Stellar line-up for Music In Africa's AGM Plus in Addis Ababa

Note: This article includes an updated list of speakers, panel discussions and the musical line-up.

Highlights include the legendary Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke, who will deliver the keynote address, seven top bands and live performances over 2 nights plus panel discussions and a film screening.

The Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) takes its Annual General Meeting(AGM) to a different African country each year, using this opportunity to bring influential music industry players from across the globe together to exchange ideas, discover new talent and accelerate the shaping of a vibrant music sector on the continent.

Music In Africa has revealed more details about its AGM. Photo: Music In Africa
Music In Africa has revealed more details about its AGM. Photo: Music In Africa

This year the event comes to Addis Ababa for the first time from 10 - 12 November, with at least 40 international music role players from across the globe visiting the country to engage with local practitioners throughout the three days.

The AGM on 10 November will be followed by a two-day music programme (AGM Plus) which includes panel discussions, networking events and live performances on 11 and 12 November. Legendary Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke, best known as the father of Ethio-jazz, will deliver a keynote address on 11 November.

Delegates at the AGM will come from more than 15 countries, representing key businesses, NGOs and events that are active in the music sector, such as WOMEX (Germany/global), Sony Music (Nigeria/global), Bayimba Festival (Uganda), Azgo Festival (Mozambique), SAMRO Foundation (South Africa), ONGEA (Kenya), Sauti za Busara (Zanzibar), KZN Music Imbizo (South Africa), Ketebul Music (Kenya), Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (Kenya), Afropolitan Vibes (Nigeria), Africa Fête (Senegal), Music Crossroads International (Africa and Belgium), Goethe-Institut (global) and Siemens Foundation (Germany). 

The aim of the panel discussions is to focus on sharing meaningful, practical information that will add value and contribute to the social and economic growth of the local, continental and international music industry while the live music performances will showcase some of Ethiopia’s leading artists on 11 and 12 November from 8:30 pm onwards at the VillaVerde, Addis Ababa, the historic club known for being a gathering platform for national and international artists. The AGM and panel discussions will be held at the Goethe-Institut.

The AGM Plus programme will also mark the first African screening of the critically acclaimed documentary film, Mali Blues. The documentary follows the Malian crisis, as the artists Fatoumata Diawara, Master Soumy and Bassekou Kouyaté tell the story of their country and speak about the role of music during the crisis.


4th Annual General Meeting
Time: 9am - 1pm
This is a formal meeting of the Music In Africa Foundation, attended by its members and invited guests.  
Consultative discussions
Time: 2pm - 5.30pm 
Informal discussions and exchange of ideas around the Music In Africa Foundation and its work.     
Film screening
Mali Blues
Mali's music defines the country's cultural identity. Radical Islamists are threatening the musicians. Together with the stars of Malian global pop – Fatoumata Diawara, Bassekou Kouyaté, Master Soumy and Ahmed Ag Kaedi – we embark on a musical journey to Mali's agitated heart. Can their music reconcile the country?

FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER  2016 (Day 2)
Venue: Goethe-Institut, Addis Ababa
Opening remarks and official welcome
Dr. Ribio Nzeza Bunketi Buse - Chairman of MIAF
Time: 10:00 am-10:05
Keynote Address
Dr. Mulatu Astatke - Veteran musician & “father of Ethio-jazz”
Time: 10:05 am-10:45
Touring circuits in Africa - opportunities & realities
Time: 11:00 - 11:55
Panelists in this discussion represent some of the biggest music festivals on the African continent. This discussion explores touring and mobility for musicians on the continent, with emphasis on opportunities that exist for musicians. If you have a keen interest in tapping into the touring circuits on the continent or if you are an artist who wants to know what you need to do to participate in these festivals, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
Getting to know Ethiopia's music scene                 
Time: 12-1pm
Ethiopia is a diverse country with a rich music scene. This is an opportunity to learn more about the sector from some of the most active music professionals in the country. The panel will explore the current state of the music industry, opportunities that exist both for local and foreign players, challenges and the potential of the sector.
Introducing the new Music In Africa portal
(Plus cocktail and networking)
Time: 2pm-4 pm
Launched in 2014, the Music In Africa platform ( has quickly grown to become the leading source of authoritative information about the African music sector. The new version of the site introduces a wide array of new functionality, targeted at helping African musicians promote their works, network and share knowledge. This presentation will help us understand how to benefit from the site.


Goethe-Institut, Addis Ababa
The African music sector - current trends & potential
Time: 10:30 am - 11:30 am 
This panel will share market trends around the African music sector, as well as valuable insight and practical tips for the growth of our careers or businesses. The goal of the discussion is to stimulate, educate and bring new ideas to the fore, not only focusing on challenges but untapped opportunities and solutions.
How to break into the international music scene
Time: 12-1 pm
How do music professionals in Africa become global competitors? What opportunities are there and is there a universal method? What types of musical works are well received internationally? How do I distribute my music beyond my country? These are just some of the questions that this discussion will aim to provide answers to. 



Dr. Mulatu Astatke
Musician, father of Ethio-jazz (Ethiopia)
Best known as the father of Ethio-jazz, Dr. Mulatu Astatke is one of the most legendary musicians in Africa. He has performed all over the world and won many accolades in an illustrious musical career that has produced numerous global hits.
Ade Bantu
Afropolitan Vibes (Nigeria)

Ade Bantu is a Nigerian-German musician, activist and creator of Afropolitan Vibes – Nigeria’s most vibrant live music concert series held every month at the iconic Freedom Park in Lagos, Nigeria, since 2013. He is best known as the founder of the Afro-German musical collective Brothers Keepers and as the frontman of the 13-piece band BANTU.

