Jazz initiative for youth empowerment launched

The College of The Arts (Cota), in collaboration with the Unesco national office, have announced their plans to jointly run a ten-month pilot programme on jazz and digitisation.

This was confirmed by Unesco Southern Africa director Nisha निशा during a colloquium held at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre in Windhoek on Monday.

The colloquium convened a gathering of jazz industry experts, sparking discussions aimed at exploring avenues for job creation among Namibian youth.

“Recent statistics have noted that 71,1% of Namibia is under the age of 35 years. There is also data indicating increasing youth unemployment in the country,” Nisha said.

In her view, the Namibian youth’s energy can be harnessed through the use of music, culture and creative industries as tools.

“I am pleased that the Unesco National Office will be working with Namibia’s Cota to introduce a pilot programme on jazz and digitalisation, targeting young people,” Nisha said.

“This pilot programme aims to encourage an appreciation for traditional Namibian jazz, while stimulating creativity and innovation using digital technologies,” she said.

This Pilot Youth Music Programme will run for 10 months, from May 2024 to February 2025.

“We hope that it will support creativity, increase awareness and understanding of traditional Namibian music, and use technology for the expansion of the music genre in Namibia,” Nisha said.

The Pilot Youth Music Programme is expected to deliver technical knowledge and skill-building to help young musicians strengthen Namibian traditional music and folk songs.

“It is envisaged that the top three compositions will be featured during International Jazz Day celebrations in 2025,” Nisha said.
“With these expectations, I am honored to launch the Unesco/Cota Pilot Youth Music Programme,” she concluded.

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