Universal Music Group (UMG), has announced an expansion of its Sub-Saharan Africa leadership team. The new appointees are expected to grow and support Africa’s domestic music ecosystems, while also creating new opportunities for African talent to reach bigger audiences globally.

UMG has recently expanded operations across the continent, opening new divisions in Nigeria, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco, to complement its operations in South Africa. The company aims to keep a steady growth in the future, as it plans to extend its ability to support domestic artists across Africa and beyond.

To steer this expansion, Sipho Dlamini has been promoted to CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, effective immediately. Dlamini will continue to oversee all of UMG’s operations within English-speaking Africa. In his new role, Dlamini will continue to work closely with Adam Granite, UMG’s Executive Vice President of Market Development, to identify further opportunities for artists signed to Universal Music Africa to reach new audiences around the world.

Within South Africa, Dlamini has been joined by hugely experienced senior executive Elouise Kelly, who has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO), Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. She will be based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and will report to the new CEO. Kelly Joins UMG from global advertising and media agency Ogilvy, where she held the position of Managing Director, South Africa.

Additionally, Chinedu Okeke has been named Managing Director, Universal Music Nigeria. He will lead the development and expansion of UMG’s existing operations within Nigeria, and further English-speaking markets in West Africa, and will be based in Lagos, Nigeria. He too, will report to Dlamini. Okeke joins UMG having established himself over the last decade, as a successful business and live-music entrepreneur.

Announcing the appointments, Adam Granite said, “I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to further develop our domestic infrastructure and label rosters within Africa. Most integral to achieving our long-term ambitions, is to build a strong leadership team on the ground, with deep foundations in each country to help grow a dynamic ecosystem for all to benefit in the future.”

In 2020, UMG released several acclaimed albums by African artists, including:

  • Celia by Nigerian Afrobeats star Tiwa Savage
  • Zulu Man With Some Power by South African rapper Nasty C
  • Midnight Train by Kenya’s Sauti Sol
  • Old Romance by Nigerian singer/producer Tekno