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EU Rolls Out Funding for Regional Creative Arts Industry

by Daniel Sabiiti
4:41 pm

Performance at Ubumuntu Art festival in Kigali before COVID-19

Rwandan creative artists are among 14 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states eligible to apply for fundings to develop programs and projects to grow their ventures, do cultural work, and support within their communities.

This grant fund between €30,000 and €180,000, is part of the global ACP-European Union (EU) Culture Programme which is being implemented by Heva foundation (a creative arts funding organization) in partnership with the British Council Kenya with the financial contribution of the European Union and with further support from the Organisation of ACP and member States.

The funds will also go a long way towards making creative industry efforts more sustainable alongside supporting creative and cultural workers to grow their businesses, enter and adapt to expanded digital marketplaces, and upgrade their workspaces and collaborations.

“The facility will support efforts around building skills, and developing ways to enable better working environments for creative businesses,” the EU said in a statement today.

The financial support should be directed towards the following activities: increase and improve the production of creative and cultural goods and services, skills building, upgrading of hardware and software, improved access to financing and a supportive policy and business environment, expanding access to local, regional and international markets, as well as improving visibility for creative and cultural practitioners and their work throughout the Eastern Africa region.

The call for applications opens on Monday 9th August 2021 and applicants who complete the application form will receive a notification from Ignite Culture that their application has been received.

Over the next 40 months, Ignite Culture will be open to applicants in Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Creative talents who have registered and operational businesses (for at least 12 months) in the above countries will be welcome to apply for grants of up to a maximum of €180,000 per applicant.

Mashirika, one of the successful creative arts groups in Rwanda said the funding has to be clear on how the funds will be allocated so that Rwandans get a portion of it so as to see the impact.
“We can only assess the impact after seeing how the funds are distributed and used…Only then can we have facts on how the seeds were planted and what our communities harvested and creative industries in general,” said Hope Azeda, the Director of Mashirika, who is also a seasoned expert in performing arts in Rwanda.
Azeda also stated that the fund’s slogan of ‘Igniting culture’ is a great idea that can be used to spark off great ideas but for sustainability, one has to be clever on either looking for more funds or just kick-off with a few more creativity in the future.

The eligible CCI value chains will include: Cultural and Natural Heritage, Performance and Celebration, Cultural Infrastructure, Visual Arts and Crafts, Books and Press, Audio Visual and Interactive Media, Design and Creative Services, Creative and Cultural Education and Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Successful applications will undergo several stages of evaluation, including a due diligence process.

They will then go through a financial modeling stage that will assess the ability of the enterprise or institution, and the proposed project, to absorb the grant amount applied for.

The final stage shall be contracting, and then announcements of the finalists.

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