Date/time session Thursday May  11, 2017

3.30 -5.00p.m

Session type Parallel Session
Moderator name Nanjala Nyabola, CDEA Advisory Board Member
Rapporteur name Grace Matata, Business Development Manager, CDEA
Session Title Concerts and festivals in the East African tourism circuit
Session Topic What would impact investment for the music industry in East Africa within the framework of sustainable tourism look like? What commitments should government, private sector and development partners make in this ecosystem
Venue Kivukoni Hall 3
Speakers Speaker: Faisal Kiwewa, Director, Bayimba Foundation


Speaker:   Abdi Rashid Jibril,  Director, Roots International  (Kenya)


Speaker:    Yusuf Mahmoud, CEO & Festival Director, Sauti za Busara


Speaker:    Aziza Ongala, Events Manager, Wikendi Live

1. Description of the session (max. 500 words or 1 page) – generic information including the nature of the speakers career work,  discussion in the session, main points made by each speaker and the key action points
The session was moderated by Miss Nanjala Nyabola. The moderator kept the session very organic and involving. The audience was allowed to ask the panelists questions throughout the session which made the session more engaging.

The moderator opened the session by welcoming the panel and the audience. All panelists were ask tell the audience more about themselves and their organizations. Mr Abdi Rashid Jibril, was unable to attend the session, but he submitted his notes to the moderator and the rapporteur.

The panelist, Yusuf Mahmoud, CEO & Festival Director, Sauti za Busara  opened the session by introducing himself  and the work he does with BUSARA PROMOTIONS as the CEO & Festival Director. Established more  than 14 years ago, Sauti Za Busara`s mission is to increase visibility and accessibility for African music, develop skills and opportunities in the music sector and strengthen regional and international networking and partnerships, thereby contributing to the East Africa`s social, cultural & economic development. Busara started as a 100% donor funded initiative for the first 1-3 years. Now the festival has diversified and income is made from 3 revenue streams, 1/3 donors, 1/3 ticket sales and 1/3 sponsors.

Key points:

·         Sauti za Busara  is not motivated to make the festival for tourists, they strives to give locals access to the festival by keeping local prices lower than tourist prices.

·         The festival stimulates economic growth of the entire community at almost every level and has impacted greatly on the island tourism activities.

·         The government has not been able to support the festival financially and there has never been an official agreement between the two parties, however individual government officials have supported the festival in one way or another.


Second Panelist, Faisal Kiwewa, Director, Bayimba Foundation, explained that Bayimba is a Ugandan multi- discipline cultural organization that focuses on uplifting arts and culture exchange  and creativity by hosting high quality festivals, training and workshops to facilitate creative development.  Bayimba started with street theater and for the first 4 years the event  was free. Over the years they have commercialized the event by bringing in sponsors and selling tickets as well. The programming for Bayimba has always been 60% local artists and 40% international artists.

Key points:

·         The government has supported Bayimba by waving 70% of event permit fees and all travel permit fees for festival personnel.

·         The private sector has played a big role in the growth of the festival, especially private alcoholic beverage companies.

·         Bayimba`s focus has always been on the artists, the culture and the community.

·         Bayimba is focused on sustainability; they have bought land and are working on developing it to be used for other activities including the festival.

·         The challenge of spaces for performance is still a big one. The plan to demolish of the national theatre/Uganda Cultural Centre is a big blow for the festival. Bayimba has been pushed to create a new home for the festival, but more initiatives are needed to create more spaces for performances.

Third Panelist, Aziza Ongala, Events Manager, Wikendi Live  introduced the Wikiendi Live is a live music  event in Dar Es Salaam Tanzania dedicated to showcasing traditional African beats and fusion. Wikiendi Live focuses of creating a space for live musicians with a positive message to perform and grow their audience the same way Bongo Flava artists are being supported. They also support mobility for artists throughout the East African region to stimulate cultural exchanges.  Wikiendi Live`s vision is to see the resurrection of the live music scene back to its glorious days when live bands dominated the city with local music.

Key Notes:

·         Wikiendi Live supports bands with a strong cultural & heritage theme.

·         Wikiend Llive is supported by donors and is currently funded by the Danish Royal Embassy.

·         The concert has to be free because of BASATA requirements. For the concert to be commercial, all fees will have to apply.

·         The concert is focused on the youth, to be able to make local cultural music to young people.


2. What were the government perspectives on the issue of impact investment   for concerts and festivals in the East African tourism circuit? (max. 250 words or ½ page) (provided by speakers or the audience)
Yusuf/ Busara: There has never been an official relationship between government and the festival.  The government has not shown deliberate efforts to either subsidize or finance the festivals in Tanzania. The role of music comes into play only when there are political debates or elections involved and nothing outside of that context. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to prove the contribution of the festivals and concerts to the economy and for the  government to recognize our contribution.

There has always been roles assigned, the corporate has their responsibilities, the cultural organizations have their responsibilities, but there are no clear roles assigned to the government.


Faisal/Bayimba: Bayimba spends more money in putting together the event than the total annual cultural ministry budget. The government sees and appreciates the contribution and the investment we are making in the sector. They support by waiving some travel and visa license fees.


