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Recording Academy Announces Global Expansion Efforts in Africa and the Middle East

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The Recording Academy, the organization behind the GRAMMY Awards, is embarking on a path to extend its efforts to support music creators on a global scale. The Academy has agreements with Ministries of Cultures and key stakeholders across the Middle East and Africa to collaborate on a framework to bolster the Academy’s presence and services in these rapidly growing music regions.

“This is exciting because music is one of humanity’s greatest natural resources,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “It is critical that the people who dedicate themselves to creating music have support, resources and opportunities, no matter where they are from.”

For the past two years, the Academy’s leaders have traveled throughout these regions, participated in listening sessions, received high-level briefings, tours, demonstrations, and obtained insight directly from both the governmental ministries and music creators driving innovation in these markets.

The Academy is working with the Ministries of Culture in Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Nigeria, the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture in South Africa. Additionally, MOUs have been signed with Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Through these collaborations, and in alignment with our mission, the Academy looks to explore several key initiatives, including:

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Championing music creators at all levels, providing them with a platform and advocacy.

Empowering creators through enhanced training. Through its online learning platform, GRAMMY GO™, the Academy will look to provide educational programs and resources specifically tailored to the needs of music creators in these regions.

Producing original content that celebrates the rich musical heritage and dynamic emerging scenes of Africa and the Middle East.

Enhancing support for existing members. Cross-cultural learnings will benefit all music creators, and a presence in these rapidly growing music regions would provide numerous benefits to the Recording Academy’s current and future members.

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Advocating for strong Intellectual Property (IP) legislation and protections for music creators.

Fueling the music economy by collaborating with partners to develop and strengthen the creative economy in Africa and the Middle East.

As a cornerstone of this initiative, the Academy will publish a series of reports, highlighting the Academy’s research and insights into these music markets.

“The Recording Academy is dedicated to supporting music creators around the world,” said Panos A. Panay, Recording Academy President. “Our expansion efforts into these fast-growing regions reflect our commitment to fostering a truly global music community, where creators at every stage of their careers and from every corner of the world have the resources and support they need to thrive.”

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This exploration into the Middle East and Africa is only the first phase of plans to support music creators abroad and comes the same year the Academy celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards®, and months after Seville hosted the Latin GRAMMY Awards, the first GRAMMY Awards show to be held overseas. Also, last year, the Recording Academy partnered with the U.S. State Department on an initiative to promote peace through music.

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