Music Business Africa (MBA) Returns For A Second Edition

A 5-month long course for aspiring music executives

The Music Business Africa (MBA) program has recorded great influence since being founded by Godwin Tom in 2020. Its earliest form was through an internship program in 2017, but as Afropop scaled new heights in global dominance, it was clear that more in-depth resources on the music business needed to be shared. 

This July, MBA will be returning for its second edition with a program that actively trains the incoming music executives across Africa. “As Africans, we must take the creation and distribution of our knowledge into our own hands,” says Elizabeth Sobowale, who’s the new programme director. “MBA for Africa plays an important role in ensuring that the knowledge of Africa’s music, creative and cultural industries are passed on to the future leaders, executives and creators of the continent.”


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Developed by iManage Africa, the MBA also partners with Music Ally and Dr. Carlos Chirinos of the Music Business Department at the New York University. YouTube Music will power this year’s edition. “Africa’s music industry produces some of the world’s most creative content and contributes significantly to global pop culture. This initiative enables the support of more creatives who will play a critical role in the continent’s fast growing creative economy. Additionally, It paves the way for the inclusion of more perspectives, which benefits the Africa and global musical landscape. It aligns with our values, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to support it,” says Addy Awofisayo, YouTube’s Head of Music in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“This is the most advanced music business programme on the continent, localised but with global, industry-standard best practices,” says Anthony Churchman, Music Ally’s commercial director. “It empowers Africa at the foundations: it starts with the people.”

Closing out in November 2022, the program will teach students about a range of music business trends and technologies, as well as giving them hands-on experience in releasing and promoting music to create sustainable careers for artists. Students will also communicate closely with experienced music industry executives, including a faculty drawn from all the different sectors of the business. The project also features the ‘Women’s Fund’, which continues the inaugural edition’s practice of parlaying the support of sponsors towards ensuring that at least 50% of this year’s participants are women. 

Godwin Tom recently moderated a panel at the NY:LON Connect industry conference about Africa’s music industries, which included a discussion about the importance of education to nurture young managers, lawyers, PR people and other roles there. The MBA also shares the same philosophy, even raising the stakes by incorporating practical tasks. In 2021, the inaugural students worked with five African artists in a ‘Talent Project’ that saw them release two EPs, including a crowdfunding campaign.

“When I started out in this industry, there was nowhere to learn about the business and so I, like many of my peers, had to make so many mistakes and it took me years to realise I had been doing so many things wrong,” says Godwin Tom. “The Music Business Academy for Africa has all the modules designed for creative music entrepreneurs to leverage and tap into the wide opportunities in Africa’s music and entertainment industry.”

Featured image credits/MBA

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