The Music In Africa Foundation has published a report called The Financial Impact Of Covid-19 On The African Music Sector – A Look At The First Two Months. The report focuses on March and April 2020 and was released at the end of May. Since restrictions were placed on public life in Africa at the beginning of March, the music sector there has nearly come to a complete standstill. The report provides early insights into the immediate needs of various groups of music professionals impacted by the pandemic, additional glimpses of the effects beyond the music sector, and concrete assistance and recommendations from sector representatives in Africa.
A snapshot of the African music sector in the first two months of the coronavirus pandemic
Between 1 and 30 April 2020, the Music In Africa Foundation used its online platform to reach out to music professionals and ask them to take part in a survey about their personal financial situation following the start of the pandemic. In total, 503 participants from 47 countries in Africa provided insights into their situation – this included 347 self-employed musicians and 156 music organizations and businesses. Sixty-four percent of the self-employed musicians and 70 percent of the organizations and businesses indicated they had no alternative sources of income to music. The majority of all respondents said they had already lost substantial amounts of income.
The results of the survey were supplemented by expert interviews, case studies, and recommendations on the future of African music. The report does not claim to provide representative or comprehensive data. Instead, it calls attention to the imminent and grave impact of the pandemic on Africa’s music sector.
“Musicians in Africa are facing an entirely new set of challenges during this period of extraordinary crisis. Festivals, concerts, live performances on TV shows; everything that spreads their music and message and secures their income and livelihood has fallen away. This survey gives us straightforward and immediate insights into the situation. It also provides the beginnings of targeted, sustainable solutions for supporting those affected to ensure the continent’s musical diversity and musical heritage is not lost. We will continue to stand by our partners and the musicians and support the Music In Africa Foundation,” said Dr. Nina Smidt, Managing Director and Spokesperson of the Siemens Stiftung Board of Directors.
The full report can be viewed here:
About the Music In Africa Foundation
Music In Africa is the African music sector’s leading platform for information and exchange with more than 27,000 online profiles of creative artists, current news from the music sector, and in-depth articles written by African authors about music on the African continent. Music In Africa aims to support those active in the African music sector through knowledge exchange and opportunities for collaboration. In addition to the online platform, this includes training opportunities, workshops, conferences, and concerts.
Together with Goethe-Institut, Siemens Stiftung set the founding impulse for Music In Africa, helped set up the Music In Africa Foundation as the supporting organization, and has provided the project with financial, strategic, and organizational assistance since 2011.