The 2021 Accountability Music Awards (AMAs), a collaboration between Accountability Lab, the ONE Campaign and the African Union (AU), to honour African musicians whose music call out the vice of corruption or advocates for good governance through the fight against corruption, is now open for nominations.
The AMAs offer a platform for conscious musicians to inspire citizens in demanding greater transparency and accountability from institutions, corporations and the African citizenry.
It also recognises the critical role music plays in getting citizens involved in anti-corruption reform by shifting norms and behaviours.
Nominations should include artists who express a clear and cohesive idea centred around accountability. Their songs should encourage citizen engagement, solidarity with social justice efforts and reinforce the values of democratic and accountable societies.
Five finalists will be selected for a continent-wide, public vote, with the overall winner announced on the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, 2021.
Accountability Lab Executive Director, Blair Glencorse, said the AMAs, which ran for the first time in 2019, are an exciting way to begin to shift norms: “We’re looking for artists who are using their voices to engage citizens around critical challenges in their societies. The more we can do to celebrate and lift them up, the more we can begin to popularise their messages and shift understandings of the problems”.
Executive Director of ONE in Africa, Edwin Ikhoria, said: “These AMAs aim to celebrate and honour a zealous young generation of artists in Africa who are using music as a tool to increase public consciousness and inspire its people. These awards play a critical role in stirring a sense of purpose and elevating the messaging needed to develop a continent such as ours.”
Charity Nchimunya, the Executive Secretary of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC), observed that ‘Music is a such a powerful tool in connecting people across different divides, and through the AMAs, young and old alike can be connected with one voice in promoting integrity, accountability and anti-corruption. Are you that young artist that can help in connecting people to say no to corruption? If yes, stand up and be counted’.
The AMAs previously celebrated Chioma “Cill” Ogbonna, a Nigerian-based musician, and her song “All You’ve Got” as the overall winner. The song encourages citizens to take an active role in pushing for social and political reform in Nigeria. Fellow Nigerian and hip-hop legend Folarin Falz, real name Folarin Falana, came in second with his song ‘Talk,’ which challenges the promises of security and economic prosperity offered by Nigerian policy-makers. Kenyan Afro-pop group Sauti Sol, Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara and Zimbabwean dancehall artist Platinum Prince were also among the award finalists.