West Africa Music and Arts Festival officially launched in Accra

The West Africa Music and Arts Festival (WAMAFEST) has officially launched in Accra, Ghana, drawing together leading music industry professionals and stakeholders from across West Africa.

The festival promises to be an exhilarating celebration of the region’s rich cultural heritage and its global influence, culminating in a grand concert at the University of Ghana on Saturday, June 22.

Hosting WAMAFEST for the first time, Ghana adds this vibrant event to its growing list of international arts festivals, including the Chale Wote Street Art Festival, AfroFuture, and the Black Star Line Festival.

In his opening remarks, the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, emphasized the importance of collaboration among West African countries to preserve and promote their cultural heritage through music.

He stated, “Music knows no borders, and neither should our efforts to protect our heritage.”

Prof Jasmine Young, Director of the Warner Music Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University, underscored the significance of sustaining the festival for future generations.

“WAMAFEST is not just about today; it’s an investment in our cultural future,” she said.

Adding to the excitement of the festival, a Juneteenth Parade will take place over the weekend, celebrating freedom and promoting tourism and economic development in the subregion.

The West Africa Music and Arts Festival is part of the “Beyond the Return” campaign, a 10-year successor to the “Year of Return” campaign in 2019, which marked the 400th anniversary of the first recorded arrival of enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia, USA.

The launch event attracted notable attendees, including Ghana’s Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Andrew Agyapa Mercer; Second Lady, Samira Bawumia; CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman; and representatives from various West African countries.

Also in attendance were officials from Global A&R Warner Recorded Music, MUSIGA President Bessa Simons, HipHopPreneur and Marketing Strategist Professor Jasmine Young, alongside numerous music executives and artists such as Efya, Reggie Rockstone, and Trigmatic.

With the stage already set, WAMAFEST promises to be a blend of cultural pride and unity, resonating far beyond West Africa.

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