Universal Music expands strategic operations in Africa, signs new artists

Universal Music Africa opens new division in Côte d’Ivoire, kicking off an expansion of live music activity throughout the continent in partnership with Vivendi and CanalOlympia.
Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, has announced a significant expansion in French-speaking Africa, with the launch of a new strategic division in the regional market with a focus on discovering and supporting local music talent in order to maximize the commercial opportunities for artists and labels throughout French-speaking Africa to reach audiences globally.
The team will be led by experienced music industry executive, artist manager and live promoter, Moussa Soumbounou, who has been appointed as MD, Western Africa effective immediately.
Moussa Soumbounou will report to Olivier Nusse, CEO, Universal Music France and operate from a new Universal Music Africa (UMA) office in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and covering Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles and Togo.

The new Universal Music team recently organised French tours for African artists including Tenor from Cameroon (pictured) / Photo: © Universal Music Group 
Recent artist signings to the label include Kiff No Beat and DJ Arafat from Côte d’Ivoire, Toofan from Togo and Locko and Tenor from Cameroon.
Within French-speaking Africa, the new Universal Music team has also been highly active within the live sector over the past few months, organizing a Pan-African tour for French urban legend Niska, and French tours for African artists including Tenor.
Universal Music Group is also working closely in partnership with parent company Vivendi, and several of its divisions including CanalOlympia, Vivendi Village, Canal+ and Havas to support and develop the live music industry ecosystem throughout the continent.
This new division will work in partnership with existing UMG operations including North African territories and alongside key markets across English-speaking Africa that will offer artists comprehensive opportunities throughout the region and provide pan-African talent the best possible launch pad for wider international success.
© Universal Music Group

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