Artists in residence East Africa Soul Train 2017 ©

Gilbert Daniel Bwette

The British Council’s Sub-Saharan Africa Arts programme (SSA Arts) works in the diverse and varied cities of Sub-Saharan Africa and the U.K. Individually, each city and art sector has much to offer and exchange, collectively they tell multi-layered stories of contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the U.K. 

Our arts programmes are underpinned by research, focused on young people (18 – 35-year olds), and are committed to: 

  • Supporting the creation of new art and sharing this art to audiences both online and in-person
  • Sharing skills and knowledge between creative communities in SSA and the U.K
  • Creating new connections between young people in SSA and the UK.

Our programmes are delivered by partners (artists, arts professionals, arts organisations, collectives, hubs) who have the vision and understanding of their creative communities and are best placed to lead and tell the stories of their local art sectors. With our partners, we stimulate new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts.

We focus our resources on three areas:

Creative Economy: 

Our research into the next generation of young people in SSA and the U.K. tells us that people want: 

  • Spaces to talk, share concerns, and support each other;
  • Business skills training, and peer to peer mentorship opportunities;
  • Capital to start-up creative businesses of their own.

We respond to this through our Creative Enterprise Support Programme, where we offer individuals and organisations training in business and digital skills, networking events, access to new markets, connections to resources, and finance opportunities. 

Learn more about our creative Economy E-learning course here

Ignite Culture:

Between 2021 and 2024 the British Council in partnership with HEVA Fund is offering a new grant facility for the cultural and creatives sectors in 14 countries in Eastern Africa that supports creatives and cultural workers to grow their businesses in several ways,including but not limited to entering and adapting to new marketplaces and upgrading their workspaces and collaborations.The Facility will support efforts around building skills and developing ways to enable better working environments for creative businesses.learn more about eligibility and how to apply for ignite culture here

Cultural Exchange:

Our British Council arts teams in SSA and the U.K. continually build their insight, expertise, and first-hand knowledge of their contemporary art sectors in order to offer support to organisations and artists to build networks and collaborations and bring new artists and audiences together to share and exchange creative ideas

Culture Responds to Global Challenges:

Through the transformative power of arts and culture to change mindsets,we support more connectedand equal societies and the protection and promotion of cultural expression,diversity and heritage at risk .Programmes in this portfolio include:

The cultural protection fund

Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth 

New Narratives

Learn more about our work here

Get in touch:

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East Africa:

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