Music In Africa Connects

The Music In Africa Connects Project (MIAConnects) is a multi-faceted music development initiative aiming to support the musical sectors of African countries affected by conflict. The project was implemented by the Music In Africa Foundation together with partners in seven focus countries, namely Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria (North), Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan for two years between 2017 and 2018. It was supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and Siemens Stiftung.

The broad objectives of the project are to,

  • connect music professionals in the focus countries with viable opportunities locally and beyond their boarders;
  • enhance the creative potential of focus countries’ music sectors by raising awareness of their works;
  • promote the production of marketable musical works/activities and relevant communities in the diaspora;
  • foster the sharing of knowledge and transfer of skills among music sectors and the professionals who operate in them;
  • facilitate the establishment of sustainable local structures capable of pursuing the aspirations of the project (associations, networks etc.).

In carrying out these objectives MIAConnects will,

  • provide training to music professionals in the focus countries;
  • discover new talent and strive to promote it to a wider audience;
  • provide financial support for artists to perform (locally, regionally and  globally);
  • promote exchange and collaboration among operators in the countries (locally, regionally  and  globally);
  • conduct research and provide in-depth information about the state of the countries’ music sectors;
  • facilitate free access to knowledge and information to the music sectors;
  • promote and strive to create audiences for musical works from those countries.

Music Industry research

Music In Africa commissioned experts in the focus countries to research pertinent topics in the seven countries, and their key findings were published on www.musicinafrica.net. Topics covered offer well-researched information with a view to highlight not only challenges but opportunities that exist for music professionals. Topics cover areas such as effects of conflict to the music sectors, efforts towards re-igniting the music industries, music as a social and political catalyst, success stories, new music and opportunities for music professionals. As the unifying point for the project, www.musicinafrica.net plays a key role in the project, not only as the host and distributor of content but as a central online point where interest groups can apply for participation and receive project updates.

Training programmes

This was done with the aim to develop the skills of music practitioners in the focus countries, including but not limited to musicians, music managers, event organisers and sound engineers. Implementing partners were responsible for designing and implementing training and up-skilling workshops based on the needs identified in their counties. Four countries implemented these particular workshops, namely Chad, Mali, Somalia and Sudan.

 Training programmes covered:

  • Technical (sound, lighting and stage)
  • Musician-focused training (performance, marketing, theory, production, recording, industry etc.)

Facilitating artist exchange and mobility

Artists all over the world face mobility challenges on a regular basis. MIAConnects provided financial support to over 150 artists to exchange, travel and perform within their own countries, regionally and internationally (in Europe). This support was available in seven countries: Chad, Mali, Niger, Northern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

Broadly this component of the project offered artists the following touring opportunities:

  • National: musicians performed in their own countries.
  • Regional: musicians performed at concerts and other events on the continent.
  • International: musicians traveled to Europe and performed at an international event.
  • Festival fund - given to festivals that programmed artists from conflict countries.

Talent discovery

This part of the project aimed to facilitate the discovery of emerging talent in five countries (Chad, Mali, Somalia, Sudan and Northern Nigeria). This was  achieved through live performances. This performance element showcased musicians’ talent locally and connected participants with the broader Music In Africa network, including but not limited to festivals and media platforms.

Get involved

Our doors are open to all those who believe in this idea. Please contact projects@musicinafrica.net

Visit this page regularly for updates on how the project is progressing.