Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced that it’s expanding its presence and operations in French-speaking Africa. Efforts in the western Africa region will be led by Moussa Soumbounou, who has been appointed Managing Director. The veteran executive, artist manager and live promoter will report to Olivier Nusse, CEO of Universal Music France and be based out of a new Universal Music Africa (UMA) office in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). His territories will include 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.
Artists recently signed to UMA include include Kiff No Beat and DJ Arafat from Ivory Coast, Toofan from Togo and Locko and Tenor from Cameroon.
Said Nusse in announcing the appointment: “Moussa Soumbounou and his team … will not only help us to discover and release new talent throughout Africa and other French-speaking markets around the world, but will also increase the creative, commercial, digital and live opportunities available for these artists locally, in France and now globally.”
The African continent has seen its influence in pop culture grow in recent years, from music (among the new talents to emerge are Davido and Wizkid) to movies (“Black Panther”).