United States-based online and video sharing hub and social media platform, YouTube has announced expansion efforts to support content creators and the creative economy in Africa with $20,000 and $50,000, respectively, through the 2023 #YouTubeBlack Voices creators and artist cohorts.
YouTube’s Managing Director, Emerging Markets, for Europe, Middle East (EMEA), Alex Okosi, said in a statement that the initiative from his company was a follow-up to a global, multi-year commitment made in 2020.
Okosi said that 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, adding that 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 and BNXN from Nigeria.
“As support from YouTube, grantees will receive $20,000 and $50,000 as seed funding,” Okosi said.
He added that they 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.
Okosi that 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 will be networking opportunities with other artists, songwriters, and producers included in the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.
“It is to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development through the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund,” he concluded.