This is an ongoing project launched with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
The Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity has announced that over the course of 2008, the African Music Export Office (Bureau export de la musique africaine or BEMA) is running a series of training sessions for its members in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Guinea, as well as coaches’ workshops in Burkina Faso. The Global Alliance is sponsoring several of these workshops that were “specially conceived to help producers from the region hone their skills in promoting and managing artists as well as marketing and exporting music.”
According to the press release, during the 2008 edition of the World Music Expo (WOMEX) to be held in Seville, Spain from October 29 to November 2, the Global Alliance will also support a mentoring scheme for a selected group of producers from the BEMA network. International experts will offer them individual on-site training and advice before, during, and after the event “so that they can make the most of this unique opportunity to showcase their work.”
The press release adds that the initiative has every intension of reaching its objectives, and that the main challenges facing BEMA will be presented in the framework of the WOMEX Conference session. Global Alliance states that “an incentive will therefore be given to the construction of new synergies between public, private, and civil society stakeholders around BEMA, in order to help foster the emergence of a structured music sector in the region while promoting the circulation of African cultural goods and services in the international arena.”
Global Alliance adds that to this end, a number of partners, including the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Organisation internationale de la francophonie, African and European professional associations, West African governmental institutions, and WOMEX, have already joined forces.
Officially set up in September 2007, BEMA is a network of professional music organizations that aims to help promote and export African music on a regional and international scale.