Olivier Laouchez(right)Trace Co-Founder Chairman and CEO takes through H. E Mrs. Aline Kuster –Menager French Ambassador(left), Trace FM programs during the Trace Radio Launch at ABC Place Nairobi. Photo/ Trace Urban

TRACE, the global urban music television, and entertainment network have finalized the acquisition of a 70-percent stake in Qwetu Radio.

The deal that commenced with talks in September 2018, now gives Trace a foothold in the highly competitive urban radio entertainment segment in Kenya. Following the conclusion of the acquisition, Trace has now set up its East African hub in Westlands in Nairobi that will be led by Danny Mucira as the MD for the East Africa cluster.

Mucira previously worked at Radio Africa which dominates a big share of the urban radio entertainment segment in Kenya. Under the new ownership, Qwetu radio is reportedly planning to take in popular radio duo, Maina and King’ang’i, who currently host the morning show at Classic 105, a Radio Africa Group subsidiary.

Trace also launched today the newly branded Trace Radio 95.3 FM, a music-only radio station. According to Olivier Laouchez, Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Trace worldwide, the company inherits Qwetu Radio’s estimated 4% market share in the urban music and entertainment category in Kenya.

“Our vision is to increase this, to become the music radio market leader in Kenya by 2022. With Trace Radio 95.3, we are currently working to build a sustainable business model after which we will introduce a diverse range of products and platforms targeting the growing interest in urban music and entertainment culture in Kenya,” he said.

The new products, Trace Radio 95.3 FM Trace Gospel and Trace Play now join Trace Mziki which is already available in the East African region.

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Plans are also underway to launch Trace Academia which will be a free educative and creative online portal. Aimed at empowering youths to explore their gifts and potential in the creative arts sector. Trace Academia will leverage adaptive learning technologies to inspire and empower the next generation of creative entertainment and cultural artists.

Speaking during the launch of the hub and Trace Radio 95.3 FM, Aline Kuster-Menager the France Ambassador to Kenya said Trace plans to invest locally in Africa with local staff and partners.

“Kenya is indeed a key priority country for TRACE in Africa and as the ambassador, I am keen to further engage on how best to harness the creative and cultural industry between Kenya and France,” she said.

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Kevin Namunwa is a senior reporter for Business Today. Email at [email protected]

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