Multimedia powerhouse, Paramount and its leading youth entertainment and music channel, MTV Base, hosted a discussion on the sustainable development of the Afrobeats music genre at the AfricaNXT conference, which was held recently in Lagos.
Headlined: “How Can Institutional Participation Help Sustain the Growth of Afrobeats?” The panel discussion sought to strike a balance between the involvement of both public and private sector stakeholders in the sustenance of the entertainment industry – particularly music. The session also underscored Paramount’s tireless commitment towards deepening the economic viability of the African creative economy and consolidating the relevance of the continent’s entertainment product globally.
The session was moderated by Pan-African Culture Squad member, Ilooise Omohinmin, and featured various entertainment industry experts and leaders including, Dr. Bada Akintunde-Johnson, Country Manager, Paramount; Dr. Seun Fakorede, Hon. Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Oyo State; Chinwe Greg-Egu, Senior Brand Manager, Heineken and Oyinkansola ‘Foza’ Fawehinmi, President, Digital Music Commerce and Exchange Ltd.
“The global acceptance of Afrobeats has significantly grown in recent years, and its continued relevance is important to Nigeria’s cultural and economic development. In lieu of this, there is a need to focus on creating the necessary policies and infrastructure to support artists and other stakeholders in the value chain. Only when the requisite structure is put in place can we ensure the music genre remains accessible, attractive, and rewarding to its creators and local consumers alike,” Dr. Bada Akintunde-Johnson, Country Manager, Paramount, said on the measures needed to sustain the growth of the African music industry.
“Through our youth entertainment channel brand, MTV Base, Paramount has provided meaningful exposure for Afrobeats over the last two decades. While we have indubitably played an instrumental role in ensuring that the quality of African music is elevated and subsequently recognised globally, we will continue to promote our local genres through our ever-expanding catalogue of shows that serve the varying spectrum of consumers,” Akintunde-Johnson added.
Addressing questions raised on policies that can support the growth of the Nigerian entertainment industry, Seun Fakorede confirmed that “There are no existing policies in place at the moment, and this is a contributing factor to the series of rip-offs affecting various levels of stakeholders in the industry.” He, however, lauded the platform for the conversation and offered assurances of working collaboratively with the private sector stakeholders to bridge the existing gaps and provide a sustainable clime for the music business to thrive.
Indeed, Afrobeats is one of Nigeria’s most significant exports, having penetrated global entertainment markets and transcended a way of life for many consumers. However, some stakeholders remain sceptical about sustaining the global acclaim of the genre.
Speaking on this, Greg-Egu remarked, “I believe that as the industry evolves, more variations to the genre will crop up, and this will grant the existing fans more options and sceptic reasons to fall in love with the genre.”
“Collaboration is the other piece of the puzzle. Every player in the industry must seek to foster collaboration between artists, record labels, private stakeholders, and governmental institutions,” Foza added to close out the session.
L-R: Dr Bada Akintunde-Johnson, Country Manager, Paramount; Chinwe Greg-Egu, Senior Brand Manager, Heineken; Ilooise Omohinmin, Pan-African Culture Squad member; Oyinkansola ‘Foza’ Fawehinmi, President, Digital Music Commerce and Exchange Limited, and Dr Seun Fakorede, Hon. Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Oyo State, at the Paramount and MTV Base session at AfricaNXT 2023 in Lagos.
About Paramount Africa
Multimedia entertainment powerhouse, Paramount offers the most comprehensive international broadcast portfolio on the African continent, reaching more than 100 million viewers across 48 territories in Africa. Paramount currently comprises ten separate T.V. channels and five consumer websites, as well as multiple mobile and social media sites. The company’s African business interests include content production and distribution, spot sales, 360-degree sponsorships, events, and mobile, digital and consumer products.