The Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) supports the African music sector, creating new opportunities for musicians to conduct a dialog in a 38 country network. The MIAF was set up five years ago by the Siemens Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut for the purpose of establishing and operating the online portal Music In Africa. A large number of offline projects have also arisen over the years.
The music portal www.musicinafrica.net is the first source of well-researched, up-to-date information about African countries’ music. The tremendous social and political influence that music has in many African countries is reflected in this work as well. “Now that the world is turning ever faster, we need creative minds and potent cultural pioneers who are able to contribute to positive change in societies” Dr. Nathalie von Siemens said in marking the anniversary.
The foundation has developed other projects over the years. These projects include the annual pan-African Music In Africa Conference For Collaborations, Exchange And Showcases (ACCES). This conference serves as a venue where musicians, producers, organizers and cultural players can discuss ideas and discover new talent. The next ACCES will be held in November 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.
As a way of helping musicians who live in regions of Africa beset by conflict and crisis to develop cross-border networks, the MIAF joined with the German Foreign Ministry to create an organization called Music in Africa Connects (MIAConnects). The musicians receive training and gain opportunities to perform at African and international festivals.
With the project Instrument Building and Repair (IBR), the MIAF fosters the professionalization of music-instrument production. In 2019, trainees and young experts from all parts of Africa will come together to learn how to make a variety of instruments and to develop business models from this knowledge.
Aisha Deme, the chairperson of the MIAF, is proud of the success achieved in recent years: “The journey has been an exciting and challenging one. We are very proud of the past five years, which have been characterised by hard work, growth and transparency – always with a clear vision to be the leading source of information and exchange in and for the African music sector.”