Universal Music Group (UMG) — the global leader in music entertainment — has announced some new additions to its African senior management structure to continue expanding its presence and strengthen its local music ecosystem.
According to an announcement, the worldwide music company has appointed music executives Sipho Dlamini, Elouise Kelly, and Chinedu Okeke to senior-level positions within Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Universal Music Nigeria.
“I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to further develop our domestic infrastructure and label rosters within Africa,” said UMG EVP of Market Development, Adam Granite in a press statement. “Most integral to achieving our long-term ambitions, is to build a strong leadership team on the ground, with deep foundations in each country to help grow a dynamic ecosystem for all to benefit in the future.”
The announcement shares that Dlamini has been promoted to CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, where he will continue to oversee all of UMG’s operations within English-speaking parts of Africa; Kelly has been appointed CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, where she will play an integral role in expanding Universal Music Africa and its operations and label divisions; and lastly, Okeke has been named Managing Director, Universal Music Nigeria, where he will lead the development of UMG’s existing operations within Nigeria, and other English-speaking markets in West Africa.
Under UMG’s new leadership structure, each territory within the company will continue to focus on local A&R and talent development through a unique variety of available services — including marketing, promotion, bespoke brand partnerships, recording facilities and live music promotion and booking through UMG’s ULive Africa division.
In addition to these appointments, UMG has also shared more plans for expansion in Africa to increase its streaming growth and promote more local artists, Bloomberg reports.
These expansion plans include tapping into more operations in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya later this year, according to Dlamini.
“We are thinking long term and looking to build lasting infrastructure in order to support African talent for years to come,” he told Bloomberg. “We want to expand the possibilities for that talent to reach new audiences around the world.”
As part of its strategy, UMG continues to help its established African talent reach new audiences internationally, including global phenomenons Tiwa Savage, Nasty C, Sauti Sol, and Tekno.
According to UMG, it has also previously agreed to a strategic partnership with Nigeria’s Aristokrat Records and Universal Music France to launch Def Jam Africa — a standalone label on the continent dedicated to discovering the best in African hip-hop, Afrobeats, and Trap music.
As a powerful global entity, UMG maintains its reputation for expanding the local music landscape in Africa, with a dedicated focus on building a fair and thriving market for all.
By developing and nurturing stronger partnerships with regional platforms, UMG stands to be a major playmaker in introducing African music to international audiences for years to come.