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The All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, experienced the warmth of the music and culture industry of Ghana on Monday, May 21, 2018 when the calendar of events for the 5th edition of the biggest awards event on the continent was unveiled by the African Union following a meeting and courtesy visit to His Excellency, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Welcoming the visiting delegation led by the Head of Culture, African Union Commission, Mrs. Angela Martins, at the Presidential Office, Jubilee House, Accra, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, lauded the initiative of AFRIMA in conceiving a platform that showcases Africa positively to the world through the creativity of the music talents and the distinctive African cultural heritage.
“The people of Ghana are proud to host the 2018 AFRIMA World Media Calendar Unveiling event and to receive the delegation of officials of AU and AFRIMA as well the talented artistes and the media. I’m excited to hear AFRIMA is engaging the rest of the world on an intellectual platform with conferences and the music awards. We hope you have had a remarkable experience of Ghanaian hospitality. Our hope is that we will host the main awards ceremony”, the President stated.
Other officials of the government of Ghana who received the AU-AFRIMA delegation included the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Catherine Abelema Afeku; Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo; Principal Personal Assistant to the President, Saratu Atta: Chief Director, Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Dr. Joel Sonne; Director, Tourism Council, Ghana, Nana Anim and celebrated Ghanaian music artistes such as veteran Nana Kwame Ampadu who joined artistes from other African countries for the courtesy visit.
The President further prompted the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Catherine Afeku to see to the completion of the formalities required to enable Ghana ratify the Charter on African Culture Renaissance.
Earlier, while delivering the AU’s remarks to President Akufo-Addo, Mrs. Angela Martins expressed gratitude to the government and people of Ghana for the commitment and support displayed towards hosting the 2018 AFRIMA Calendar Unveiling.
“We cherish the partnership with the government of Ghana since it will enhance the pan-African nature of the AFRIMA initiative. The AU also uses the AFRIMA platform to voice key messages related to the Arts and Culture and other social issues for example the campaign on Ebola in 2014”, she buttressed.
The international Committee of AFRIMA was represented at the courtesy visit by President/Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada; Director, Brand Communications, AFRIMA, Ms. Matlou Tsotetsi; AFRIMA Regional Director, Central Africa, Mr. Ernest Ewane; AFRIMA Regional Director, West Africa; Mr. Don Obilor; AFRIMA Co-Producer/Country Director Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley James; AFRIMA Country Director Ghana, Mr. Francis Doku, AFRIMA Jury Member (West Africa), Mr. Olisa Adibua and AFRIMA Consultant, Regional Partnerships and Sponsorship, Dr. Bukola Bello-Jaiyesimi.
Meanwhile, the Calendar Unveiling of the 5th AFRIMA took place later in the day at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra where the theme of the awards “Africa is Music” was also revealed to the large gathering of African and international media.
The ceremony, well-attended by record label owners, culture industry practitioners and music artistes such as Sarkodie (Ghana); 2Baba (Nigeria); Victoria Kimani (Kenya); Becca (Ghana); Ahmed Soultan (Morocco); Stanley Enow (Cameroon); Seyi Shay (Nigeria); Emtee (South Africa); Falz (Nigeria); Fancy Gaddam (Ghana); Stanley Adjetey (Ghana); Dark Suburb (Ghana); Zeynab (Republic of Benin) and Jah Phinga (Ghana), among others, featured a two-part interactive discussion session on the theme “Enhancing Music Business in Africa”.
This conference preceded the formal unveiling of the 2018 AFRIMA Calendar by Mrs. Angela Martins and Director, Brand Communications, AFRIMA, Ms. Matlou Tsotetsi, The 5th AFRIMA Calendar details build up and main events activities leading up to the 5th AFRIMA Main Awards ceremony slated for November 25, 2018. Build up events include musical conferences and concerts around the different regions of Africa but more importantly, on May 25 (Africa Day), the 2018 AFRIMA opens the call for submission of works/song by African music professionals released within the eligibility period to compete for possible nomination in one or more of the 36 categories of the awards. The submission will end on August 1, 2018
Panel discussants including Ghanaian artistes and artistes from different African countries and culture/creative industry executives, professionals and practitioners discussed the challenges faced by the creative industry in Africa while also proffering inventive solutions to enhance the future of the music business on the continent. Some creative industry discussants included President, Creative Arts Council, Ghana, Mr. Mark Okraku Mantey and AFRIMA Regional Director, West Africa, Mr. Don Obilor.
According to Kenyan music diva, Victoria Kimani, “Before now, the world of music, fashion and arts were not being taken seriously unlike politics, but the progress that have been registered in today’s music industry makes it easier to have a more confident ecosystem that encourages the production of good music around the continent”.
Nigerian Afro pop singer, Seyi Shay, shared how the African music industry has empowered her as an artiste and how the system has given most artistes the control over their music,
Encouraging artistes to focus on building an authentic music brand, Ghanaian rap star, Sarkodie, talked about increasing the numbers of professionals in the music business that can provide structure and technical music production where everybody can in turn make more money through music business.
Nigerian artiste Falz encouraged artiste to not only have musical collaborations with fellow artistes but also with huge brands with whom artistes can share ideas and initiatives for support to help them grow in music business.
Giving his submission on the discussion theme, Innocent ‘2Baba’ Idibia said proper structure must be put in place to ensure that investors in the music industry can get returns on their money.
The AFRIMA 2018 Calendar Unveiling event was hosted by the government and people of Ghana as part of the AU policy to achieve its objective of promoting social integration in the five regions of Africa. The 5th AFRIMA will also feature high-octane music concerts tagged “Turn Up Africa” which objective is to connect fans and followers of African music with their favourite Africa music stars of the traditional and contemporary genres.
In partnership with the African Union, the All Africa Music Awards is a music property that recognizes and rewards the work and talent of myriad of African artists from the old to the new generation of musicians. Through its conference, AFRIMA also stimulates conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world about the potential of the creative arts for real humanizing enterprise on the continent contributing significantly to social cohesion, national, regional and continental integration as well as sustainable development in Africa. It is broadcast live to over 84 countries.