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Mr. Eazi Raises $20 Million to Invest in African Music Creatives

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Mr Eazi

Award-winning music artist, Mr. Eazi is launching a fund that will invest in Africa’s stars of the future.

Mr. Eazi, (real name Oluwatosin Ajibade) told CNN that the Africa Music Fund (AMF), is worth $20 million dollars. The lead investor is 88mph, a company that provides capital for African businesses.

Through the AMF, the 29-year-old artist from Nigeria says he wants to create a new funding model for the music business on the continent.

Mr. Eazi says one of his primary motivations for funding music is to provide financial support for artists to expand their catalog.

Many investors and financial institutions don’t understand the business of music and as a result, are unable to properly fund musicians, he says.

“Artists cannot go to banks to get money for their music because financial institutions don’t understand how to secure intellectual property. They get it for physical properties but not for music. So, because not a lot of people understand the music business, there is no finance product for musicians,” he explained.

Investing in Music Acts

Selected artists will be given funding depending on their revenue and projected incomes, using metrics such as streaming revenue, Mr. Eazi told CNN.

“For artists who already have footprints in the industry, we will just do our research. We can check how much they are earning or likely to earn from their streaming revenue, for example,” he explained.

Artists will be given funds upfront based on their revenue to expand their music content. The initial advance invested in an artist’s music will be paid back in installments as the artist’s earnings start to rise, he added.

Mr. Eazi, who has more than five million monthly listeners on Spotify says the AMF will also create access to a larger audience for music acts by helping them find and book shows as well as distribute their music.

“Let’s say we have a two-year contract with someone. In those two years, we will be their representative, helping them manage their music, and as they grow we will be deducting the initial investment from their earnings,” he explained.

Data Backed Decisions

Mr. Eazi says his parent company emPawa Africa in partnership with music technology company Vydia will be launching Cinch Distro, a music distribution platform for new artists.

“The way it works is that they register on the platform and make their music. It has an AI-based tech that will filter their possible revenue based on the number of streams they get on the platform alongside a couple of other metrics,” he said.

“The artists basically use the platform to distribute their music and we monitor their progress. That way we can make data-backed decisions about who to invest in,” he added.

The AMF is not Mr. Eazi’s first venture into investing in music and musicians on the continent.

In 2018, he launched emPawa Africa, an incubator program that provided artists with funding and resources to market their music, access radio and TV airplay, and train them to become independent music entrepreneurs.

Through emPawa, some of the continent’s biggest artists like Nigeria’s Joeboy and Ghana’s Kwesi Arthur were discovered.

Data and Transparency

Music analyst, Toye Sokunbi says the AMF fund will benefit Africa’s creative sector as it will open more doors for music talents on the continent.

Sokunbi, who is also the founder of Artish, a pop-culture publication in Nigeria, says there may be concerns about how the data on each artist is compiled and used and warns artists to be vigilant.

“Many artists don’t have the same accessibility to important data that music distributors have about their music. They don’t necessarily tell you the exact way they are marketing your music or give artists access to data they can use to maximize revenue for their content. This information imbalance means artists are largely oblivious of much of the audience data farmed from their content,” he told CNN.

According to him, it is important for artists to have access to their own data from the backend so that they can build their own music communities and become less dependent on distribution companies.

However, Mr. Eazi says all artists he funds will have access to information about their content and earning in real-time. “With our tech platform you can see how much you earn in real-time, you can also see how much you owe and how that is being deducted,” he said.

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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Stanbic IBTC Appoints Mrs. Sola David-Borha as Non-Executive Director

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Stanbic IBTC Bank

Mrs. Sola David-Borha is Stanbic IBTC Non-Executive Director

Stanbic IBTC board on Thursday announced the appointment of Mrs. Sola David-Borha as a non-executive director effective from 24 September 2020.

The lender disclosed this in a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In the statement signed by Chidi Okezie, Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC, the lender said the appointment is subject to regulatory approvals.

According to the bank, “Mrs. David- Borha is currently the Chief Executive, Standard Bank (Africa Regions). Prior to that, she served as Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC (2012-2017) as well as the Bank (2011-2012), after holding various executive positions in Corporate Banking; Corporate & Investment Banking; and Investment Banking Coverage for Africa (excluding South Africa). She is also an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of CocaCola Hellenic Bottling Company.

