and internationally (in Europe), provided that such activities do not compromise the safety of participants. This support will be available in seven countries: Chad, Mali, Niger, Northern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
Broadly this component of the project will offer artists the following touring opportunities:
- National: musicians perform in their own countries.
- Regional: musicians perform at concerts and other events on the continent.
- International: musicians travel to Europe and perform at an international event.
This part of the project aims to facilitate the discovery of emerging talent in five countries (Chad, Mali, Somalia, Sudan and Northern Nigeria). This will be mainly achieved through live performances. This performance element aims to showcase musicians’ talent locally and will aim to connect participants with the broader Music In Africa network, including but not limited to festivals and media platforms.