The International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards, (AFRIMA) has withdrawn the hosting rights from Republic of Ghana for the 2019 and 2020 editions of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, over lack of capacity by the Host Country to meet the financial and contractual obligations entered to on July 12, 2018, necessary to retain hosting the biggest music event in Africa.
The decision was reached on Monday, July 15 after several months of meetings and consultations with relevant stakeholders to remedy the situation with the expectation that the Republic of Ghana would provide concrete assurances and guarantees to discharge its contractual obligations for hosting the 2019 and 2020 editions of AFRIMA after its disappointing performance on the contract during the 2018 edition of the Awards held in Accra between November 21 and 24 which the organisers successfully put together against all odds.
It would be recalled that decision of the African Union (AU) and AFRIMA to award a three-term hosting right (2018-2020) of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) to Ghana followed the declaration of the President of Ghana, His Excellency, Nana Akufo Addo of his desire to host the AFRIMA Awards in Ghana made on May 21, 2018 during the AFRIMA 2018 Calendar Unveiling Ceremony held in Accra. After initially complying to some of the host country responsibilities, Ghana’s hosting rights for the 5th AFRIMA was publicly announced by the African Union at the African Union Secretariat Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on September 5, 2018 and a letter signed by the Commissioner of Social Affairs, African Union, Mrs. Amira El Fadil dated September 13, 2018 to effect the hosting rights was dispatched to the Government of the Republic of Ghana through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Ghana.
According to the International Advisor, AFRIMA, Mr. Rikki Stein, while thanking the young people and the media in Ghana said; “It was a hard decision for us to withdraw the awards hosting rights for the next two years (2019 and 2020 editions) from the Republic of Ghana. As an awards owned for the African people, it is structured to travel around the continent giving the people the true African experience. We have some fond memories of our time in Ghana immersing ourselves in the lifestyle and music and we have formed great friendships among the Ghanaian people. We look forward to returning to Ghana at a more opportuned time. However, we cannot afford to compromise the standard of the laudable vision of AFRIMA to create a truly African brand that connects Africans and build the equity of Africa. The situation faced in Ghana has the potential to erode the goodwill and giant strides we have achieved in Africa through the awards”.
Mr. Stein, a former Manager and friend of Afrobeat Legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, added that AFRIMA is geared to increase the tourism and entertainment equity of a host country as the host receives an influx of international and Africa dignitaries, AFRIMA nominees, music stars and executives who attend the four-day programme of activities. AFRIMA further offers benefits that would help in raising the continental and international profile of the host country, including an opportunity to tap into the millions of participants and followers of the growing African music.
The African Union had enjoyed a successful and effective hosting partnership with the Federal Republic of Nigeria that won the right to host the four editions of AFRIMA –from 2014-2017.
“The support of the Ministry of Information & Culture, Nigeria with sponsorship from the Government of Lagos State, Nigeria as AFRIMA Official Host City in 2016 and 2017 also fostered the smooth execution of the various AFRIMA events and facilitated the seamless engagement of corporate sponsorship/partnership at various facets of event planning and execution”, Mr. Stein explained.
“Our concerns are genuine and worrying. We must see a commitment from the Host Country government to secure suitable venues in advance for holding the AFRIMA Awards ceremony and events, to provide suitable hotel accommodation in advance for nominees, artistes and guests of the Awards and to provide and process visas -on-arrival in advance and in good time for guests, nominees, artistes, contractors and other relevant stakeholders attending the Awards. If these are not in place, then we have a recipe for disaster on our hands”, he stated.
The International Committee of AFRIMA has said it is working to determine a new host country for the 6th edition of the annual All Africa Music Awards AFRIMA and this will be announced in August 2019. After five outstanding editions of AFRIMA from 2014 to 2018, the 6th edition will continue in the tradition of celebrating the scintillating musical culture of Africa by featuring exhilarating Pan-Africa events through the lifespan of the calendar year in 2019.
The events on the AFRIMA 2019 calendar include the ‘Call for Entry/Entry Submission’ opening on May 15 to end on August 2, a process when African music professionals from across the continent submit their musical works, songs and recordings via the official AFRIMA website www.afrima.org for a possible shot at nomination in one or more of the 36 categories of AFRIMA.
The 6th AFRIMA Main Awards Ceremony, a four-day fiesta of music, glamour, Afrocentricism and entertainment, holds in November in the official awards Host City. The four-day event commences with the Welcome Soiree followed by the AFRIMA Music Village, the Host City Tour, the Africa Music Business Summit, the exclusive Nominees Party and concludes with the live Awards Ceremony. Fans of African music globally can follow along and take part in the AFRIMA 2019 events on social media, live stream on the AFRIMA website, the AFRIMA App and by tuning to over 84 television stations which are AFRIMA partners.