The Music In Africa Conference For Collaborations, Exchange And Showcases, or simply ACCES, is the leading pan-African platform for music industry players to exchange ideas, discover new talent and accelerate the shaping of a vibrant music sector in Africa.

ACCES is held in a different African city every year, attracting delegates from across the world. The event is spread over three days, offering a dynamic programme designed to benefit local participants and visiting delegates who typically represent the whole music value chain, including but not limited to music distributors, publishers, promoters, bookers, record labels, musicians, CMOs, funders, policymakers and NGOs.

The programme offers industry talks, keynotes, live performances, networking sessions, pitch sessions, training workshops, exhibitions and collaborative recording spaces for participating artists. ACCES also offers delegates opportunities to visit key music industry hubs in the host city.


  • Connect with local, regional and international professionals
  • Showcase your music and gain touring opportunities
  • Develop new partnerships and collaborations
  • Join an active network of music professionals on the continent
  • Promote your services/products to a wider audience
  • Benefit from valuable insights into the music sector on the continent
  • Share your ideas

The broader objectives of ACCES are:

  • To connect and promote exchange between music professionals from, or related to, Africa and its diaspora;
  • to facilitate the discovery of African music talent & new opportunities;
  • to provide reliable and useful information that promotes the African music sector and its operators;
  • to encourage the creation of content by Africans, about Africa or related to Africa and its diaspora;
  • to improve the distribution, accessibility and viability of African musical works;
  • to strengthen music networks and collaboration on the continent;
  • to support growth in the African music sector.


ACCES started in 2016 as a small feature on the Music In Africa Foundation’s AGM programme in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event was attended by delegates from more than 15 countries, featuring a keynote address by legendary Ethio-jazz musician Mulatu Astatke.

In 2017, ACCES was launched as a fully-fledged international event, drawing participants from  close to 50 countries. The keynote was delivered by legendary Senegalese musician Baaba Maal.

In 2018, ACCES was held in Nairobi, Kenya offering a much-improved programme, notably the introduction of curated showcases and inclusion of top music professionals such as Mr. Eazi (Nigeria), Blinky Bill (Kenya), Blick Bassy (Cameroon) and Rikki Stein (UK).

The third edition of ACCES, hosted in Accra (2019), was generally praised for its professional execution, improved attendance and dynamic programme which featured top industry figures, including Sarkodie (Ghana), Sway Dasafo (UK), Efya (Ghana), Samini (Ghana), Skales (Nigeria) and co-founder and CEO of Ditto Music Lee Parsons (UK).

Held in Johannesburg, ACCES fourth edition (2021) featured local and international artists including Busiswa, Abidoza, Yugen Blakrok, Priddy Ugly and Moreira Chonguiça, as well as leading companies such as The Orchard, Tik Tok, the Reeperbahn Festival, Sony/ATV publishing, Ditto Music, Africori, Linkfire, Believe and many more.


At the 2018 edition, the Music In Africa Foundation introduced the Music In Africa Honorary Award as a way to celebrate the outstanding contribution of notable musicians to their home country’s industries and Africa as a whole. Baaba Maal (Senegal) was the first recipient of the award. His 2017 award was presented to him retrospectively in 2018. Eric Wainaina (Kenya) was given the accolade for the year 2018. Veteran Ghanaian musicians Ebo Taylor and Bibie Brew were each presented the award in 2019. South African legendary musicians Thandiswa Mazwai and Vusi Mahlasela received the 2021 Music In Africa Honorary Award, followed by Saida Karoli and DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra (Tanzania) in 2022. 


The ACCES programme is implemented in English, Swahili and French, depending on the host country.




ACCES is typically held in the last week of November.


ACCES moves to a different African city every year.


The only music industry event that has a specific focus on the entire African continent and not just a regionBusiness Daily Kenya

The most important pan-African event in terms of cross-border cooperation and the exchange of experience and knowledge.Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“ACCES is where borders and limits are expanded - it is where creative heads exchange in order to “ACCES is where borders and limits are expanded - it is where creative heads exchange in order to find solutions for music to evolve and overcome the boundaries set by economy, law and history.”
Roberto Hacaturyan - Ethnomusicologist, musician, consultant - Artlink (Switzerland)

ACCES is shaping up to be the most globally accessible Pan-African music industry conference. I highly recommend attending it to gain insight into the opportunities and dynamic music that various African artists have to offer the world.”
Wendy Verwey Bekker - Regional manager Africa - Ditto Music (South Africa)

“We met great people during ACCES, got really good insights and believe we definitely made the right decision joining the delegation to Accra.”
Jonathan Jules - Director International Marketing for Africa - BMG Rights Management GmbH (Germany)

“ACCES 2019 has been a wonderful experience for the band. From the very first email we received to this survey, the ACCES organisers have demonstrated great professionalism and valuable communication skills that are paramount to any event.”
Béatrice Manigat - Arka’n manager (Togo)


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ACCES 2022 Recap | Dar es Salaam | Tanzania