Trace, an afro-pop music channel dedicated to airing Africa’s top music, has partnered with Visit Rwanda- the country’s marketing and tourism initiative- to bring the first edition of the Trace Awards & Festival to Kigali this year. The event slated for October 20-21 , at the BK Arena, is also in line with the 20th anniversary of Trace, the global music powerhouse and Afro-music tastemaker, which has played a big role in boosting Africa’s music industry. Speaking to a presser held in Kigali on June 1, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Trace, Olivier Laouchez, said that the first of this kind of event will stage in Kigali because of the quality of infrastructure the country has which enables it to host big events. The awarding ceremony, he said, will recognise a broad range of music genres from Afrobeat to Dancehall, Afro-pop, Mbalax, Amapiano, Zouk, Kizomba, Genge, Coupé Décalé, Bongo Flava, R&B, and Rumba among other, while saluting artistes in a number of cultural and lifestyle categories. “Since its very first day, Trace has been promoting and showcasing the diversity and power of Afro-urban culture. There is no better way to celebrate our milestone birthday than with this exciting new music and cultural franchise. The Trace Awards is our way of celebrating the artistry, vision, and impact of musicians and other leaders in the urban cultural landscape with an out-of-this-world ceremony that highlights and rewards their success and influence both in Africa and on the world stage,” Laouchez noted. According to Janet Karemera, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Convention Bureau, partnering with Trace is in line with many other initiatives that the country launched to uplift the Rwandan music industry which is on the rise. “We are thrilled to stage the inaugural Trace Awards and look forward to hosting this global celebration of African culture in our beautiful country, promoting Rwanda as a destination for cultural tourism experiences and hosting world-class events. Hosting the event in Rwanda will be a great platform for our growing creative industry to showcase its diverse creativity, talent and rich Rwandan cultural heritage,” Karemera further noted that Visit Rwanda might extend the partnership with Trace after the event's first edition. “The first edition is a trial and we might as well extend our partnership with Trace. We are looking forward to helping our music sector grow,” she added. Close to 50 artistes including megastars like Burna Boy, Davido, Rema, and Tiwa Savage among others are nominated for the awards and might attend the awarding ceremony set to stage in Kigali. The event will also feature performances from the biggest African and Afro-descent artistes in the world. Launched in 2003, Trace is the first multimedia and digital platform in the world solely devoted to Afro-Urban music and cultures, as well as to the success of young people and artists. Trace reaches more than 350 million fans in 180 countries.