The popular Kora All-Africa Music Awards are scheduled to take place on March 20, 2016, in Windhoek, Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta announced this week.
The awards ceremony was originally billed for December 13, but has now been moved to next year to – among other reasons – tie in with the 26th Independence anniversary celebrations in Namibia.
The event, which is credited with shaping the modern African music industry, was previously graced by high-profile celebrities, such as Angelique Kidjo, Kofi Olomide, Miriam Makeba, Thandiswa Mazwai, Michael Jackson, Shaggy, Rihanna, Salif Keita and Oliver Mtukudzi. It was initially due to take place at the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism, as well as the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology have come on board in partnership with the organisers to help host a successful event, Shifeta said.
He said the partnership is largely informed by government’s belief that creative industries play an important role in contributing to the economy and, insodoing, further the poverty alleviation agenda through tourism, culture and the arts.
Acknowledging the positive impact the event can have on the economy, Shifeta said the country’s tourism industry, ICT and art industries would benefit directly.
“It is our belief that the Kora Awards will provide a strategic tourism drive, a job shadowing, skills transfer programme, a local procurement strategy, as well as an innovative revenue-generating and local business support programme through music and telecoms that dovetail perfectly with the nation’s economic development strategy,” he said.
He further believes that the Kora Awards represent a unique opportunity for public-private partnerships to jointly collaborate in the delivery of a seminal event and urged roleplayers in the private sector to explore partnership opportunities ahead of the show.
The event has in the past been hosted by South Africa, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. This would be the largest showbiz event Namibia has ever hosted, following the Miss Universe pageant in 1995.
Founded in 1994 by Ernest Adjovi, the Koras are often likened to the American Grammy Awards. The objectives of the awards are to promote African artists and their work internationally, and to unite Africa and its diaspora through music and arts.
New Era is the official print media partner of the Kora Awards.