Aziza Ongala/Wikiendi Live: For main land Tanzania it is even worse. The government does not realize the opportunities missed on cultural tourism simply because the focus is on animal tourism. There is so much potential the festival and concerts can bring so many opportunities, but it all goes to the animals.

KBC/ Kwanza Unit- Audience: The government has taken on the role of the watch dog. They are focused on being the police for the industry, always ready to penalize for the wrong doings. No focus is placed on infrastructure development and policies to grow festivals and concerts.


3. Examples of experiences, programmes or resources out there that can contribute to improving the concerts and festivals in the East African tourism circuit (provided by speakers or the audience)
Faisal/Bayimba: We have had to learned to speak the corporate language. To attract corporate sponsorship , we have to focus on creating value for specific sponsors. We focused on having good productions, keeping the line up exciting and having a focus on community with consistency.  We would also like to find investors who have the same values as us. Bayimba now has negotiation power and can raise up to 50 mill UGX from alcohol sponsors and retain a 20% on sales revenue from drinks sold at the concert. Also, Bayimba now own land, which means we can have a home for the festival without depending on anyone.


4. Challenges or obstacles to impact investment  concerts and festivals in the East African tourism circuit identified by speakers or the audience (max. 5 points)
1.    Aziza Ongala/Wikiendi Live: Cultural music events are not given the same support as popular music events. In turn, the cultural festival and events are few and far in between. This is mainly because cultural and/or heritage music is not given the same kind of airplay on radio or TVs. The corporate sponsors will never be able to see the value of such platforms if the music does not get support on radios and TVs which will translate into demand for live events of the same nature. Cultural tourism is still not a popular concept, not the same  as animal tourism. This needs to be addressed by all sides, if we can get the heritage music on mainstream  media level, we can attract more funding from private sponsors.

Mobility is also another huge challenge for artists within and without the region.

2.    Yusuf/Busara:  To build on what Ongala said, corporates are more focused on popular culture, not heritage.

Also, the weakest link in chain is artists’ management. There is no formal education and trainings for the support roles in the sector especially for artists managers, festival directors etc. BUSARA is committed to training artists and other stakeholders on such roles because we need more professionals within the sector.

3.    Faisal/Bayimba: There are no spaces to hold events and festivals. This is still a big challenge to the sector.

4.    KBC/Kwanza Unit: There is a disconnect between the government and the sector because there are no artists in the government bodies responsible for the arts. There are no artists representatives within the government to drive the artists’ agenda. Government bodies in charge of the arts should have creatives.

5. Examples of  opportunities  for  impact investment  in concerts and festivals in the East African tourism circuit identified by speakers or the audience (max. 5 points)
Cultural tourism is an area of impact investment, because the ongoing festivals show that there is already an existing market for cultural heritage. East African governments should develop an East African festivals calendar to showcase and market all festivals and concerts throughout the year and have proper marketing strategy for this. This will also attract investors to the cultural space.


Bayimba Foundation illustrates a case where the cultural sector organizations are also impact investors in the cultural space. Bayimba Foundation now owns land and would like to invest in infrastructure development for cultural performances in Kampala. This comes at a time when Uganda government  is going to demolish Uganda Cultural Centre and the Uganda Museum (to construct high-rise structures) that have been the home of most cultural events take place.

6. Recommendations for action required to impact investment  in concerts and festivals in the East African tourism circuit (max 5 points in priority order)

1.    The East African governments need to recognize the cultural sector as an area for impact investment and have a clearly defined role. The  government’s role  should be to support the sector by putting in place the right policies, infrastructure, strategies in place to facilitate the festivals and concerts and not create more huddles for the events.


2.    For the corporate sector, there role should be corporate social responsibility.


3.    The media needs to play a role in providing platforms for cultural/heritage music so that they can attract commercial sponsors.


4.     Formal or technical education should have be available for artists and for other support services such as managers, festival directors, production crews, sound engineering etc.


5.    The East African governments need to facilitate the platforms for multi stakeholder conversations such as Mashariki Conference to stimulate changes for the sector.


6.    The mobility of artists with the East African region should be made easy to facilitate movement throughout the region to stimulate growth of cultural tourism through festivals and concerts



7. Keywords
7.    Cultural Tourism as an area of impact investment

8.    Media’s role in popularizing heritage music.

9.    Trainings for support services.


8.Key quotes
Yusuf/Busara: “The weakest link in the chain (value chain) is in artist management. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to provide formal trainings for support services in the creative sector

AzizaOngala/Wikiendi Live: “ The government is missing out on a lot of investment opportunities by not recognizing the potential for cultural tourism as  an area of impact investment. It has so much to offer, but all the attention is given to the animals

Yusuf/Busara: “Musicians are ambassadors, mobility should not be an issue

AzizaOngala/Wikiendi Live: “Festivals can be profitable, we just have to be strike a balance between integrity and business objectives

Faisal/Bayimba: “One has to take the bullet, we sometimes have to change

Yusuf?Busara: “The government, private sector  and donors should work together if they want to make the sector more sustainable


9. Any other comments from the audience and response from Speaker/Moderator?
Moderator:  It would be great to see platforms for event organizers to network.

Faisal/Bayimba: The government should invest in an East African festival calendar to showcase and market all festivals and concerts throughout the year and have proper marketing strategy for this.