Creative industries, particularly the music industry, have undergone many changes in the past few decades. We have witnessed a significant transformation in how music is produced, distributed and consumed. These changes have groomed a new breed of musicians, who basically have to do everything on their own to survive. The challenge now is on policy makers, thought-leaders and cultural organisations to devise new, effective solutions to leverage the African music sector in these transitional times.
I have always appreciated the great value offered by the Internet, information exchange, networking and self-promotion of musical works. This inspired me to write a book in 2010, which explored ways to enhance the music industry with Information and Communication Technologies. I also presented a prototype of a website dedicated to music operators for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That is why when the Music In Africa project was initiated in 2011, I committed myself to work towards the promotion and strengthening of the African music sector. My election later in 2013 as the first Chairperson of the Music In Africa Foundation presented a responsibility to support the Foundation’s vision of not only being a leading source of information and exchange in the music sector on the continent, but also of contributing to improve the quality of work and life for music operators.
The year under review has been a very important year in which we made significant achievements. The Foundation has been established and is now operating as a legal entity. Our portal is now online with an exponentially growing database of users and a range of key content offerings. In addition, I am happy that the Music In Africa initiative has been warmly received in many parts of Africa where it has been introduced so far, particularly in my home country DRC, where a kick-off meeting was organised in June 2013. The National Arts Institute (INA), one of the oldest music teaching colleges in Central Africa and other reputable educational institutes continue to show great enthusiasm to collaborate with the Foundation to enhance music education on the continent. We also enjoy the support of thousands of music operators, including journalists, record label owners, cultural rights lawyers, musicians and researchers, who use our website on a daily
This is the first year in which I have had the pleasure of working closely with Eddie Hatitye, who assumed the position of Director of the Foundation in July 2013. His influence has been felt in numerous ways, including in particular through his strong and visible commitment to developing the Music In Africa initiative, his
strategic operational processes, as well as his determination to promote a culture of trust, respect and care throughout the Foundation. The board deeply appreciates the high caliber of leadership and integrity that Eddie has provided throughout his involvement in the Foundation. I am confident that under his leadership, the Foundation will continue to reach new milestones and continue to generate value for all our members.
In closing, I would like to thank the Siemens Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut for their continued support. I also thank my colleagues on the board for their advice and support during this crucial phase of the Foundation. Their diversity of experience and their clearly expressed views have proved exceptionally valuable in furthering the agenda of the Foundation. Finally, I wish to thank all the Music In Africa employees and regional editors whose contribution remains crucial to the continuing success of the Foundation.
Ribio Nzeza Bunketi Buse - Chairperson
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