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ACP-EU Culture ‘Sound Connects Conference’ to be held in Maputo

From 31 January to 2 February 2024, cultural practitioners and creatives hailing from Southern Africa will convene in Maputo, Mozambique, for the Sound Connects Conference, the regional event of the ACP-EU Culture Southern-African hub.

The three-day conference will be held at Galeria Porto in Maputo, bringing together experts from various sectors of the creative industry, international funders, regional players and the cultural organisations supported by the Sound Connects Fund (SCF) over the past three years. The SCF is a joint initiative of the Music In Africa Foundation and the Goethe Institute, with financial support from the ACP-EU Culture Programme, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). The conference will be attended by representatives of ACP-EU Culture technical assistance and the European Commission, facilitating closer engagement with grant beneficiaries.

Over the past three years, the SCF has aimed to support the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in Southern Africa and across the entire continent. Recognising that the arts are a significant source of revenue in Africa, the SCF seeks to professionalize the sector and foster its development

Music and sound serve as potent forces that permeate various art forms, often assuming central roles in dance, theatre, video gaming, film, fashion, and related domains. Between 2021 and 2023, the SCF disbursed approximately €3.4 million to 36 organisations across nine SADC countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Funding from the SCF has led to the creation and successful implementation of diverse developmental projects in sectors such as music, theatre, visual arts, gaming, animation, and fashion, all interconnected by sound. As part of the project, the SCF also offered a robust capacity-building program to all grantees and gathered valuable insights and information from various countries.

The conference programme will provide an opportunity to learn from the experiences of SCF beneficiaries, featuring keynote presentations, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and showcases of products from SCF-funded initiatives. The event is strategically organised in Maputo during the annual Marrabenta Festival, which is collaborating with the Sound Connects Conference to offer additional networking opportunities for attendees

During the festival, CollaboNation, an SCF-supported musical project implemented by House on Fire in eSwatini, will showcase its thrilling musical creations.

Katlego Taunyane, the Sound Connects Fund regional coordinator, expressed enthusiasm, saying, ‘The prospect of convening all 36 Sound Connects Fund grantees is incredibly exciting. In previous years, we organised networking events for each cohort, providing practical training and fostering peer engagement. We anticipate that this gathering of all grantees and CCI professionals will be a stimulating experience for everyone involved.’

Join the conference online

The conference will be conducted in both English and Portuguese, with interpretation services available. Creative practitioners who wish to participate virtually can register for online attendance on Wednesday, 31 January and Thursday, 1 February 2024, using the following link.

Check the event programme

Watch the Sound Connects Fund in action!

Photo credit: Sound Connect Fund/Music in Africa

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