The British Council Arts Programme in Sub-Saharan Africa is seeking expressions of interest for a 100,000GBP research grant facility from existing research organisations, consortiums and hub organisations/consultants across the UK and SSA. The lead partner is, however, required to be SSA based. 

As part of a three-year strategy, we conduct regular calls for research abstracts across multiple and very focused creative economy and cultural sectors to support positioning British Council SSA Arts as a thought leader and influencer in the African creative economy space by: 

  • Investing in a knowledge hub about the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) in Africa post covid 19 
  • Identifying who the key players and influencers are in the sectors of cultural and creative engagement in SSA 
  • Creating a solid bilateral connection between Africa and its diaspora, which is critical in building and facilitating market access and opportunities between UK and Africa  
  • To share insights about Africa in the UK and further create opportunities for bilateral mutual engagements, positioning British Council as a critical partner able to attract investment and influence policy and investment.   
  • Gather, share and promote research on the insights, needs, interests and opportunities of the African Creative Economy with young people 18-35, including post-covid 19 shifts and digital-led opportunities.  
  • Create new networks for the UK and SSA partner consortium, including designing the opportunity for regular commissions, research abstracts and focused creative economy and cultural sector opportunities   

Research Programme Components – Long-Term Outcomes  


  • Design creative commissions that respond to relevant SSA arts and culture sector developments and thematic interests across film, fashion, heritage, and innovative technology sectors. The creative commissions present an opportunity to co-create new artistic work, embed creative skills, develop capacity and share practice through research. 

 Evaluation Capacity and Support 

  • Aim to build a strong baseline and evidence base for SSA research, enhance sector collaboration and networking, including connecting to ongoing and existing strategic research as part of the SSA Arts Research portfolio (Policy and Research)  

 Engagement and storytelling  

  • An innovative and dynamic approach to sharing the research with broader networks, a range of digital publics and audiences 18-35 across the UK and SSA to drive insights and build engagement  
  • Creation of an appropriate platform/s for organisations to gather stories & sector insights  

 Peer and Collaborative Learning  

  • The successful consultant will establish partnerships to support peer learning, exchange and profiling of the African Creative Economy ecosystem.  

 Networking across SSA and UK  

  • The success partner must have existing links to SSA Arts and the UK creative and cultural sector ecosystems.  
  • The successful partner will be required to establish partnerships to support peer learning, exchange and profiling of the African Creative Economy ecosystem. They will lead the network partner consultants to be engaged.  

Geographic Scope  

The research's primary focus is on SSA, with the UK and other international markets as a secondary focus. British Council stakeholders will be able to get in-depth information about Africa's creative Arts and Culture sectors across these critical markets, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Ghana) and the UK.

Required Outputs   

The lead SSA partner will be required to deliver the following focused short-term and intermediate outputs between November 2022 - April 2023 on the premise of a more comprehensive programme scope and three-year term contract. 

  • Design Commissions, in consultation with British Council staff and local partners, including leading on grant management of 10 creative commissions over six months guided by a strategic approach to research scoping, data and SSA and UK sector insights.  
  • The design approach for a robust peer learning network with representation across SSA and UK 
  • Conduct scoping research into SSA-based CCI, including looking at international global models and partners across the cultural and creative sectors, higher education partners and consortiums to enable British Council to identify opportunities for best practices, dynamic research engagement and models.
  • Propose a dynamic and engaging approach to telling the stories of commissioned research across multiple formats to share the creative process and creative sector with wider and new audiences. This component includes a communication and marketing focus intending to create high-quality audio-visual collateral and case studies (stories). 
  • Create an evidence base advising on approach for ongoing and future sector research across key growth sectors in consultation with the British Council SSA Arts leadership team.  
  • Produce 2 –3 monthly progress reports, including a detailed summary of progress. 
  • Ensure that relevant data is collected to support the British Council monitoring and evaluation strategy