Ben Mandelson
Founding Director - WOMEX (UK)
Ben Mandelson is the founding director and board member of WOMEX – the biggest trade fair for world music professionals. WOMEX goes to a different European city every year. Ben is also an established record producer, working mostly in the world music scene.
Dawit Yifru
Chairman – Ethiopian Musicians Association (Ethiopia)
Dawit Yifru is the founding member and chairman of the board of the Ethiopian Musicians Association. The association was established in the early 2000s to help pass the country's first copyright law. As a musician he has performed for a long time with Roha Band, which dominated contemporary Ethiopian music in the early 1980s and 1990s.
Dicken Marshall
Founder – Rafiki Records (Rwanda)
Dicken Marshall is an accomplished musician and producer who has worked in many countries. He set up Rafiki Records in Rwanda, one of the first record labels and publishing companies in the country. He has collaborated for the last five years with PRS on strategy and proposals for the development of Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) in East Africa, specifically in Ethiopia and Rwanda. Dicken also runs a development recording and publishing label in the UK, specially focusing on “repackaging” African artists, with the purpose of accessing mainstream markets in the global north. 
Faisal Kiwewa
Founder & Creative Director – Bayimba International Festival (Uganda)
Faisal is the founder and artistic director of the Bayimba International Festival, director of the Bayimba Foundation and  programmes director of DOADOA – the East African Performing Arts Market.
Henock Temesgen
Musician and music teacher (Ethiopia)
A leading figure on the Ethiopian music scene, Henock Temesgen is a bass guitarist, music teacher and co-founder of the Jazzamba Music School in Addis Ababa. Among his many projects, he collaborated with fellow musicians to start the Jazzamba Music School with the dream of becoming “a focal point for musicians in East Africa”. Henock also hosts a weekly radio show about jazz on Sheger 102.1.
Jess White
Festival Coordinator, Azgo Festival (Mozambique)
The Festival Coordinator of Azgo Festival in Mozambique, Jess programmes and coordinates Mozambique’s finest international arts festival. Jess is also a booking agent, providing a platform and giving a voice to music and the arts in Mozambique, the region and beyond. Azgo is a contemporary celebration of arts and culture, with a strong focus on artists from Mozambique and from around the continent of Africa.
Jonathan Jules
Brand Manager - Tunecore (South Africa)
Jonathan Jules is the brand manager of, a leading music distribution and publishing administration service that provides thousands of independent artists with tools to increase exposure and build audiences.
Luc Mayitoukou
Founding Director - Zhu Culture (Senegal)
Originally from Congo-Brazzaville, Luc runs his cultural agency, Zhu Culture, in Dakar, Senegal. Over the years he has worked with many organizations, including, ADAFEST Senegal, MASA (the Market for African Performing Arts) and Art Moves Africa. As a music manager, Luc has worked with  several artists, including the Senegalese songstress Marema, who won the RFI Discoveries Award in 2014.
Michael Ugwu
General Manager - Sony Music Entertainment West Africa (Nigeria)
Michael Ugwu is the General Manager for Sony Music Entertainment West Africa, one of the largest record labels in the world.
Mike Strano
Director, Phat Music and Entertainment and Convenor, ONGEA Summit (Kenya)
Since moving to Kenya in 1998, Mike has built one of Kenya’s leading music businesses, Phat Music and Entertainment Limited. To date his company has expanded to include six units that cater to various music business needs in Kenya. Through Phat Publishing, Mike has also managed copyright-related issues for South Africa’s Sheer Publishing Africa.
Yusuf Mahmoud
Sauti za Busara Festival (Zanzibar)
In 2003 Yusuf Mahmoud, aka DJ Yusuf, set up the NGO Busara Promotions to build appreciation for East African music, develop skills and networks. Yusuf is occupied through the year with the Sauti za Busara festival, showcasing 40 music groups annually from the African continent and diaspora.



FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER  2016 (Day 2)

Venue: VillaVerde (Address: Meskel Flower, behind St. Yared Church)

20h30 - 21:15
A talented young band known for their attention to detail with their music. The group has existed for the past decade and recently released an album featuring Henok, who recently appeared on the popular Coke Studio music show.
21h45  - 22h30
Bruktawit Getahun, also known by her stage name Betty G, is an upcoming artist striving to become a star. Her ability to sing in French, English and Amharic could possibly be her golden ticket into the international market.
23h00 - 24h00
A new local phenomenon successfully fusing rock and Ethiopian music. They were recently nominated for two African Music Awards (AFRIMA 3.0) in the categories Best African Group and Best Group in African Rock.

Venue: VillaVerde (Address: Meskel Flower, behind St. Yared Church)
20h00 - 20:20
Often compared to the veteran Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi, Winyo is one of the most promising young musicians in Kenya at the moment. His music is heavily influenced by the old-style benga, which he has revived with a contemporary, modern-day feel.
20h30 - 21:15
Sami Dan has just released his debut album and won four Leza Music Awards. His fresh, reggae-influenced style has won him thousands of fans.
21h45  - 22h30
Michael is a highly acclaimed favourite among Ethiopian audiences. He has been active on the music scene for more than a decade and has produced two popular albums.
23h00 – 24h00
Tsedenia is an award-winning Ethiopian female singer, who has been honoured at both the Kora and AFRIMA awards.
More speakers are being added. This programme is subject to change. For more information please contact Carmel Nair (

Attached files


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