On 20 November 2015 the Music In Africa Foundation and the Siemens Stiftung (foundation) signed a Memorundum of Understanding (MoU) in Lusaka, Zambia - reaffirming a strong partnership that has fostered the development of the Music In Africa initiative.
The MoU defines the organisations' commitment to the continued development of the Music In Africa initiative in the coming years. The agreement was signed at a special business and cultural exchange event attended by a high-profile delegation of cultural and business representatives from Germany and Zambia, including Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba, Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Bernd Finke, the German Ambassador in Zambia. Nathalie von Siemens, Director of the Siemens Stiftung, and Eddie Hatitye, Director of the Music In Africa Foundation, signed the agreement.
As part of the partnership, support from the Siemens Stiftung includes, but is not limited to financial support, collaboration on Africa-focused music projects, exchange of networks and ideas and in general working together to foster the continued growth of the Music In Africa initiative. The Music In Africa Foundation signed a similar agreement with the Goethe-Institut in 2014.
Speaking during the event, Nathalie von Siemens said: “The Music In Africa Foundation team was able to meaningfully expand the platform within an extremely short period of time and will continue to operate it effectively in the future. We are excited about continuing our partnership.”
Foreign Minister Steinmeier added: “The importance for creative industries is rising all over the globe and so is the need to understand each other’s cultural traditions. The online platform (Music In Africa) combines these two aspects by connecting musical professionals and audiences around the world.”
The Music In Africa Foundation was established in 2013 as part of the Music In Africa Project, which was initiated in 2011 by the Siemens Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut together with partners from across the continent. It is a pan-African, non-profit organisation whose core objectives include but are not limited to providing reliable and useful information that promotes the African music sector and its operators; connecting and promoting exchange between music operators from or related to Africa and its diasporas; promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship among the African music sector; enhancing music education; and promoting and encouraging the creation of content by Africans.
In addition to running the online portal www.musicinafrica.net, the foundation organises a number of offline activities aimed at supporting music professionals in Africa, including training programmes, mentorship workshops, seminars and talent discovery projects.
According to Eddie Hatitye, “The signing of the MoU is a crucial step that is in line with the Foundation’s goal to become independent from its founding partners in the long term. It comes at a crucial time when the Foundation is extending its services by incorporating various offline activities with a view to increase support for music professionals in Africa.”
Dr. Norbert Spitz, Goethe-Institut Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Our support for the Music In Africa initiative is in line with our strategy of strengthening cultural infrastructures and the arts sector in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal of the cooperation is to establish a sustainable structure with local partners that contributes to a vibrant music scene on the continent.”
The Music In Africa Foundation is governed by a management board represented by individuals from organisations and businesses from across the continent. If you would like to become a member, click here for more information.