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Recording Academy meets Rwandan creatives as expansion plan takes shape

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The Recording Academy’s expansion plan to support music creators in Rwanda and other African countries looks promising after the academy delegation, headed by CEO Harvey Mason Jr., traveled to Rwanda for the inaugural Recording Academy Africa steering committee meeting.

The meeting, which sets the stage for the establishment of a Grammy’s Recording Academy in Africa, attracted different government officials and stakeholders in the creative industry.

Minister of Youth and Arts Jean Nepo Abdallah Utumatwishima, Minister of State for Youth and Arts Sandrine Umutoni, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) CEO Francis Gatare, British-Rwandan choreographer Sherrie Silver, Isaano Positive Production boss Judo Kanobana and Rwandan musician Mighty Popo among others.

It is reported that officials responsible for culture in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, three of the countries whose music plays a big influence on the continent, also took part in the meeting.

On the first day of the visit, the Academy team toured BK Arena and held discussions with QA Solutions which manages the facility. The same venue could potentially host for the first time the Grammy Awards which will be exclusive for African musicians.

“It might not come to Kigali this year, but maybe next year. It is a project which is in pipeline,” one of the creatives who attended the meeting told The New Times.

In a meeting with different stakeholders in the creative industry, the member of the Recording Academy discussed strategic initiatives to enhance industry growth by leveraging the unique roles and insights of local artists.

According to RDB, the Academy’s Africa steering committee meetings in Kigali focused on plans to operationalise the Africa Academy, drawing from lessons of the Recording Academy’s expansion in Latin America.

“The founding members of the academy also committed to working together to realize the mission of elevating Africa’s music and culture on the global stage,” the post added.

Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, and Nigeria, will form the backbone in the actualization of a recording academy in the continent.

Through the partnerships, the Recording Academy will focus on several key initiatives including providing creators with a platform and advocacy, offering training like its online learning platform GRAMMY GO, and producing original content.

The partnerships are also set to act as a wakeup call to creators in Africa and the Middle East to take advantage of cross-cultural learnings from the Recording Academy and benefit from its advocacy for strong intellectual property (IP) legislation and protections.

This exploration into the Middle East and Africa is the Academy’s first phase of plans to support music creators abroad, which comes the same year as the Academy celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Latin Grammy Awards, and months after Seville hosted the Latin Grammy Awards, the first Grammy Awards show to be held overseas.


The New Times

The New Times

The New Times

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