The agreement was signed by Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Hanne-Marie Kaarstad, and the Busara Promotions Director, Yusuf Mahmoud, at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Kaarstad said Busara Promotions has been Norway’s longstanding partner and the embassy has given financial support since 2009.
Norway, she said, has seen the organization’s strong potential of creating positives changes in the society, and the importance of the organization’s work for the culture sector for not only Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland, but also for East Africa in general.
"Busara Promotions has a good reason for being proud of its roots in Zanzibar and the strong identity their annual Sauti za Busara festival has with the islands," she said.
"They are doing an important job in promoting cultural diversity, promoting cultural exchange, and at the same time respect the context of the society."
"They manage well to place equal emphasis upon respect for local culture and tradition, and the integrity of artists by recognizing that there are intrinsic tensions but also potential positives dynamics between these two sets of stakeholders. It is important to maintain good relations, build understanding and mutual respect in order to strengthen and develop African music traditions."
Mahmoud said the Norwegian Embassy has provided core-funding for Busara Promotions for almost nine years, enabling strategic planning, strengthening administration and financial procedures and ongoing production activities for the annual Sauti za Busara music festival.
He said Busara Promotions is delighted that the support is set to continue for the coming year.
He said the Sauti za Busara festival has been slated for February 8-11, next year and its website boasts of an impressive line-up already confirmed the 2018 edition.
The participants in the festival include 20 groups from Tanzania and more from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Egypt, Sudan, The Gambia, Reunion, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland.
"Outreach events are also highly anticipated such as the ever -popular Carnival Parade, networking meetings for music professionals, cross-cultural collaborations and a wealth of Busara Xtra fringe events as organized by the local community," he said.
The director also said tickets’ prices are extremely generous for Tanzanians, with substantial discounts also available for East African Community residents and African passport holders.
"However, income from tickets covers only 30% of costs, with the balance paid through donors and commercial sponsorship. This year, the festival is facing a potentially crippling shortfall. Busara still urgently needs partners and sponsors to be sure of going ahead in 2018," Mahmoud said.
According to Mahmoud, the festival line-up includes Kasai Allstars (DRC), Zakes Bantwini (South Africa), Mlimani Park Orchestra (Tanzania), Ribab Fusion (Morocco), Alsarah & the Nubatones (Sudan/USA), Msafiri Zawose (Tanzania), Mohamed Ilyas & Nyota Zameremeta (Zanzibar), Kidum & the Boda Boda Band (Burundi/Kenya), Afrikan Boy (Nigeria/UK), Makadem (Kenya), Matona’s Cultural Band (Zanzibar/Tanzania), Maulidi ya Homa ya Mtendeni (Zanzibar), and Inganzo Ngari (Rwanda).
Others are Diana Samkange ‘Mangwenya’ (Zimbabwe), Mzungu Kichaa (Tanzania), Segere Original (Tanzania), Jally Kebba Susso (The Gambia), El Dey (Algeria), Simangavole (Reunion), Kiltir (Reunion), Maia & the Big Sky (Kenya), Fatma Zidan (Egypt/Denmark), Simbin Project (Switzerland), CAC Fusion (Tanzania), and Ernest Ikwanga (Malawi).
The line-up also includes Grace Matata (Tanzania), Mbanaye (Malawi), Isack Abeneko (Tanzania), Matona’s Afdhal Group (Zanzibar/Norway), Safi Theatre (Tanzania), Siti & the Band (Zanzibar), Mapanya Band (Zanzibar), Zanzibar Taarab Ensemble (Zanzibar) and more to be confirmed.