How music can boost African economies and increase regional integration

Before there was jazz, soul, R&B, rock, or hip hop, there was the sound of African drums. All 8 billion of us on this planet have our ancestral roots in the African continent, and so do the sounds and sounds that affect us most.

Music from the African continent continues to rise to new heights, growing rapidly in popularity. Afrobeats now one of the continent’s major cultural exportswith instantly recognizable sounds often found on street corners, shopping malls, stadiums, airports, and clubs around the world.

As an argument for West African music, jazz, and funk sung in English, West African, and pidgin languages ​​that originated in Nigeria in the 1990s and early 2000s, Afrobeats has become one of the most popular music genres across Africa and the world. It follows in the footsteps of African music from earlier times, such as highlife from Ghana and Nigeria in the 1950s and soukous from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). in the 1960s.

This and other aspects of African music have become more popular in recent decades, gaining greater attention thanks to the efforts of African musicians. In doing so, these musicians will help promote regional and cultural unity by attracting musical styles from across the region.

With new examples of cooperation, publicity and promotion throughout the world, and the use of digital platforms, African music can promote economic growth and integration of the continent.

African music goes all over the world

Popular actors like ET Mensah, George Darkoand Oriental Brothers International Band they were important drivers in expanding the reach of classical music. Similarly, the popularity of soukous has been driven by famous artists, including Kanda Bongo Man, M’bilia Beland of course, strong Pope Wemba. The unforgettable Manu Dibango is known to have announced makossa all over the world. And Fela Kuti was at the forefront of Afrobeat music and his demands for economic and social justice.

Ahead of several generations, popular artists such as Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, and Yemi Alade are expanding the popularity and awareness of Afrobeats across Africa and the world. Afrobeats and other music emerging from Africa, such as Amapiano, are gaining popularity and can be examples of economic and cultural integration in the continent.

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The piano playerthe chisiZulu word for ‘the pianos’ is a kind of music they came from the towns of Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa in 2012. It combines local music with jazz and house music. It’s getting more and more crossing the border and entering Africa and the world, led by famous artists such as Scorpion Kings, DBM Gogo, and Lady Du.

Piano music is now trending on social media and has become a hit over a billion streams to date on platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. It also affects the power music scene in Nigeria, where several artists have recorded music using pianos. These events with Amapiano are helping to expand the music industry in South Africa, whose revenue in 2022 is estimated at 2 billion South African Rand ($117 million.)

A collaboration and collaboration of African music

The impact of emerging African music culture such as Amapiano has the potential to be very financially rewarding. The latest report is Afreximbank (pdf) shows that music contributes only 0.1% of the GDP of the entire African continent. An Afreximbank report found that while African musicians are expanding their global profile, they “still lack recognition and representation in the global market.”

Although the contribution of music and other cultural resources to the GDP of many African countries is low, especially compared to other parts of the world, there are signs that this may begin to change.

There is an opportunity for the music industry to grow in the region by using new social media to gain support from industry and government. Collaboration with other sectors, including tourism, fashion, it’s a game, may provide additional benefits to the overall cultural economy in Africa. This, in turn, can contribute to job growth music, job creation for young people. While musicians and private organizations are driving many of these projects, governments in the region also play a major role in the development of music in all African countries.

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Recent examples of these types of government-led partnerships come from Morocco and Zimbabwe. In Morocco, the city of Essaouira is famous for its music festivals, architecture, history, and beaches. The promotion of Essaouira as a center for music and tourism is the result of cooperation between local and international organizations, led by the Moroccan government and the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), which designated Essaouira as a City of Music in 2019 and Creative Tourism Network.

In early 2022, Zimbabwe was established a five-year music coursewhich aims to ensure a established music industry in the country as part of plans to improve the visibility and standing of Zimbabwe’s cultural economy.

Equally important is the need for strategies to encourage, promote, and develop the African music industry. For example, after a local-led lobbying campaign, the Congolese rumba took off included in the UNESCO heritage list in December 2021. In Zanzibar, for twenty years Words of Wisdom The festival has become a platform to create new artists and preserve different styles of music, while the event is dedicated to highlighting women and upcoming artists.

Organized regional events will also be important in driving social and economic development. For example, the support of the Senegalese cooperation, will host the eighth ceremony of the most popular music awards in Africa, the All-Africa Music Awards (Afrima), in January 2023. The ceremony includes cooperation between the public and the government, and the people of Senegal. President Macky Sall expecting great help to the award, citing Afrima’s role in helping young people financially and promoting tourism.

Digitization in music

Various artists from all over the world are now using digital to reach new audiences and markets. Part of the success of brands like Amapiano can be attributed to the layout and social environment. Digital technologies, including mobile platforms and e-commerce, offer another role that the music industry can play in supporting economic and cultural integration in the African region.

With phone subscriptions on 46% of people live in sub-Saharan Africaand internet connection more than 50% in countries including Egypt (at 71%) and Ghana (at 53%), musicians have a large digital platform through mobile phones to distribute their music.

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According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), one of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic was the increase in economic activity. switch to e-commerce and digital platforms for cultural economic activities that include music. It is estimated that revenue from digital music in Africa will growing to $500 million annually by 2025up from $100 million in 2017.

The way forward for African music

Various forms of classical music have been at the forefront of cultural and economic integration around the world, and Africa is no exception. Although platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, and TikTok are popular for the transfer of music from African artists, questions arise about the economic shares taken by the artists.

Here This is an opportunity for musicians, artists, dance organizations, and governments to promote economic growth from the African music scene. Investing in African-led and locally-led platforms can overcome some of the challenges of raising capital.

In addition, financial programs from organizations such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and governments can boost economic activity and encourage job creation in the music industry. And as a central intervention, governments can cooperate through platforms such as the African Union to provide financial support and additional resources to increase the contribution of music to the region’s GDP.

From the time the first drum was played to the present day, music from all over Africa has been entertaining and inspiring around the world. They have become a way of driving social change as they become more popular at home and abroad. And with the right cooperation and funding, the impact of growing and powerful music will reverberate throughout the African continent.

In the coming years, this will strengthen the basis of greater cooperation and development and serve as a framework for other economic sectors in Africa.

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