Music Crossroads Academy Zimbabwe director Melody Zambuko

HARARE – Music Crossroads Academy Zimbabwe has been named as the winner of the 2023 UNESCO-Bangladesh Prize for the Creative Economy.

The prize, named after the father of the Bengali nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, awards individuals, institutions, entities or NGOs that devise and deliver innovative projects or programmes promoting youth entrepreneurship in the creative economy.

The prize gives priority to initiatives that promote entrepreneurship among women, migrant and diaspora communities.

It also contributes directly to the UNESCO Priority Gender Equality Action Plan and the UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth.

The $50 000 prize will be awarded to Music Crossroads Academy Zimbabwe director Melody Zambuko in Paris, France, on 6 June, for the Music Crossroads Academies Business School project, which was funded by the Music In Africa Foundation’s Sound Connects Fund (SCF).

“I am elated and I still cannot believe it myself,” Zambuko told Music In Africa. “My team is equally exhilarated. Since its establishment in 1997, Music Crossroads has executed several projects whose agenda was to promote and develop youth initiatives using music as a tool. We achieved gains in several ways but this particular achievement is phenomenal. It is historic and I am excited to be a part of this history.”

SCF project lead Katlego Taunyane applauded Music Crossroads Academy’s work in Southern Africa, where the organisation has established centres in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to provide hybrid music business education programmes.

“The SCF is enabling organisations and individuals in the creative sector to embark on projects that are not only creative in nature but that have the potential to impact livelihoods, levels of income and to boost economic development,” he said.

“The fund has enabled organisations to participate and demonstrate how artistic projects are not only aesthetically pleasing but are also vehicles for empowering young women and men with skills to compete on the international stage and enter new markets.”

Taunyane added that the academy’s win was based on relentless hard work and dedication to Africa’s creative and cultural industries.
“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that with the right organisational support and resources, actors in the creative industry can do much more.

The SCF team is immensely proud to see a grantee being recognised for the impact they have made with their SCF-supported project,” he said. — By

The Sound Connects Fund is an initiative of the Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) and Goethe-Institut. It is made possible with funding from the ACP-EU Culture Programme(link is external), a project implemented by the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and funded by the European Union (EU). The fund is also co-funded by Goethe-Institut and Siemens Stiftung.

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