A new regional initiative, Connect for Culture Africa, will officially launch in Ethiopia
Angela Martins, Head of Culture Division, African Union and Teshome Wondimu, Executive Director, Selam

Selam, in collaboration with the African Union’s Division of Culture and Sports has organised a kick-off meeting for their new regional project called Connect for Culture Africa (CfCA) on 25 and 26 May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

On May 25, the program will include a keynote speech, a presentation of the CfCA and a panel discussion, followed by a concert to celebrate Africa Day with performances from Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania. On May 26, there will be a roundtable discussion amongst delegates who include culture experts, policy makers and other stakeholders from the public and private sectors from across the continent.

“We want the Kick-off to be a forum for all delegates to network, share, aside from learning about the CfCa and its implementation plan,” Selam founder and executive director Teshome Wondimu said. “We believe that these various individuals and the organisations they represent can unite to mobilise, collaborate, and share knowledge and resources, developing a network that can advocate for useful interventions for the sector at the national and Pan African levels.”

The CfCA seeks to popularise the revised African Union (AU) Plan of Action on Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), which is an important step by the AU, aimed at strengthening African CCIs to enhance the role they play in achieving sustainable development in order to facilitate the delivery of a wider social and economic impact.

The CfCA will intertwine advocacy efforts at regional and national levels through a multistakeholder regional network that will bring culture advocates together raising awareness on the benefits of investing in culture for a democratic, inclusive, peaceful, and sustainable social and economic development.

Among the objectives of the project are an increased lobbying to African states to allocate at least 1% of their national budget to the arts, culture and heritage sectors by 2030; Increased awareness of the value of Africa’s creative sector through research and data publication, as well as strengthened partnerships and networks between stakeholders working in the CCIs on the continent.

“By lobbying for public investment in the sectors, stakeholders can highlight the economic benefits that can be gained,”Wondimu said. “The culture and creative industries not only generate revenue through cultural tourism, but they also stimulate employment and entrepreneurship.”

The CfCA implementation will include working closely with the government agencies, research institutions/universities, the media, artists, and civil society organisations, among others. This effort is expected to result in increased political will for the sector, which will lead to budget proposals, budget bills, and, in countries where the process is further along, discussions on increased budget allocation to the culture and creative sectors.

Wondimu believes that through lobbying, stakeholders can advocate for investment in policy, infrastructure, training, and resources that support the local growth and international reach of the various sectors within the CCIs.

“Public and private funding are both necessary for the growth of the CCIs,” Wondimu said. “For the sector to grow and for there to be a sustainable creative economy, the heads of state need to be at the forefront to not only invest but also lead dialogues with the private sector for further investment and funding.”

In addition to the launch event, Selam will on 23 May present the CfCA at this year’s Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sports (STC-YCS4), which will take place between 22 and 24 May at the African Union headquarters.


About Selam

Selam is a Pan-African organisation based  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Selam was created in 1997 and has since  evolved into an international player, partnering with artists, cultural producers, the private sector, the media, culture institutions, researchers, and national and regional governments across the African continent as well in other regions in the world.

CfCA is being implemented by

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in partnership with


Supported by

The website will be updated in the coming months.

Contact : Lucy Ilado –  Regional Programme Director  |  Email: lucy@selam.se    Whatsapp:   +254 700 322 664

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