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Universal Music Group, Boomplay Expand License to Cover 47 Nations Across Africa

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Boomplay, the leading music streaming and download service based in Africa and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced a new landmark licensing agreement that will extend licensing of UMG’s global music catalog from 7 to 47 countries across the African continent, as part of an extended relationship that will benefit African musicians and talent and expand the listening experience for Boomplay users across Africa.

In 2018, UMG became the first major global music company to license music to the service, which has continued to grow its audience reach and influence across Africa in recent years. Boomplay’s catalog currently stands at more than 50 million tracks and it boasts the largest repertoire of local African content globally, with 50million monthly active users (MAU). The renewal and expansion of this licensing deal with UMG, will enable African music fans across the continent to experience the best in both domestic African and International talent.

As one of the first entrants in Africa, Boomplay has been at the forefront of the music streaming market since 2015 and has a deep understanding of the local market. Now the leading African platform, in December 2020, Boomplay surpassed the 100 million app downloads milestone on Google Play. During this time, Boomplay has supported numerous African artists, across a variety of projects, including: The “concert of the year” – which saw UMG-signed Nigerian singer songwriter Tiwa Savage shut down Lagos with her debut performance of 49-99 and saw Boomplay invest in the first-ever documentary film focused on the history of Afrobeats.

Boomplay also gave away 250 million megabytes of data to users free of charge, so they could stream music online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Boomplay and UMG East Africa held conferences that brought together industry stakeholders to find ways of growing and supporting the African music community even further, as highlighted by Boomplay’s announcement to commit $1 million to support up-and-coming artists from the continent.

This agreement underscores UMG’s ongoing commitment to support and grow Africa’s domestic music ecosystems, while also creating new opportunities for Pan-African talent to reach new audiences domestically, regionally and around the world.

Over the past 5 years, UMG has taken a holistic approach to expanding operations across the continent, opening new divisions in Nigeria, as well as becoming the first major music company to establish divisions in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco alongside UMG’s longstanding operations in South Africa. This presence will continue to grow throughout 2021 and beyond, as UMG continues to further extend the company’s ability to support domestic artists on the ground across Africa and globally.

Boomplay users will now have access to UMG’s extensive catalog of both local and global recording artists and labels including: Tiwa Savage (Nigeria), Nasty C (SA), Mi Casa (SA), Sauti Sol (Kenya), Cassper Nyovest (SA), Toofan (Togo), Tekno (Nigeria), Suspect 95 (Côte d’Ivoire), Brenda Fassie (SA), Tenor (Cameroon), Black Coffee (SA), Dena Mwana (DRC), Singuila (DRC), Locko (Cameroon), Hugh Masekela (SA), Charlotte Dipanda (Cameroon), Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania), Alpha P (Nigeria), Tomi Owo (Nigeria), Cysoul (Cameroon), Major League Djz (SA), Fior De Bior (Côte d’Ivoire), Larry Gaaga (Nigeria), Prince Kaybee (SA) alongside international artists from the world’s largest music catalog including: Da Baby, Drake, Lil Baby, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish, Booba, Dadju, Tasha Cobbs, Niska, Lionel Richie, Rihanna, Motown’s Catalog and Bob Marley.

UMG’s African Labels will also be supported under the new agreement including: Def Jam Africa, the continent’s first label dedicated entirely to the best in African hip-hop, afrobeat and trap music which launched in five countries in 2020, Motown Gospel Africa, AI Records, Afroforce1 and other distributed labels including: Kalawa Jazzmee, Aristokrat, Family Tree and Soulistic amongst others. The agreement also includes artists and labels distributed via Electromode and Ingrooves Music Group within the continent.

Recent projects include the release of Rhythms Of Zamunda: Music Inspired By Coming 2 America. The acclaimed 16-track Def Jam Africa compilation traces a musical roadmap through Western, Eastern, and South African soundscapes, introducing listeners to some of the continent’s most exciting artists was released last week.

Boomplay’s Director of Content & Strategy, Phil Choi, added “Since our original deal with UMG, the African music industry has seen exponential growth and made huge strides towards being the next powerhouse that it should be. We’re excited to continue partnering with the UMG team to help promote their African and international artists by bringing their catalogue to even more regions across Africa.

Franck Kacou, Managing Director, Universal Music Africa, who lead’s Universal Music Group’s activity across French-speaking Africa said, “We are excited for our artists and labels to be available now to music fans across these 25 French speaking countries, but also to reach audiences across the rest of the continent. Africa is rich with artistic talent and musical culture and continues to inspire millions of Africans for whom music is an essential part of their daily lives. Working alongside Boomplay, we will help introduce these talents to new audiences, as the appetite for music continues to grow throughout these countries.”

Sipho Dlamini, CEO, Universal Music Group, South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “We are delighted to expand our relationship with Boomplay, who over the past few years have shown themselves to be dedicated to providing the best in music to fans across the continent. Through this extended agreement, Boomplay will now help supply improved access to the world’s largest and most diverse music catalog to their broad user base, as we continue to introduce the best in African and international music to the rapidly growing streaming audience across Africa.”

Tosin Sorinola, Director of Artist and Media relations said, “We are very optimistic that this expansion will further embed the blossoming relationship between both parties. As a platform, we are committed to ensuring that we help artists spread their music and that our users have access to all the music they love wherever they are. This expansion will afford us an opportunity to help open up more music to our users and opportunities for artists in the new regions.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Dangote Commits $700M To Sugar Production In Support of Backward Integration Policy

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Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc

The management of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has said it is committing over $700m to its sugar projects to support the Backward Integration Policy of the Federal Government to make Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by Dangote Industries Limited, the company disclosed this to visiting members of the Nasarawa House of Assembly on Friday.

