Kickoff conference in August 2011
Representatives from 12 African countries and various areas of the music sector met at a kick-off conference in Johannesburg to discuss their interests and needs and initiate the first practical steps towards musicinafrica.net. Despite their different fields, the participants agreed unanimously: We need a platform offering rich and reliable information on music-making in Africa and we want to become more closely networked.
From the concept to implementation
The content, structure, and technical aspects of the future platform were discussed at a meeting with African music experts held alongside the Sauti za Busara music festival on Zanzibar in February 2012. A few months later, in May 2012, Eddie Hatitye, a musicologist from Zimbabwe, was appointed as project manager. Then the team worked to implement the platform and present the idea to a larger audience at various conferences and industry fairs. Development and implementation took place in Senegal and South Africa.
Establishment of the Music In Africa Foundation
In July 2013, a further important step in consolidating the project was taken in Nairobi, Kenya, with the formation of the Music In Africa Foundation. The meeting elected Ribio Nzeza, a music journalist and critic from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, as its chairman. Selected regional editors from the five focus countries – the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa – are currently working on developing the content of the online platform. Music In Africa is also supported around the world by a dynamic team of more than 100 professional musicians, academics, journalists, managers, educational experts, and intermediaries in the music sector.
Launch of the online platform in September 2014
The various areas of the website have been steadily brought online since September 2014. Information is currently available for the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, , the Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Ruanda, Senegal, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Information for Ethiopia, Benin, Eritrea, Gabun, Mali, Mauritius, Sambia, Swaziland, Togo and Tschad is expected to be added in 2015.
Networking on the African continent
Since its creation in 2013, the Music In Africa Foundation has been able to enter significant partnerships with players on the African continent, which now result in various offline-events and trainings.