Online video-sharing giant, YouTube has rolled out its 2023 #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund to support creators and the creative economy in Africa with $20000 and $50000 respectively as seed funding.
In a statement, Alex Okosi, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, said that the initiative was a follow-up to a global, multi-year commitment which began in 2020. The grant is intended to uplift and encourage Black creatives such as artists, songwriters, content creators and producers on YouTube. “We are seriously interested in the growth of the creative community in Africa. For the creators, artists, songwriters and producers that will be joining this third cohort, we will go beyond the initial training to measure our success with them over a long-term period, thereby ensuring that they achieve sustained success,” said Okosi.
Okosi said that 40 creators from Sub-Saharan Africa would be part of the 135 #YouTubeBlack Voices Creators selected globally that enrolled into the 2023 cohort, among them are African fast-rising musical acts like Gyakie from Ghana, Kamo Mphela from South Africa, Asake from Nigeria and BNXN from Nigeria.
“The artists, songwriters, and producers joining the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2023 will be required to set goals, develop a content strategy, and engage with their fans on YouTube, with the assistance of a YouTube partner manager.
In addition to the grant, Okosi said that the cohort would receive dedicated partnership support for six months and have the opportunity to participate in programmes including bespoke training, workshops and networking programmes spread out across the year.
Okosi stated that the funding is part of YouTube’s long-term plan to directly invest in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world.