Stone Town, Zanzibar, 12 February 2014 – The International Music Council and its cooperation partners in seven African countries and Germany are pleased to announce the official launch of the African Music Development Programme (AMDP), which will endeavour, over the next three years, to help building a sustainable music sector in Africa with a focus on increased employability. The programme benefits from the financial contribution of the European Union (European Development Fund) and the assistance of the ACP Group of States.

The African Music Development Programme will pursue the following objectives:
 To increase professional capacity throughout the sector
 To increase intercultural competences and exchange between European and African music professionals
 To increase the awareness for the value of music for the socio-economic development of societies
 To strengthen the infrastructure of the African music sector
 To foster the network for music and musicians in Africa

In order to achieve the objectives of the African Music Development Programme, organisations with an established knowledge and activity record in the African cultural and music sector will join forces and implement different activities. Following the principle of local ownership, activities will take place under the responsibility of each partner in various African countries. The large number of countries involved guarantees a wide access to the proposed activities. The programme will also create exchange opportunities with Europe and other parts of the world.

The IMC is pleased to cooperate with its regional groups in Africa and Europe (the African and European Music Councils), with universities (Technical University of Kenya, Makerere University in Uganda, Hildesheim University in Germany), with music festivals organisations (Le Kolatier (REPAC) – Cameroon, Feux de Brazza – Brazzaville, Republic of Congo; Sauti za Busara (Busara Promotions) – Zanzibar, Tanzania), with Music Crossroads national sections in Malawi and Mozambique, and last but not least, with the Observatory for Cultural Policies in Africa. Other organisations active in the areas of interventions of the AMDP will also be involved.

IMC Board member Emily Akuno from Kenya elaborates on the vision of the project: “It is the hope and strong intention of all project partners that at the conclusion of the project in December 2016, the diversity of African musical expressions will have been protected and promoted, that access for African artists to international markets will have been facilitated, the dialogue between different African musical cultures encouraged, and in more general terms, that there will be a greater awareness for the value of music in socio-economic development in African societies.”

The planned activities in the academic field comprise student and staff exchange among music departments of African universities and aim to improve the quality of professional training in music and music teaching in Africa on the one hand and to reinforce the recognition of African music, African music teaching and African music management in Europe, on the other.

Vocational training will be offered to music professionals with a view to improving the quality of festival management at all levels, to increase the professional skills of festival crews, to foster artistic and management exchange among music festivals in Africa and to optimise the mobility of artists and artistic works on African continent.

The project will also include activities with a structuring effect by building the capacity of music organisations to increase their role and efficiency. One major outcome will be a stable and strong network of the African Music Council.

There will be diverse activities to disseminate the creative output of African musicians and to improve the access to research results, sheet music, instrumental and teaching methods. The cooperation partners also hope to increase the presence of African music professionals in Europe. The results of the AMDP will be published and disseminated widely.

The AMDP forms part of the International Music Council’s Music Sector Development Programme, which aims to build sustainable music sectors worldwide, especially in developing countries.

The AMDP official launch was announced on February 12, 2014 during a press conference of the Sauti za Busara Festival, organized by AMDP project partner Busara Promotions, which host the first series of activities with students and festival workers from Congo, Germany, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.

“The EU-ACP support will undoubtedly reinforce our collective efforts to improve the situation of the African music sector in many aspects. The IMC is both pleased and proud to lead this project and we look forward to implementing it with our cooperation partners over the next three years”, declares Silja Fischer, Secretary General of the International Music Council.