AFRIMA 2019: Withdrawal of Hosting Right from Ghana not political — Organisers

Posted by Foster Obi, Lagos | 16 August 2019 | 792 times

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Organisers of All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) have said that the decision to deny the Republic of Ghana the hosting right for this year’s event is not politically motivated and not done to settle any scores.

Although Ghana expressed desire to host the awards and was even accorded a three-term hosting right (2018 to 2020), the country could not host it last year  and again this year,  the International Committee of the Music Awards withdrew the hosting rights from the West African nation for the 2019 and 2020 editions  over what it described as “lack of capacity by the host country to meet the financial and contractual obligations entered into on July 12, 2018, necessary to retain hosting the biggest music event in Africa.”

This continuous denial has raised tempers within the country, fueling concerns that beyond the allegations of infrastructural deficit that some powerful countries within the African Union (AU), which is facilitating the awards, maybe using the opportunity to settle some scores with the President, Nana Akufo Addo, who is enthusiastic about hosting the event.

But at the unveiling of the nominees of artistes for the event on Wednesday in Lagos, AFRIMA’s Associate Producer Aderele Niyi said there was nothing political about the denial because the event is purely for African countries and every country has the right to host it as long as it meets the criteria.

“To select the host country, the African Union will have to sit with the International Committee of AFRIMA and there are necessary criteria like infrastructure, security, logistics that are looked at before a decision is taken.

“There is nothing political about it. We love Ghana and if the opportunity presents itself again, we will give them the opportunity,” she said.

However the committee in a statement  recently said that the decision to dump Ghana 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 the decision of the African Union (AU) and AFRIMA to award a three-term hosting right (2018 to 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,” the statement said.

AFRIMA’s International Advisor, Mr Rikki Stein, while thanking the young people and the media in Ghana, said it was a hard decision for them to withdraw the awards’ hosting rights for the next two years (2019 and 2020 editions), from the Republic of Ghana.

Meanwhile, the organisers on Wednesday unveiled Tiwa Savage, Davido, Burna Boy, Simi, Wizkid, Kizz Daniel, Teni, Yemi Alade, Niniola along with other international artistes nominated for 2019 edition of the prestigious award.

Niyi said that the nominees that cut across Western, Eastern, Central Southern and Northern Africa were carefully picked after rigorous screenings by a group of professional jury.

She said that some of the criteria used in arriving at the nominees include:  fairness, creativity, excellence, integrity, originality of their music, authenticity which must reveal African concept among other things. According to her, the world music festival will hold between Nov.21 to Nov. 23, 2019, in a country that will be announced next month.

The event was established to reward and celebrate musical works, talents, and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage. The platform is to position Africa as a musical hub for the world as Africans are seen as talented and highly creative, the associate producer noted.

Source: News Express

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