Africa, is a continent of rich music, arts and culture. African music has survived different forms of transformation in the global music industry. There has been several music genres such as jazz, pop music, Blues, Rock and Roll, Reggae, Ragga, R & B, Indian and Arabic songs that have impacted the traditional African music. There is now highlife music which has a lot of traditional elements. It has given birth to a new genre of music called hip-life and hip-hop, which are largely influenced by Western Ragga music. The influence is also seen in the use of Western musical instruments such as guitars, pianos, saxophones, cymbals, and others. An organized synergy of both the traditional instruments and foreign musical instruments results in interesting rhythmic instrumentals which when coupled with morally educative lyrics would produce great music that morally educates and entertain listeners. The traditional music in Africa serves as a vehicle for showcasing the intangible cultural heritage of Africans. African music should be a powerful tool for promoting African peace and development. This has been the long time dream of the president of the Aswan music festival, Yasser Mofaddel.
The Aswan festival is aimed at bringing together different kinds and rhythms from the various traditional songs, cultures and arts of different countries in Africa. This would be a tool for celebrating African unity, while fostering cultural hybridity among the various African states. Interestingly, the festival would showcase the rich artistic cultural heritage of Egypt, the first centre of civilization on the African continent. It would open doors for tourism exchanges among the African countries, enhancing trade relations that would boost Africa’s development.
Also, the Aswan festival would open up avenues to promote, preserve and disseminate African traditional music genres that encapsulates the rich cultural heritage of Africa. Celebrating Africa via music is a great avenue for preserving the rich African values of love, peace, togetherness and oneness that the African intelligent forebears constantly fought for. Promoting the organization of this music festival annually would be a solemn occasion for both the old and young generations in Africa to remember the African virtue that we are one people, a powerful force to end the wars, misery and hatred that tears apart the great fabric of unity among the African people.
It is imperative that the ministries of culture, arts and heritage as well as tourism in the various African countries support the genius idea of Yasser Mofaddel in bringing Africa together through music. They can offer such assistance in the form of funding, advertisement and marketing for the successful organization of the event from 9th to 15th December 2020. This music festival would be a wonderful platform for reviving the African peace resolutions and efforts spearheaded by the Egyptian Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Kenyan Wangari Maathai, the Nigerian Chinua Achebe, the Ghanaians Kwame Nkrumah and Kofi Annan, the South Africans Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, the Southern Sudanese John Garang De Mabior, the Tanzanian Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Rwandan Paul Kagame and many other African heroes of peace.
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by Dickson Adom