YouTube Music backs two Nigerian organisations dedicated to boosting the continent’s creative economy

YouTube Music today reaffirmed its commitment to supporting African creative voices by providing financial grants, capacity development training, and advisory services to two organizations that cultivate and export African creative talent.

Briteswan and iManage Africa Entertainment Limited will receive funding to help them scale up their initiatives to develop music creatives on the continent, as part of YouTube Music’s commitment to the development of the African creative industry.

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
  • 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 enabled African creatives to showcase their talents to a global audience, thereby creating jobs that can boost national economies. In 2020, the creative industry in Nigeria accounted for approximately 730 billion Naira (roughly 1.8 billion dollars) of Nigeria’s GDP. YouTube will enable the two organizations to scale their ongoing work to assist more young African creatives in learning and acquiring the skills needed to improve their craft and export their music to the rest of the world through this initiative.

“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.

YouTube has helped to highlight African culture and export it to a global audience in recent years. Burna Boy, who won the Grammy’s Global Music Award in 2021 with his album ‘Twice as Tall’ and has now been nominated for a Grammy Award for the third time, was featured 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 the development of ten local artists. Tems and Bella Shmurda were also chosen to participate in Foundry, YouTube Music’s international artist development program, in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

YouTube Music also increased its investments in Black communities by accepting applications for the #YouTubeBlackVoices Music Class of 2022, which aims to help Black artists, songwriters, and producers all over the world commercialize their work. The #YouTubeBlackVoices Music Class of 2022 includes eight African artists, songwriters, and producers.

“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.