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 Enterprise: 

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. 

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 art-making and mobility grants. 

Get in touch:

Would you like to hear more about the Arts across Africa? The Africa Arts newsletter is published every two months and provides the latest news and updates on our projects. Subscribe here.

East Africa: and

Follow our hashtags #EastAfricaArts #CultureGrows