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African cultural leadership gathers in Cape Town
August 8th, 2012, at 10:00 am | Posted by


The training course is part of a three-year, continental cultural training programme, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by Cape Town-based AFAI. Collaborating partners are the Goethe-Institut, Arterial Network (AN) and four regional partners in North, East, West and Central Africa. The EU’s Investing in People programme awarded an amount of Euro 400 000 towards the three-year programme.

High-level cultural leaders

The course, aimed at high-level leaders in the African creative sector, from civil society as well as the private sector, attracted more than 100 applications from 20 countries. The course is covering areas such as international and African cultural policy instruments, human developments, economic, transparency and other indicators, regional, continental and international opportunities and challenges for the African creative sector.

Applicants were required to submit an essay on the challenges, priorities and possibilities of leadership and good governance in the cultural sectors in their respective countries, with an assessment of what needs to be done in these areas to realize the sector’s potential.

"One of the key challenges to the effectiveness and sustainability of arts organisations and creative practice generally is not funding, but leadership”, says course leader Mike van Graan. 

Van Graan, AFAI executive director and one of 30 UNESCO appointed Cultural Policy Experts, was also the founding secretary general of Arterial Network (AN). The network represents artists, cultural activists, creative enterprises and cultural NGOs working in the African creative sector and for its contribution to development, human rights and democracy on the continent. Several of the training tools applied in the AFAI cultural leadership training programme, were developed by AN over the past five years.

Van Graan is also one of South Africa’s leading playwrights, cultural activists and commentators. He will receive training support from AN secretary general Ouafa Belgacem and others.

The thirteen trainees are:

Ms Nirveda Alleck (Mauritius), Mr Stan Dlamini (Swaziland), Mr Armstrong Fombi (Cameroon), Mr Gregg Kiio (Kenya), Ms Agnes Kimwaga (Tanzania), Mr Daniel Lima (Benin), Ms Munit Mesfin-Champagne (Ethiopia), Ms Nicole Mwabaya (Zimbabwe), Mr Deji Olatoye (Nigeria), Dr Connie Rapoo (Botswana), Mr James Thole (Malawi), Ms Lee Walters (South Africa), and Ms Ayeta Wangusa (Tanzania).

The course is being hosted by the South African Centre for the Netherlands and Flanders, in Pinelands, Cape Town, until 16 August 2012.

Continental programme, partners

The three-year programme was launched in Southern Africa during May 2012, with a week-long train-the-trainer course presented at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg. The Southern African programme will also include a cultural entrepreneurship course later this year. The programme will then be replicated in North Africa, West, East and Central Africa by partner organisations Casamemoire in Morocco, Doual’art in Cameroon, Groupe 30 Afrique in Senegal, and The GoDown Arts Centre in Kenya.

“We are delighted to have found partners in the European Union and Goethe-Institut as well as collegiate organisations in Kenya, Morocco, Senegal and Cameroon to work with us in developing leadership for the continent's cultural sector. We look forward to immediate and medium-term dividends”, says van Graan.

For more information www.culturalleadershiptraining.wordpress.com


Media Enquiries:

Mari Stimie, Projects, African Arts Institute

2nd floor, Union House, 25 Commercial Street, Cape Town, South Africa 8001

mari@afai.org.za / +27 21 465 9027 / +27 76 4800 643