Universal Music Expands Into French-Speaking Africa

Universal Music Group logo.
Courtesy of UMG

Universal Music Group logo.

Universal Music Group has opened a new office in Côte d’Ivoire's largest city, Abidjan, that will be tasked with boosting the label group across markets in French-speaking Africa. Leading the new strategic division will be veteran music exec Moussa Soumbounou, who has been appointed managing director, Western Africa and will report to Universal Music France chief Olivier Nusse.

"I am delighted to announce the expansion of our strategic operations across Africa under the leadership of Moussa Soumbounou and his team, which will not only help us to discover and release new talent throughout Africa and other French-speaking markets around the world, but will also increase the creative, commercial, digital and live opportunities available for these artists locally, in France and now globally," commented Nusse.

The company said Soumbounou and his team will focus on discovering local talent across the region; recent signings include Kiff No Beat, Locko and Toofan, among others. The new division will also work closely with existing UMG operations in non-French speaking parts of the continent.

Soumbounou's Western Africa operation will cover Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles and Togo.