Initiative to impact 300 African music creators
An estimated 300 music creatives from across Africa are set to benefit from the investment initiative from YouTube Music, the world’s most popular online video community, after the company announced its plans to support African creative voices by providing financial grants, capacity development training and advisory to Briteswan and iManage Africa Entertainment Limited, two Nigerian organisations that nurture African creative talent and export it.
At the announcement on Tuesday, Youtube Music said it is committed to supporting the development of the African creative industry while noting that the two Nigerian pan-African organisations will receive support to help them scale up their initiatives to develop music creatives on the continent. The Google subsidiary also revealed that the move is set to directly impact an estimated 300 participants in initiatives led by these organisations.
Briteswan’s ‘The Audiogirl initiative’ seeks to economically empower women by closing the gender gap in the music creation segment. iManage Africa Entertainment Limited’s ‘Music Business Academy for Africa (MBA)’, is an initiative dedicated to developing a more informed and empowered workforce for the African music and entertainment industry
The Nigerian creative industry of today accounts for roughly $1.8 billion or N730 billion of Nigeria’s gross domestic products (GDP) in 2020 and over the past years, YouTube has helped spotlight African culture and export it to global audiences. Burna Boy who won the Grammy’s Global Music Award in 2021 with his album, ‘Twice as Tall’, and who has now been nominated for the third time for a Grammy Award, was spotlighted by YouTube as an Artist on the Rise in 2018.
In 2019, YouTube announced an initiative to support Nigerian artists in collaboration with Mr Eazi’s empawa Africa to support 10 local artists to develop their craft. Tems and Bella Shmurda were also selected to be part of YouTube Music’s international artist development programme, Foundry, in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Addy Awofisayo, YouTube’s head of music, sub-Saharan Africa, said, “We are committed to exporting African music to listeners across the world and want to continue to play our part in the development of the continent’s rapidly growing creative economy especially with respect to music.”
Awofisayo further reiterated how access to the internet has opened up opportunities for African creatives to display their talents to a global audience, thereby creating jobs that can boost national economies and stating that through this initiative YouTube will enable the two organisations to scale their ongoing work to help more young African creatives learn and acquire the skills to improve their craft and export their music to the world.
Also speaking on the initiative, Sunday Dare, minister of youths and sports development, said: “The rise of Nigeria’s globally celebrated musical artists points to the opportunities that exist in the creative economy. As we work towards the post-Covid 19 recoveries of industries, it is important to be intentional about unearthing brimming talent and potential among creatives – many of whom are young people. YouTube Music’s dedication to the growth of music creatives in the region is well-timed and commended.”