Senegal: Digital trainings empower women in the music industry

The music of Senegal is known for its diversity and hybridity, ranging from ancient traditional melodies to popular contemporary tunes. As a vibrant hub of African music, the country has nurtured numerous brilliant musicians. Yet, the gender gap in education and access hinders women’s participation in the dynamic Senegalese musical scene. 

DigitELLES, a project funded by "You Are Next" UNESCO | Sabrina Ho Initiative, combats stereotypes and empower women to fight against discrimination in the music industry. Launched by a local NGO,Africulturban, the project aims to enhance the professional competence of 20 young female musicians as well as to help them establish micro-enterprises.

A comprehensive digital training programme, designed to strengthen technical and artistic skills, includes classes in music theory, musical copyright, and music business. The training module puts particular emphasis on digital proficiency such as mix audio technology in creation order to address the technical barriers female musicians often face. “Women usually have fewer educational opportunities compared to men. We don’t have schools or universities providing professional musical trainings, which is a major reason limiting women’s access to the music industry,” said Dieynaba Sidibe, project coordinator, “We try to bring chances to women to develop their full potential in the music industry.”   

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Urban Women Week, a cultural festival organized by Africulturban, provided occasions for trainees to apply their recently acquired knowledge. During the 9th edition of the festival, held from the 2nd to 8th March 2020 in Dakar, over 20 events were successfully organized by DigitELLES beneficiaries.

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