New Report Explores Vibrant Cultural Trends in Sub-Saharan African Cities

In a bid to shed light on the evolving cultural landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa, a groundbreaking report titled “The African Alternatives: Shaping the Cultural Landscape of Sub-Saharan Cities” has been unveiled by the British Council and Andani.Africa.

The report, drawing insights from 11 dynamic capitals in the region, offers a deep dive into emerging cultural trends and their potential impact on economic development.

The report comes at a pivotal moment, with projections indicating a doubling of Africa’s population by 2050, with 80% of this growth expected to occur in urban areas. As such, understanding and harnessing the creative potential of African cities is becoming increasingly crucial for sustainable development.

Conducted in collaboration with the British Council and Andani.Africa, the World Cities Culture Forum spearheaded this research initiative. The study focused on the cultural dynamics of Accra, Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Dakar, Freetown, Harare, Johannesburg, Kampala, Kigali, Lagos, and Nairobi. It involved engaging over 150 policymakers, cultural influencers, and academics throughout 2023 via interviews, roundtable discussions, and surveys.

One of the key findings of the report highlights the multifaceted benefits of cultural initiatives, including job creation, heritage preservation, and tourism stimulation. However, it also underscores the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation, economic inequalities, and the urgent climate crisis facing the continent.

“This research represents a significant milestone in our efforts to understand and promote the vibrant cultural scene in Africa,” said a spokesperson for the World Cities Culture Forum. “By collaborating with local partners and stakeholders, we aim to provide valuable insights that can inform policies and strategies for fostering cultural expression and driving economic growth.”

The report builds upon previous collaborative endeavours, such as the Creative Vibrancy Index for Africa, developed in partnership with CcHUB and Africa No Filter. These ongoing initiatives seek to provide robust data and analysis to support the growth and sustainability of Africa’s creative industries, further enriching our understanding of the region’s cultural richness.

As Africa continues to urbanise and innovate, initiatives like “The African Alternatives” report play a crucial role in highlighting the continent’s cultural vibrancy and its potential as a driver of inclusive and sustainable development.

Access the full report here.


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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The website will be updated in the coming months.

Contact : Lucy Ilado –  Regional Programme Director  |  Email:    Whatsapp:   +254 700 322 664

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