Kenya Music Week rebrands to strengthen industry in East Africa

After a decade of successful venture in creating a platform for stakeholders in the Kenyan music industry, the annual Kenya Music Week has been rebranded as 'Ongea – The Eastern Africa Music Summit' in a move to strengthen the local music industry and widen the forum’s profile both regionally and globally. The newly rebranded Ongea Summit will be held between 28 and 31 January 2016 at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi.

Ongea Summit convener Mike Strano. Photo: By PHAT!
Ongea Summit convener Mike Strano. Photo: By PHAT!

Since its inception in 2004, Kenya Music Week was a very popular event on any stakeholder’s event calendar. Over the years it was the event that business-savvy musicians who wanted to transform their trade into professional and profitable businesses could not afford to miss. Just like the Kenya Music Week, the Ongea Summit will bring together musicians, producers, promoters and media as well as government entities. But instead of focussing only on Kenya, Ongea will now target all 16 countries of East Africa, including the Indian Ocean islands.

“Artists are increasingly receiving support and acceptance of their craft, outside their countries - a trend that is driving the growth of the Eastern Africa music industry," said Mike Strano, the summit convener, during a recent press conference held in Nairobi. He said the move to rebrand is based on the need to ensure increased sustainability and relevance of this very important industry gathering, by opening it up to a larger market.

Strano noted that the East African music industry can be a greater force globally when marketed as a block, something that West Africa was able to achieve during the advent of the 'world music' during the 1980s and 90s. Ongea will now become the main source of Innovations, trends and content for regional and global players; thus setting the pace for strategic and focused growth of the music and entertainment industry.

With a rich programme that is focussed on the business of music, the summit has lined up eight panel discussions that are of great interest to artists. Among the topics that the summit has lined up include the identity of music in lyrics and melody, and financing and investment in the music business. Another of the discussions that any artist should look out for is on how to get booked at festivals. Keeping up with the changing times, the summit will also have a session on music meets technology.

The new platform will also showcase the region’s talent to festival directors from Africa, North America, Asia and Europe. In doing so it will enlist increased participation from the wider regional music industry and attract increased global support in terms of skills and knowledge transfer.

For more details visit the summit website or watch the video below.



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