The company noted that Nigeria was one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest importers of sugar, second only to South Africa with an annual import of over $337m.

The Dangote Sugar management however assured the lawmakers that with the completion of its sugar projects in Nasarawa and Adamawa under the BIP, the nation would be saved more than half of the forex expended on sugar imports annually.

It added that the investment would also lift its people as other people-oriented infrastructures would come with the sugar projects.

The state lawmakers commended the Dangote Group for the choice of the state for the project and the accelerated pace with which the project was being executed, despite occasional delays arising from communal disagreements.

General Manager for the BIP, Dangote Sugar, John Beverley said when the factory was fully operational, it would have the capacity to crush 12,000 tons of cane per day, while 90MW power would be generated for both the company’s use and host communities.

He also disclosed that some 500km roads in all would be constructed to ease transportation within the vicinity. He solicited the support of the lawmakers in controlling the menace of land encroachment by settlers and itinerant farmers.

The Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Abdullah, and his team members, who were conducted around the company’s 78,000 hectares BIP in Tunga Awe Local Government Area commended the company for the project.

Abdullah noted that it would not only open up opportunities in the state but in Africa as a whole, and said the lawmakers were ready to partner and support the company towards the realisation of the sugar project through the relevant legislation.

When phase II of the project is completed, according to the company, it will make it the largest sugar refining plant in Africa.

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French Trade Advisors pledge Massive Investment In Lagos Free Zone

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The Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur (French Foreign Trade Advisors) has expressed readiness to invest massively in the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) being developed by the Tolaram Group as they endorsed the zone as the ideal industrial destination for French businesses in Nigeria.

This was made known on Thursday, April 15, 2021, during a visit to the Lagos Free Zone. The delegation led by the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, His Excellency Jerome Pasquier accompanied by his Economic Advisor, the Consulate General of France in Lagos and the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur comprising of CEOs of several French businesses in Nigeria.

Speaking during the visit, the Ambassador of France in Nigeria, His Excellency Jerome Pasquier explained that the aim of the visit of the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur to Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) was to discover the opportunities in the Lagos Free Zone and the Lekki Port project, which is expected to have a huge positive impact on businesses in Nigeria.

Pasquier commended Tolaram Group, the promoter of the zone, for the foresight of integration of Lekki Port into the master plan of the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), which would serve as the gateway for import and export from the zone thereby giving businesses in the zone a competitive edge.

The Ambassador also commended the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) for its Master Plan for the zone which includes world-class infrastructure that is in line with its vision to be the preferred industrial hub and investment destination in West Africa.

“I am impressed by the huge size of the Lagos Free Zone project. We are very happy that the French companies will be deeply involved in this Lagos Free Zone project. It is really impressive to see how ambitious this project is. The French Minister was in Nigeria yesterday and I explained to him that Nigeria is a country where we can have big projects. For us, this project means big opportunities and that explains why we need to be here. We are happy to be here and work with Tolaram Group”, he added.

It is noteworthy to mention that the first French company to be established in the Lagos Free Zone is the terminal operations arm of CMA – CGM which has established a subsidiary within the Lagos Free Zone and is the appointed operator for the container terminal operations scheduled to commence at Lekki Port next year.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), Mr. Dinesh Rathi assured the Ambassador of France and the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur that the zone remains the best destination for investment in Nigeria and the West African sub-region given the seamless integration with Lekki Port and the world-class infrastructure provided by Lagos Free Zone.

Explaining the configuration of the zone, Rathi disclosed that the clustering is planned in line with the international best practices of Work, Live, and Play. He stated that the land-use plan of the Lagos Free Zone allocates 70 percent area towards industrial developments, 20 percent towards logistics and support services while the real estate will cover the remaining 10 percent.

He also stated that Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) has simplified the process of business entry and operation in the zone in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business policy.

“We have made it very easy for the business to berth and take off at zone by making our process less cumbersome and friendly, we are open for business 24/7 and willing to help investors to settle in very fast,” he said.

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AIICO Refutes Claims of Non-Remittance of Pension Assets to PTAD

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AIICO Insurance Plc has refuted claims of non-remittance of pension assets to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

This was disclosed recently in a statement by Segun Olalandu, the Head, Strategic Marketing and Communications Department.

It stated: “The attention of the Management of AIICO Insurance Plc. has been drawn to a recent report in the media on allegations of non-remittance of pension assets to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

“AIICO Insurance Plc. hereby wishes to inform the public that all pension assets due for remittance have been duly transferred to PTAD since the year 2017, in full compliance with the directive. Both parties are presently engaged in a reconciliation exercise to conclude the process. We implore the public to disregard any information that may suggest otherwise as there is no basis to that effect.”

Mr. Segun assured that AIICO Insurance Plc. remains a responsible corporate citizen of Nigeria and will continue to engage the best practice in all its business activities and operations in line with extant laws and regulatory provisions guiding its practice.

AIICO Insurance is a leading composite insurer in Nigeria with a record of serving our customers that dates back over 50 years. Founded in 1963, AIICO provides life and health insurance, general insurance, and investment management services as a means to create and protect wealth for individuals, families, and corporate customers.

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