“Mrs. David-Borha has had an extensive career in the financial services industry, which has spanned over 30 years. Her executive educational experience includes the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School and the Global CEO Program of CEIBS, Wharton and IESE. She is an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and winner of the CNBC African Woman of the Year Award for 2016.

“The Board is pleased to welcome Mrs. David-Borha back to the Board of the Company and will undoubtedly continue to benefit immensely from her wealth of experience.”

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Lagos Introduces Fuel Station on Inland Waterways to Enhance Ferry Operations

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Lagos State Waterways Intrdouces Fuel Station for Ferries Operators

The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Tuesday said it has introduced the first-ever fuel state on the Lagos inland waterways.

The fuel station was introduced to boost activities across Lagos waterways and increase transportation activities, according to a statement released by Nkechi Ajayi, the Public Relations Officer, LASWA.

Speaking at the five cowries terminal in Lagos during an event, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General manager, LASWA, lauded the fueling station project, adding that it would boost ferry operators’ activities and help them expand.

Emmanuel was quoted as saying “This project is significant to us at LASWA being a responsible agency of government.

“We are concerned about the hardship and occasional harassment usually faced by ferry operators while using jerry cans to get fuel from filling stations to run their boats.

“With the opening of this fuel pump unit to serve both commercial and private boat owners, the safety of lives and property on the Lagos waterways will be greatly enhanced.

“To further promote the safety of all waterways users, we urge boat operators to desist from moving fuel with kegs.

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Why N-power Beneficiaries Should be Retained Permanently

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youths

N-power Beneficiaries Must and Should be Retained Permanently

Poorly paid with little to zero job securities and economic provisions, thousands of Nigerian graduates and non-graduates continue to enroll for the social investment program, N-power, established by the Federal Government in 2016 to alleviate poverty and support the vulnerable.

However, two years later the program is experiencing a downturn with the government planning to throw beneficiaries (batches A and B) of the program back into the street despite the nation’s unemployment rate at a record high of 27.1 percent.

Participants, proudly referred to as beneficiaries by the government and its agents, have had to endure delays in inhumane stipends that can barely meet their daily needs to undefined or uncertain exit package plans for the participants of the program.

Despite all the limitations faced by volunteers, supervisors in schools and other places of assignments have said N-power beneficiaries played key roles in addressing a lot of their existing challenges and on numerous occasions and they have occasioned a new growth direction.

According to a Senior Special Adviser to the President on job creation, “What we have found out is that they are filling a lot of gaps in some places like schools, where they do not have enough teachers.In some schools where the N-Power are posted to, you discovered that it is only the principal and some NYSC members that are teaching students, the Npower teachers have helped to compliment their efforts.”

In Ekiti, a 34-year-old veteran teacher explained that “If not all of them, a majority of the N-Power teachers have mastery of the subject matter. They have not been found wanting also in the theoretical aspect of teaching. Especially the way they make use of teaching aid in classes; and that is actually very impressive.

“There is one of them who is a Physics teacher now, we have to keep deploying from one class to the other just because we don’t have adequate teachers to cover those classes.

“The one that is taking Christian Religious Knowledge is a born teacher, who is very efficient and very punctual in her classes.”

Another principal of Government Secondary School in Daurawa, Kano, Haliru Inuwa, said the eight N-power teachers posted to his school since December 2016 have been saving grace for both himself and the students.

He said “We have eight beneficiaries of N-Power posted to my school here.” 

“Most of them are handling core science subjects which most of the schools in Kano state are lacking generally. Yes, subjects like Mathematics, English etc. To our surprise, and against the earlier concern raised that they might not perform well in teaching, the N-Power volunteer teachers are not only committed to their teaching, but are also punctual,” he added.

These much were achieved in spite of the poor salary and working conditions. Graduates and non-graduates of the N-power program have exceeded expectations and raised the bar of dedication and service to the people.

The Nigerian government, just like the private sector operators, continues to take advantage of the high unemployment rate it created to exploit supposed high demand services. What does one expect? when they have been undermined from the onset as ‘privileged beneficiaries’ even with the pivotal role they played in the economy.

N-power volunteers, Batch A and B, as promised are to be absorbed into permanent job positions and their salaries and working conditions reviewed to further enhance their commitments and impacts across the board.

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