ACCES 2019: Committee Receives 317 Applications From 35 Countries
Having hosted the maiden edition in Dakar, Senegal, with a follow-up 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) will later in the year host the 2019 edition of ACCES (Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases) in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.
ACCES is a yearly music conference that hosts industry players from across the African continent and around the world. This year’s edition billed to open on November 28, will see music professionals gather in the Ghanaian capital to exchange ideas, discover new talent and accelerate the shaping of the music sector on the continent.
Known for offering a diverse programme of industry discussions, networking opportunities, workshops, exhibitions and visits to key music industry hubs in the host city, as well as exciting showcases from upcoming and established artists across Africa, this year, ACCES received 317 applications from 35 countries. This was after the MIAF made a call to artistes interested to perform in front of industry leaders such as label executives, booking agents, festival organisers, music publishers and journalists.
A total of 41 applications came from the host country, which was followed by South Africa with 38 applications and Nigeria with 30. East Africa’s main applicant country was Kenya with 23, while Morocco led the North African region with 11. Other musically rich countries that saw notable interest from local artistes to showcase at ACCES 2019 include Senegal (23), Cameroon (21), Uganda (11) and Tanzania (11). A number of artistes from the DRC, Togo, Mali, Mozambique, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Angola, Benin and others also applied.
Already, MIAF has announced a six-member ACCES 2019 curating committee, comprising music industry experts, who will now review the applications and shortlist the artistes, who will perform at the conference before the final line-up is announced in September. The committee is tasked with selecting artistes based on country, genre and gender balance, as well as other criteria the will ensure a top-quality showcase programme.
Meanwhile, the MIAF recently announced that Alliance Française Accra, and another yet to be announced venue, would host to the showcasing artists, while the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences will present panel discussions, workshops, training, presentations and networking sessions.
The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1959 by pan-Africanist and Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah. The academy’s mission is to encourage the creation, acquisition, dissemination and utilisation of knowledge for national development through the promotion of learning. Ghanaian law professor and member of the UN Independent Panel on Peace Operations, Joy Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, currently head it.
Speaking on the project, MIAF director Eddie Hatitye said, “This year’s venues are ideal to hold a multifaceted music conference such as ACCES. On the one hand, we have the incredible Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences with its amazing history defined by the creation and transfer of knowledge, which ACCES is all about. On the other hand, we have our amazing partner, Alliance Française, which has been pulling out all the stops, as in the case of ACCES 2018 in Nairobi, to help make our showcases truly memorable for our delegates and all music fans. We will be announcing one more venue in the next few weeks to give delegates a great experience of Ghana’s fantastic live music scene.”