After a successful first edition at the Harare International festival of the Arts (Zimbabwe) in 2015, the African Music Development Programme held  its annual IMPACT Music Conference in Abidjan 2 months ago.

Under the AMDP umbrella, the Festival des Musiques Urbaines d’Anoumabo (FEMUA) together with the Institut Français de Côte d’Ivoire hosted the « IMPACT Music Conference » on 19th & 20th April 2015 where some of the leaders and doers in the music and technology industry discussed the complexities and opportunities that exist in this space. The emergence of new digital tools has shifted the way in which music is being created, consumed and distributed globally. The conference provided a space to discuss, share and learn what opportunities and challenges currently exist in the digital and music overlap as well as provide insights into what future trends to expect.

Featured were some of the leading thinkers in music, creative business and technology from Africa and Europe  who shared their views and expertise about the digital shift and the new reality of the music market with the participants. Panel discussions, products demos, round tables, workshops and meetings brought together the internationally acclaimed Congolese musician Baloji, the founder of the 1st cultural incubator “Creatis” in Paris Steven Hearn, Samir Abdelkrim from Startups, Adrien Aumont founder of the crowdfunding platform KissKissBankBank, Narsyx Ciabala from the Congolese music platform, and many others.

For two days, Abidjan was a hive of activities and exchanges with record labels managers, musicians, , entrepreneurs, influencers, bloggers, brands and promoters working together and debating in the middle of the FEMUA Festival magic.

AMDP’s Charles Houdart stated that the goal of the conference is to provide a collaborative and proactive approach to discuss the biggest emerging market in music and how to harness technology for development and growth in Africa.

The event ended with the “Pitch Me! “ session, a music startups competition that saw 6 young music entrepreneurs presenting their music business idea in front of a professional jury. The winner from the Ghanaian Hip-hop platform will join the Creatis incubator team in Paris for a one month fully paid mentorship programme and will get the opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs and potential business angels.