News | Culture 23.11.2015

During Foreign Minister Steinmeier's trip to Africa, Siemens Stiftung and Music In Africa Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding in Zambia

 Siemens Stiftung and Music In Africa Foundation
In the presence of German Foreign Minister Steinmeier, Dr. Nathalie von Siemens and Edington Hatitye sealed the partnership between Siemens Stiftung and Music In Africa Foundation.
© Siemens Stiftung, Photographer: Xanthe Cooke

The webportal Music In Africa has been online for a year. During this period, it has become the leading source of information about music on the African continent. With its up-to-date high-quality content, it intends to build networks and increase public exposure of the African music sector. The goal is to have relevant information about all 54 African countries available online by 2022. To achieve this, Music In Africa Foundation and Siemens Stiftung reached an agreement in Lusaka, Zambia, regarding their future partnership in this project. On Friday, November 20, 2015, both organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) about their alliance during an event attended by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Music In Africa was initiated by Siemens Stiftung and Goethe-Institut together with partners from across Africa in 2011. The Music In Africa Foundation, a pan-African organization that was established in 2013 and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, owns and governs the online portal. The portal has been significantly expanded in the past year. Dr. Nathalie von Siemens, Managing Director of the Siemens Stiftung, and Edington Hatitye, Director of the Music In Africa Foundation, affirmed their continued partnership during Foreign Minister Steinmeier’s four-country trip. The minister praised the portal as an important contribution to creative industries and to international understanding. “The online platform Music In Africa which is a Pan-African-German coproduction combines these two aspects by connecting musical professionals and audiences around the world,” he said in Lusaka. He also welcomed the fact that the portal is being developed in Africa for Africa.

“With the MoU, we are expressing the complete confidence we have in the Music In Africa Foundation to effectively lead the platform to the future as well as our commitment to support this work”, said Dr. Nathalie von Siemens. “Music not only has the special power to move people on an emotional level, but also the potential to change society in a peaceful manner – by reflecting social challenges and unleashing creative energy for social cohesion. By building expertise, networking artists and encouraging entrepreneurial thinking, Music In Africa is creating structures for musicians who want to work professionally and are willing to assume social responsibility at the same time.”

Combined with the MoU that Music In Africa Foundation and Goethe-Institut signed last year, this represents a critical step in the organization's plan to become independent from its founding partners, a goal that is also included in its foundation charter. “The signing comes at exactly the right time when we are extending our services by incorporating various offline activities with a view to increase support for music professionals in Africa,” said Edington Hatitye.