Now in its second year, MBA for Africa is the brainchild of iManage Africa founder Godwin Tom, a Nigerian talent manager who has worked with African stars such as Wizkid and Davido.
The initiative was developed by iManage Africa in partnership with Music Ally, YouTube Music and Dr. Carlos Chirinos from New York University. This year’s program will be led by the new MBA Program Director, Elizabeth Sobowale.
“As Africans, we need to take ownership of the creation and dissemination of our knowledge,” Sobowale said. “The MBA for Africa plays an important role in ensuring that knowledge of Africa’s music, creative and cultural industries is passed on to the continent’s future leaders, executives and creators.”
Tom said: “When I first started in this industry there was nowhere to learn about the business and so like many of my peers I had to make so many mistakes and I It took years to realize that I had done so many things wrong.”
The program will run from July to November 2022. It will educate participants on a range of music industry trends and technologies and give them hands-on experience in music delivery and promotion to create sustainable careers for the artists. They will also be able to choose the brains of senior music industry executives, including faculty from different areas of the business.
The project announced its Women’s Fund last year, which aims to ensure that at least 50% of participants are women. The first edition saw the program reach its 40% target thanks to the contribution of sponsors.
The MBA was first established as an internship program in 2017, later becoming a talent management training program and the comprehensive music business training initiative that launched last year.
“Africa’s music industry produces some of the most creative content in the world and contributes significantly to global pop culture,” said Addy Awofisayo, YouTube’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa. “This initiative supports more creatives who will play a vital role in the continent’s fast-growing creative economy. Moreover, it paves the way for the inclusion of more perspectives, which benefits the African and global music landscape. This aligns with our values and we are delighted to have the opportunity to support it.
Learn more about the program here.