This week, YouTube released its inaugural class of African content creators set to receive a grant for the development of their channels from the global #YouTubeBlackVoices Fund.
In addition to the grant earmarked for content development, the 23 YouTubers (from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) will also take part in an intensive three-week incubator programme followed by bespoke training, workshops and networking programmes. These creators are part of 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021.
YouTube also announced that top African artistes; Fireboy DML, Sauti Sol and Sho Madjozi have been selected as part of 21 artists to join the #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021. The artists join others selected from the United States, Brazil, and Australia, whose music spans generations, and locations. The Artist Class of 2021 will receive dedicated partner support from YouTube, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participate in training and networking programs focused on production, fan engagement, and wellbeing.
“We’re excited to spotlight Black creatives from the African continent and amplify their voices as they create original content on our platform,” says Alex Okosi, MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA.
“African creators on YouTube are reshaping the power of our platform by providing a unique perspective on all manner of topics from fashion and comedy to politics, learning and wellness. Through their content, these creators continue to raise the bar for how others engage with their audiences and build community on our platform,” Okosi concludes.
This announcement comes after the October 2020 call for African creators to apply for #YouTubeBlackVoices funding as part of YouTube’s global, multi-year commitment aimed at nurturing Black creators and artists on YouTube. Over the next few years, YouTube plans to invest directly in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world in order to fulfil this commitment.