Out Of Africa: The African Music Academy Awards Unveils Full List Of Winners For Its Inaugural Edition

The winners of the inaugural African Music Academy Awards (AMAAs) have been announced, with Rwanda’s Sophie Nzayisenga topping the musicians’ category.

The names of the six winners were published on the African Music Academy’s website, following the unveiling of regional winners drawn from across the continent as well as the Latin American and Caribbean diaspora last month. 

On 31 March, professional organisations nominated 72 national winners as de facto academy members. These winners then elected the regional winners who chose the six overall winners.

The global winners also include Angell Mutoni (Rwanda) in the authors’ category, Thasi Ponda (DRC) in the composers’ category, Petit Miguelito (Benin Republic) in the performers’ category, Jean-Paul ‘Noopja’ Nduwimana (Rwanda) in the producer category and Liliana Escobar (Colombia) of AE Agencia in the managers’ category. The feat makes them the first members of the academy’s honorary committee. 

The winners of the AMAAs will be awarded a financial envelope and will also benefit from educational and professional actions, particularly in terms of career development: theoretical and practical training, career management including copyright and neighbouring rights, practical support (outreach and dissemination of the winners’ works: media, social networks, concerts, tours, playlists, etc).

According to the scheme’s president Wally Badarou, the trophies will be presented in person to each winner at events organised by professional organisations in consultation with the winners and African Music Academy’s national delegates. 

“With the aim of representing the voice of this industry, these awards are presented to the winners by their own peers from the continent and the diaspora, starting with the professional organisations mandated to nominate the winners in each of the six categories selected this year,” Badarou said.

Founded in 2014, the African Music Academy aims to promote pan-African music from the continent and the diaspora through education, professional actions and dedicated awards. Its founding members include Angélique Kidjo, Chris Blackwell, Jean-Noël Tronc, Blick Bassy and the late Manu Dibango, among others. Its board includes Wally Badarou, Blick Bassy, Solange Cesarovna and Nago Seck.

Click here to see the full list of winners.

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