Young artists from EAC to benefit from global music distribution


Over 300 young artists from the East Africa Community (EAC) member states are set to benefit from an initiative that will see them sign new deal courtesy of MTN Nyege Nyege Festival founders.

Dubbed Hakuna Kulala, the initiative, is a new artists’ incubation label in EAC region.

The MTN Nyege Nyege Festival founders said the partnership shall bring both financial sustainability and management expertise to the operations of one of East Africa’s most hyped about new labels.

“The partnership shall help the label with new state of the art studio space, as well as promotion and touring of its artists worldwide” said Derek Debru, the co-founder of Hakuna Kulala and the MTN Nyege Nyege Festival in Jinja, Kampala, on Saturday.


“Hakuna Kulala music incubator label is expected to result in creative and empowered young musicians across East Africa, which will be a pillar for ensuring successful self-employment in the music industry” he added.

Hakuna Kulala is one among 25 small-scale innovative cross border projects that have been initiated in the East African Community region in the last three years.

The initiative has set aside Sh130 million (USD1.3m) for supporting private sector and civil society led initiatives as it accelerates EAC integration process through the German Development Cooperation.

“GIZ and East African Community through the IIDEA project supports citizens especially youth and women to benefit directly as a result of progressive regional integration policies adopted by the EAC, as the region strives for full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, and Hakuna Kulala is a perfect fit to strengthen EAC regional integration” said GIZ Programme Manager Dr Kirsten Focken.

Dr Focken said there is need to directly invest in the youth who accounts for more than 70 per cent of the EAC population through strategic interventions.
She said that the EAC has focused a lot of effort in improving policies over the past 20 years.

The reforms undertaken in the EAC region have created greater cross border potential for music, culture, education and technology exchange between the EAC member states.

Additional strategic partners who have signed up with Hakuna Kulala include Tidal, the new streaming platform introduced in East African by MTN, Boiler Room, the world largest video streaming platform for music and Earth Agency, one of the world’s top international artist management agencies.

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