The British Council has been operating in Ethiopia for 75 years creating friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and Ethiopia. During these years the British Council has been highly influential in the fields of the Society and the Arts, English, and Exams. Hencethe purpose of the event was to celebrate its success, to highlight some of its great achievements during these years, to show and tell what the British Council is doing now; and to re-affirm its presence and strengthen brand awareness.
The actual 75 Years Anniversary celebration campaign started in September and continued to the end of the year. The major components of the campaign were:
The history of the British Council, its achievement, what it is doing right now, and its vision for the future were explored in these quizzes. The Quiz campaign had two components; the external facing and the internal facing.
The external facing quiz campaign took place on our Facebook platform and it garnered a lot of followership. Almost a million people were reached through this campaign which encompassed 12 weeks with 2 quizzes posted each week. Moreover, more than 6,000 external contestants competed for the duration of this campaign. The winners of the weekly campaigns were awarded the 75 Years Anniversary pack which included a laptop bag, a t-shirt, a pen,a pin, a baseball cap and a keyring; all of these were branded with the 75 years anniversary logo. Morevoer the overall winners were awarded monetary and in-kind prizes (face to face and online English Courses).
The internal quiz campaign on the other hand aimed at reaching the main British Council brand ambassadors, or the staff members themselves. This campaign lasted for 6 weeks.
A blood donation drive was also organised under the theme Opportunity to Save Lives – Blood Donation Week from 16 – 20 October 2017. During this endeavour staff from the British Council, British Embassy and UK Aid as well as our English students and walk-in customers participated and donated lifesaving blood to the Red Cross Association.
Sponsorship is an excellent means of partnering with different organisations in celebrating tan event and also raising funds. In this regards, the British Council successfully partnered with the following sponsors:
- Castel Winery as Platinum sponsor
- Ethiopia’s biggest bank, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia as Gold Sponsor
- Capital Hotel and Spa, Nyala Insurance and Smart Events as Silver Sponsors and
- Ethiopian Airlines (The Best Airline in Africa, 2017) , Ultimate Insurance Brokers, Sabco (Coca-Cola) and Vintage Pixels as contributing sponsors.
Here it should be noted that rather than a one-off engagement, we saw the sponsorship as a stepping ladder to a more collaborative and mutually beneficial endeavor which we are now exploring as we embark on this year-long event.
Rivers of the orld is a project the British Council delivered in partnership with Totally Thames Festival. . In line with the 75 years anniversary, we exhibited artwork from the collaboration between Ethiopian and UK schools on the fence of the British Council which is still up for passerby’s to see. We also curated an exhibition with the Ethiopian schools that took part in Rivers of the World and the exhibition was displayed during the reception event (see next section). The students that created the art work attended the event with their teachers and explained their work to reception attendees.
The reception party was well-attended and was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, HE Demeke Mekonen, and HE Susanna Moorehead, British Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti (non-resident) and Permanent Representative to the African Union and UN Economic Commission for Africa. Present during the event were the British Council’s major partners, donors, government representatives, beneficiaries, sponsors, the media and other stakeholders.
During the reception party, the World Voice children choir performance led by Sileshi Demissie (Gash Abera Mola who is a renowned Ethiopian musician) was the main attraction. Moreover, another choir, the Merewa Choir, who are gaining prominence in the country’s music arena, performed various uplifting songs. Last but not least Gash Abera Mola teamed up with Jorga (partner of Mulatu Astatke – the father of Ethio Jazz - for the past 4 years) and his band to deliver a delightful fusion of Ethiopian and Western instruments and sounds.
As mentioned above, the Rivers of the World exhibition was another embellishment to the late afternoon party.