Creative Organization Feature: The Music in Africa Foundation

Published on: Nov 11, 2019


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.