YouTube on Tuesday announced its expansion efforts to support creators and the creative economy in Africa with $20,000 and $50,000 respectively through the 2023 #YouTubeBlack Voices creators and artist cohorts.
The Managing Director, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, Alex Okosi, said in a statement that the initiative from YouTube was a follow-up to a global, multi-year commitment made in 2020.
Okosi said the grant was intended to uplift and grow Black creators, artists, songwriters, and producers on the platform.
According to him, YouTube is seriously interested in the growth of the creative community in Africa.
He said that for the creators, artists, songwriters and producers that would be joining this third cohort, it would go beyond the initial training to measure success with them over a long-term period.
Okosi also stated that it would ensure that the creators achieved sustained success.
He said 40 creators from Sub-Saharan Africa would be part of the 135 #YouTubeBlack Voices creators selected globally that enrolled into the cohort.
He said that among the 23 #YouTubeBlack Voices Artists selected for the programme were African fast-rising musical artists, Gyakie from Ghana, Kamo Mphela from South Africa, Asake from Nigeria, and BNXN from Nigeria.
He said, “As support from YouTube, grantees will receive $20,000 and $50,000 as seed funding.”
Okosi added that the creators would receive dedicated partner support for six months and have the opportunity to participate in programmes including bespoke training, workshops and networking programmes spread out across the year.
“We are excited about the creators, musical artists and producers from Africa joining others from across the world in the 2023 #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.
“The initiative is dedicated to equipping up-and-coming Black creators and artists with the resources to succeed on our platform,” he said
According to him, the cohort will also include Hip Hop producer MashBeatz from South Africa and Nairobi-based producer, Ukweli, who will be joining 17 #YouTubeBlack Voices songwriters and producers globally.
Okosi said the artists, songwriters, and producers joining the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2023 would be required to set goals, develop content strategy, and engage with their fans on YouTube, with the assistance of a YouTube partner manager.
According to him, there would be networking opportunities with other artists, songwriters, and producers included in the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.
Okosi said that there would also be a chance to maximise the impact of their channels as they provide catalogue-development opportunities.
He said over the next few years, YouTube would be directly investing in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world.
“It is to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development through the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.”