The closing event of the 4th IMC World Forum on Music consisted of an exciting showcase presenting traditional and modern Estonian music, included a short visit to the KUMU museum as well as speeches from Helen Lancaster, Henrik Melius and Einar Solbu.
However, the highlight of the evening – and all organisers of the WFM were very proud to have him at the forum – was Youssou N’Dour, he held a moving speech drawing a clear picture of the Africa’s problems related to the empowerment of the creative economy whilst at the same time the power of the creative industries in addressing social problems. The main issue as Youssou explained was that “many African countries have not understood yet, that music, dance, visual arts handicraft and fashion are pillars of the creative economy”. Therefore it is neccessary for develop functional frameworks for musicto be developed involving the governments to support national producers, stabilise the art sector and protect artists and their rights. As music is a strong tool for social change and inclusion and a great facilitator of growth he developed the idea of a “fund for the promotion and dissemination and creation of African music in order to let it contribute to the efforts of development” and appealed to IMC to support this, as African governments have not yet understood the importance of structured cultural support, and even more so beacause that there is a lack of knowledge about the tools of development. There were many positive comments from the audience, following the speech, especially agreement from participants from Africa who face the problems Youssou mentioned in their everyday work. The closing discussion and question round emphasised the consequences of the problems, a new approaches for tackling the problems were debated.