The unique summit changing lives of artists and the music industry scene across Eastern Africa

ONGEA now in its second year, recently held a successful musical extravaganza held across four-days (February 16-19) at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Having achieved its objectives for the Kenya Music Industry, the Kenya Music Week rebranded to ONGEA (founded by Strano) as it broadened its scope to cover the Eastern Africa region in order to create a music industry that was professional, transparent and more profitable for artists.

The event drew artists, associations, bands, booking agents, collective management organisations, digital distributors, educational institutions, media houses, record labels, regulators and technical suppliers from Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

ONGEA pillars

The event was based on ONGEA three pillars of Trade, Learn and Showcase.

The ONGEA! 2017 Eastern Africa Summit covered a daily Trade Exhibition that saw 57 exhibition stands of local industry stakeholders including interested regional and international partners.

The event also hosted a total of eight Industry Panels spread out over four days featuring 50 local, regional and international experts with each session having over 300 participants.

The highlights of the event were the daily showcase performances from talented local artists in front of local, regional and international festival bookers.

The entire Event was streamed Live, from HD Cameras by Protel Studios via Highway Audiovisual to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

ONGEA deal

ONGEA flew in four festival bookers each from Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa.

According to Strano, the main purpose of this was give local talent the much needed exposure to grow and develop as artists.

As part of the ONGEA deal, the festival bookers will take in artists to their festivals under a commercial deal and will be fully catered for the visas, accommodation and performance fees.

“Our main objective is to begin to export music talent from Eastern Africa,” Strano said.

Industry stakeholders

Currently there are very few forums where music industry players can get together and discuss issues facing them including policy formulation and implementation.

“This is why we have partnered with industry stakeholders who all attended the event such as Performers’ Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK), Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK), Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) among others,” Strano said.

However, according to the ONGEA founder, the biggest challenge facing the industry in the region remains working capital.

“The music industry will be where it should be when the users of the music begin paying royalties, with 100 percent compliance and at the right international rates,” he said.

According to Strano, the music industry has the potential to be worth over Sh12 billion a year that is capable of gaining meaningful employment to many Kenyans.

“It is very much possible to increase the value of the industry by up to six times through a very simple policy shift and to make sure stakeholders do their part,” he said

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