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The Recording Academy "Grammys" extends reach to Africa and The Middle East

The Recording Academy, known for the GRAMMY Awards, is expanding its global efforts to support music creators. To strengthen its presence and services in these rapidly growing music regions, the Academy has partnered with Ministries of Culture and key stakeholders in the Middle East and Africa.

Recording Academy announces Grammy Africa, endorsed by African Presidents

Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, expressed excitement about the initiative. "Music is one of humanity’s greatest natural resources," he said. "It is critical that the people who dedicate themselves to creating music have support, resources, and opportunities, no matter where they are from."

Over the past two years, Academy leaders have travelled through these regions, participating in listening sessions, high-level briefings, tours, and demonstrations. They gained insights directly from government ministries and music creators driving innovation in these markets.

The Academy is collaborating with the Ministries of Culture in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria, the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, the Rwanda Development Board, and the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture in South Africa. Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have also been signed with Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

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Key initiatives of these collaborations include:

  • Championing Music Creators: Providing a platform and advocacy for music creators at all levels.
  • Enhanced Training: Through its online learning platform, GRAMMY GO™, offering educational programs tailored to the needs of music creators in these regions.
  • Original Content Production: Celebrating the rich musical heritage and dynamic emerging scenes of Africa and the Middle East.
  • Support for Existing Members: Cross-cultural learnings to benefit all music creators, enhancing the Academy’s current and future members' experiences.
  • Advocacy for IP Protections: Promoting strong Intellectual Property legislation and protections for music creators.
  • Fueling the Music Economy: Collaborating with partners to develop and strengthen the creative economy in Africa and the Middle East.

The Academy will publish a series of reports highlighting research and insights into these music markets. Panos A. Panay, President of the Recording Academy, emphasised the global vision, stating, "Our expansion into these fast-growing regions reflects our commitment to fostering a truly global music community, where creators at every stage of their careers and from every corner of the world have the resources and support they need to thrive."

This initiative marks the first phase of the Academy’s global support plans. It coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards® and follows the first overseas GRAMMY Awards show in Seville.

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Last year, the Academy also partnered with the U.S. State Department on an initiative to promote peace through music.

Akosua Dentaa Amoateng MBE, a British-Ghanaian entrepreneur famed for her GUBA awards in the UK, has also taken to social media to celebrate the announcement whilst disclosing the role she played in this feat.

She said, "Finally, the news is out – Grammy Africa! As a senior consultant to the President and CEO of the Recording Academy (Grammys), we have been working behind the scenes for this historic moment."

"Over the past year and a half, I have had the privilege of working with the Grammys team to make this vision a reality with my brothers @liban_soleman @efe_one This journey has included organizing meetings with heads of state and leaders to ensure a successful global expansion.

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"I am incredibly thankful to be part of this historic milestone in the global expansion of the Recording Academy. Thank you @harveymasonjr for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!" she wrote on her Instagram page.

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