YouTube Music has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting African creative voices by providing financial grants, capacity development training and advisory to two organisations that nurture African creative talent and export it.
In keeping with YouTube Music's commitment to the development of the African creative industry, Briteswan and iManage Africa Entertainment Limited will receive support to help them scale up their initiatives to develop music creatives on the continent. This 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, while 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
“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”, says Addy Awofisayo, YouTube’s Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa.
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. In Nigeria, the creative industry accounted for roughly 730 billion Naira (roughly 1.8 billion dollars) of Nigeria's GDP in 2020. 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.
“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 recovery 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”, says Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s Minister of Youths and Sports Development.
Over the past few 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 program, Foundry in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
YouTube Music also deepened investments in Black communities by opening applications to the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2022, aimed at enabling Black artists, songwriters and producers worldwide to commercialise their work. Eight African artists, songwriters and producers were admitted to the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2022.
“We see the support given to the two Nigerian pan-African organizations as a partnership for the advancement of music creatives in Africa who in-turn will be key players that contribute positively towards the emerging creative sector in the continent”, Awofisayo concludes.