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West African Music & Arts Festival Kicks off Today

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Jasmine Young, Co-Founder of the West African Music & Arts Festival.

Today marks the beginning of a groundbreaking event that promises to set a new standard for cultural and music celebrations in West Africa. From June 19 to June 22, 2024, Accra will host the inaugural West Africa Music & Arts Festival (WAMAFest), a spectacular fusion of music, arts, and culture that celebrates the rich legacy and global influence of West African music and culture.

The festival is a collaborative effort between the Ghana Tourism Authority, Warner Music Africa, and Ceek VR. It aims to create an immersive experience that not only entertains but also educates and inspires. With events scheduled at iconic locations such as the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and the Labadi Beach Hotel, attendees can expect a dynamic mix of activities that highlight the best of West African creativity and talent.

A Historic Connection: Juneteenth and WAMAFest

Choosing to launch WAMAFest on June 19 was a significant decision, linking the festival to Juneteenth – a day of immense significance for the African Diaspora. On this date in 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas were informed of their emancipation, marking the end of slavery in the United States. Known officially as Juneteenth National Independence Day, this federal holiday commemorates freedom, resilience, and the ongoing struggle for equality.

By opening WAMAFest on Juneteenth, Ghana pays homage to this pivotal moment in history and reinforces its commitment to unity and the empowerment of the African Diaspora. As Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, has previously stated, “For us here in Ghana, rethinking tourism means rethinking the work we do and we see music and the arts in general as a low-hanging fruit that can help change the fortunes of our country.”

WAMAFest kicks off at the historic Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park with a soiree on the opening night. The following day at Labadi Beach Hotel, the conference will bring together artists, producers, managers, and industry experts for thought-provoking discussions on emerging trends and the future of West African music. Jasmine Young, Director of the Warner Music Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University, is the co-Founder of the festival and she emphasizes the festival’s mission: “WAMAFest is a platform to give back to society, the impact of the voice that music has given us.”

Throughout the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in master classes and workshops led by acclaimed musicians, songwriters, and producers. These sessions are designed to offer both emerging and experienced artists valuable insights into the business side of music and the arts, fostering growth and innovation within the industry.

The final day of the festival will feature a grand parade organized in collaboration with the African American Association of Ghana (AAAG). On Saturday, June 22, this procession will wind through the streets of Accra, symbolizing shared ancestry and the unbreakable bonds of the African Diaspora and marking Juneteenth.

The climax of events will be the partnership concert featuring YFM Area Codes that will highlight a diverse lineup of artists ensuring the most memorable experience to end this historic festival. Whether you’re an artist, music enthusiast, or someone eager to explore the richness of West African music and culture, the WAMAFest offers something for everyone. For more information on how you can get tickets, visit the website

Ivy Prosper

Digital Creator, Writer, Producer, Speaker