Music In Africa Foundation’s AGM unites industry players in Ethiopia

The Music In Africa Foundation’s extended Annual General Meeting (AGM Plus programme), which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 10 to 12 November, has been hailed a success. Bringing 40 influential music industry players to Ethiopia for three days, the event presented an opportunity for music industry players to discuss pertinent issues, share ideas, network and discover local talent.

Michael Belayneh showcases during the AGM Plus
Michael Belayneh showcases during the AGM Plus

The programme started at the Goethe-Institut on 10 November with the Foundation’s AGM, a formal meeting where the work of MIAF in its previous fiscal year (July 2015 to June 2016) was discussed. Presentations at this meeting reflected the strong growth that MIAF experienced in the year, particularly in implementing offline projects for music professionals and in developing its portal (www.musicinafrica.net). The report is also available online here.

A highlight was the election of MIAF’s new Management Board, which will, for the first time, be headed by a woman, Ms. Aisha Deme from Senegal. Ms Deme succeeds Dr. Ribio Nzeza Bunketi Buse from DRC as Chairperson. The board also welcomed new members: Mr. Faisal Kiwewa from Uganda and Mr. Ade Bantu from Nigeria. See the new Board here.

Panel discussions

The AGM Plus programme was opened by the legendary Ethiopian musician, Dr. Mulatu Astatke, who delivered an inspiring keynote speech on 11 November. Dr Astatke’s speech challenged music professionals in Africa to acknowledge the roots of indigenous African music and to turn opportunities created by platforms such MIAF into “tangible progress” for musicians. Dr. Mulatu also touched on challenges facing music professionals in Africa today, such as limited mobility and  lack of financial support, unity and education.

Four panel discussions were held over the two days, namely, Touring Circuits In Africa - Opportunities & Realities; Getting To Know Ethiopia's Music Scene; The African Music Sector - Current Trends and Potential; and How To Break Into The International Music Scene.