The Nile Project is pleased to announce that it has set sail on its first Africa
Tour and will be performing concerts and leading Nile sustainability workshops at
universities in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Egypt.
The tour follows the second Nile Gathering, which took place in Uganda from January
23 to February 13, 2014. During this musical residency, 14 musicians from Burundi,
Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda collaborated in writing and
composing songs inspired by the Nile Basin’s diverse musical traditions and
instruments. This music will be performed during the Africa Tour concerts and will
culminate in Jinja – the Nile Project’s second album.
In January 2013, the Nile Project held its first Nile Gathering in Aswan, Egypt.
After two sold out concerts in Aswan and Cairo, the project’s first album, Aswan,
was released. NPR Music named it one of the ‘5 Must-Hear International Albums of the
Fall’ and it was selected for Songlines ‘Top of the World’ annual collection.
“We were very happy that the Nile Project’s music struck a deep chord with our
Egyptian audiences last January,” said Mina Girgis, Nile Project Founder & Executive
Director. “This year, we built on this success by inviting a more diverse pool of
musicians, expanding our performance circuit to more Nile Basin countries, and
launching the project’s university education and innovation programs with partner
institutions. Based on our audience’s feedback after our Kampala premiere, it is
clear that the Nile Project is equally relevant in Uganda as it is in Egypt.”
By exposing audiences to the music of their river neighbors, these performances are
meant to foster cross-cultural empathy and inspire environmental curiosity among
Nile citizens. Despite ancient relations among East African civilizations, the 437
million citizens of the 11 nations sharing the longest river in the world have few
avenues to connect beyond their state borders. Polarized by strenuous political
relations and unhelpful media, most see the Nile as a water security question rather
than an opportunity for synergistic relations within one integrated watershed. At a
time when riparian tensions over the proposed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam have
captured headlines around the world, the Nile Project offers an alternative path for
dialogue and cooperation.
Along with the concerts, the Nile Project has begun to roll out a number of
university-based dialogue and education programs that build on this musical
inspiration to help students understand Nile-related development challenges in a
more systemic way. These programs begin with interactive Nile Workshops that allow
university students to reflect on their understanding of their river’s environmental
and cultural challenges. Other university activities include multidisciplinary
online courses, ecological and cultural mapping expeditions, student exchange
programs, Nile choirs, an annual short film festival and a virtual dialogue and
Acting as the capstone to the university programs, the Nile Prize will channel the
new understanding gained from the dialogue and education programs towards concrete
action by incentivizing students to develop innovative solutions to regional
challenges. Over the span of a year, the program will support university students
and faculty in the design and implementation of local solutions based on principles
of sustainable, community-centered design. More than just an award, the prize will
guide students through a series of educational and skills-based trainings,
community-focused exercises, and transboundary collaborations. The intention will be
to build the capacity of students, civil society organizations, and communities with
the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to collaboratively design and deliver
new innovations that improve the multifaceted sustainability the Nile Basin.
Following the upcoming workshops, the Nile Project will hold information sessions to
launch the inaugural Nile Prize and introduce the 2014 ‘Food sustainability’ theme.
The Nile Project is also currently planning tours to Europe in summer 2014 and North
American in winter 2015.