Spain’s Casa Africa, a public diplomacy institution, has signed an agreement with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry of Ghana to celebrate their cultural cooperation project, ‘Vis-a Vis’ in Ghana.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will give all Ghanaian musicians, no matter their style, the opportunity to show their work to Spanish music festival directors in March 2019.
The ‘Ghana Vis a Vis’ will be the 10th edition of this cultural cooperation projects that aims to foster a better knowledge of African music in Spain.
Luis Padrón, Director General of Casa África, which is linked to Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Abelema Afeku, signed the agreement in Accra.
Mr. Padrón and Mrs. Afeku were accompanied by both ambassadors from Spain in Ghana, Mrs. Alicia Rico, and from Ghana in Spain, Mrs. Elisabeth Adjei.
In the last ten years, Casa África has chosen different African countries to celebrate this professional meeting.
It allows the music festivals to know the situation of each country music scene and generates direct contacts between Spanish promoters with African musicians, record companies and institutions.
Next January and with the collaboration of the Government of Ghana (Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts), the Spanish Embassy in Ghana and the Ghanaian Embassy in Spain, Ghanaian artistes will be called to participate in this project by submitting their music (MP3 or YouTube videos) into a website created for this project.
The Spanish music producers are opened to artistes of any kind of styles and specially look for artistes that have never performed in Spain before. All genres are welcome from hip-hop to house or electronic music, pop, rock, reggae, traditional music or in this case, genuine Ghanaian styles like highlife and hiplife.
Once the projects are presented, the same promoters who will move to Accra will choose 12 bands to listen live.
After three days of concerts and meetings in March, the promoters will choose two of the groups to travel to Spain in the month of July. These two bands will tour Spain for more than a dozen live concerts, in some cases at festivals with an audience of thousands of people.
So far, ‘Vis a Vis’ has visited Senegal (in two occasions), Ethiopia, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania and Angola.
In each country, Spanish cultural promoters have the opportunity not only to listen to the dozen selected artistes in live performances, but also to maintain professional meetings with the selected musicians.
With this cultural cooperation project, Casa África aims to contribute not only to a greater presence of African artistes in the Spanish scenarios, but also to the development of the cultural industries of African countries.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri