The Music in Africa Foundation was born from a music conference in Johannesburg that was organized by the Goethe-Institut in partnership with Siemens Stiftung, where a dynamic group of music professionals from across Africa discussed and developed a basic idea of a music information portal. Though formed in Kenya, it is legally registered as a non-profit organization in South Africa. The foundation’s objective is to provide reliable and useful information that promotes the African music sector and its operators; connect and promoting exchange between music operators from, or related to, Africa and its diasporas; promote and encourage the creation of content by Africans, about Africa or related to Africa and its diasporas; improve the distribution, accessibility and viability of such content; promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among the African music sector; enhance music education; facilitate and promote, through research, development and education, the use by professionals and audiences of current and future technologies; and provide one single and viable access point for all of the above that links existing initiatives, services and resources.
In carrying out these objectives the Music In Africa Foundation aims: to create a website or other online medium to serve as a portal for information collection and dissemination; to facilitate the discovery of existing music in Africa by enabling users to listen to it at its portals; to act as a platform for interaction and sharing of reliable information about the African music sector; to organise seminars, workshops and other events aimed at the African music sector; to commission relevant research in relation to the African music sector; to support the African music sector through capacity building and education; and to conduct advocacy aimed at protecting the interests of musicians through, but not limited to, awareness campaigns and lobbying in the area of intellectual property right protection.
Music in Africa is an information and exchange web portal dedicated to the African music sector. The portal responds to the need for reliable information and networking between music professionals in Africa. It also aims to contribute towards improved collaboration among artists on an international level, as well as to enhance awareness of African music scenes. The portal’s use is to: enhance your knowledge of the African music sector; find music operators and service providers from across the continent; profile yourself or your business and promote your work seamlessly; share your information about the sector, discover and listen to African music; access practical tools; and collaborate and help build a reliable information resource.
The portal comprises five main content sections: a Directory section where you can find and connect with professionals who operate in the sector, including musicians, institutions, record labels etc; a Magazine section featuring dynamic content such as news, overviews of African music scenes, feature articles, reviews etc; an Education section (dedicated for educational content); a Resource section where one can read and learn more; and a Music Discovery tool that allows users to discover and listen to African music.
Besides the portal, the foundation also runs several projects in support of African Music. A fine example is the Music In Africa Connects- Artist Mobility Programme launched in recently that provides touring support to African artists. The September 2017 participants where artists from African countries affected by conflict, to undertake live music performances and collaborations. The participating countries were Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria (Northern), Chad, Mali and Niger. The mobility programme is made possible with support from Siemens Foundation and the German Federal Foreign Office.