Ignite Culture

Grants of up to a maximum of 180,000 euro for the support of Creative and Cultural industries(CCIs) in 14 countries in Eastern Africa.

Implemented by HEVA , in partnership with the British Council Kenya with the financial contribution of the European Union, and with further support from the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of  States (OACPS).

Call for applications open from 6th July - 7th September 2022





Welcome to the second call for applications of the ACP- EU Culture Programme(Eastern Africa):Ignite Culture! Ignite Culture's first application call was launched in August 2021 and awarded grants to our first cohort of 19 organisations in 2022.This grant was designed to enable organizations to successfully develop new ventures,programs and projects for their target communities and demographics,which will go a long way to making their own work and the work of their target communities more sustainable.

(Organisations in this case means:associations,businesses,NGO's,Public or government institutions,local authorities,universities,cultural institutes,museums,art centers,agencies,collectives,consortias,etc.provided they demonstrate legal and administrative autonomy.)

This grant will also enable recipients to design,implement and engage in any suitable activities that

  • Strengthen the creative and cultural ecosystem in which practitioners and organisations operate in Eastern Africa;
  • improve the access and visibility of the diverse creative and cultural sectors in Eastern Africa;
  • promote economic growth of the creative and cultural sector in the Eastern Africa region.

Through this grant financing of between 30,000 euros and 180,000 euros,prospective applicants should direct any financial support toward the following activities:

  • increasing the quality and/or quantity of creative and cultural goods and/or services
  • improving visual literacy of audiences,visibility of makers and access to the new markets for creative and cultural goods and services from Eastern Africa
  • building appropriate,industry-ready skills and capacity for young people entering the cultural and creative sectors 
  • improving the capacity and knowledge of Eastern Africa's creative and Cultural practitioners on policy,legal and financing frameworks impacting the sector and increasing their ability to advocate for more supportive policy and legal structures .

Read more details about these four project focus areas here 

Calls for proposals will be released in 2021(closed), 2022(open 6th July), and 2023 for projects that support the growth and development of the cultural and creative sectors of Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius,Rwanda,Seychelles,Somalia,Sudan,Tanzania and Uganda.

The call for applications opens on Wednesday,6th July 2022! Find the how to apply video,guidelines for applications,FAQs and other helpful guidelines in the Downloads section below.



Applicants may apply for grant funding of between € 30,000 to € 180,000.For the purpose of application, this is divided into three tiers:

•Tier 1 -Applicants can apply for a fixed amount of € 30,000

•Tier 2- Applicants may apply for an amount  between € 31,000 and €90,000

•Tier 3- Applicants may apply for an amount between €91,000 and € 180,000

Eligible organisations/individuals need to be registered no later than 31st December 2017 and must have audited statements either for half year period or full year period for the year 2017 and/or 2018.

(However,if your organisation was registered after 31st December 2017 and is still interested in Ignite Culture,you can apply as part of a group with an organisation which was registered on or before 31st December 2017)

The primary purpose of all projects awarded funding under this programme must be growth and development of the cultural and creative sectors of one or more of the eligible fourteen (14) Eastern African countries.

Lead applicants may apply with any of the following:

•Co-applicants from their own country

•Co-applicants from the 14 countries eligible for the fund

•Co-applicants from an EU state

•Co-applicants from another ACP country in Africa as follows:

ACP West Africa- Benin,Burkina Faso,Cape Verde,Gambia,Ghana,Guinea,Guinea Bissau,Cote d'lvoire,Liberia,Mali,Mauritania,Niger,Nigeria,Senegal,Sierra Leone,Togo

ACP Central Africa-Cameroon,Central African Republic,Congo,Gabon,Equatorial Guinea,Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC),Sao Tome and Principe(STP),Chad

ACP Southern Africa- Zambia,Zimbabwe,Botswana,Lesotho,Malawi,Mozambique,Nambia,South Africa,Eswatini(formerly Swaziland).

Eligibility Requirements

  1. The lead applicant organization must demonstrate that a minimum 51% ownership(by shareholding/directorship) is held by citizens of any one of the 14 eligible countries of Eastern African region.
  2. The lead applicant organization must demonstrate that it was registered on or before 31st December 2017
  3. The lead applicant organization must have audited statements either for a half year period or full year period for the year 2017 and/or 2018.
  4. The lead applicant organization must have directly implemented 50% within the creative and cultural sector the amount the grant requested,at any time between Jan 2017 and December 2018

Eligible Value Chains

The lead applicant organization must be working in any of the following value chains:

Cultural and Natural Heritage

Museums,archaeological and historic places,Cultural landscapes,natural heritage,archives,cultural preservation work,cultural food and cuisine,hair,beauty and cosmetic products
Performance and Celebration Performing arts,recorded music,festivals(music,film,theatre,poetry etc)fairs,feasts 
Cultural Infrastructure Physical infrastructure,digital infrastructure 
Visual Arts and Crafts Fine arts,photography,crafts 
Books and Press Books,newspapers and magazines,other printed matter,e-books,physical libraries,virtual libraries,books fairs 

Audio Visual and interactive Media

Design and Creative services

Film,TV,radio,podcasting,vlogging,video games,Virtual Reality(VR),Augmented Reality(AR) and new media

Fashion,apparel and accessories design,interior design and decorative home,graphic design,architecture 

Creative and Cultural Education Training,workshops,curriculum development 
Intangible Cultural Heritage  Oral traditions and expressions,rituals,languages,social practices,food and cuisine practices,hair,beauty and cosmetic practices 

Table1-Eligible value chains:Ignite Culture 2022

Application Process

Online applications open wednesday, 6th July 2022.Watch the How to apply video:a step by step guide by Mars Maasai for a detailed understanding of the application process.

Other helpful materials to guide the development of your proposal include:

  • Guidelines for Applications (2022)
  • FAQs (20220
  • Definitions of Applications Terms(2022)
  • Exclusion-List 

All the above documents can be found in the Downloads section below.

Evaluation Process

Applications will be examined and evaluated by HEVA fund and British Council with the possible assistance of external assessors.  All applications will be assessed following the steps listed below:

Step 1-Initial Sieve:

This is a simple check to ensure that the instructions on how to fill in the application form have been followed, and that the templates provided have been used to upload the requested information. During this stage we will also check that the application meets the eligibility criteria on business registration and years of operation in the CCI sector. Only those that meet the criteria will move to the next stage

Step 2- Business Panel:

Panel members assess the businesses by looking at:

  • Revenues specific to the creative and cultural industries for the year 2017 and 2018 only-in comparison to the funding ask
  • Presence of audited financial statements
  • The organisation team

Step 3- Creative Panel:

Panel members generate a shortlist through an assessment of:

  • The relevance of the project in the sector
  • The trends in the sector,competitors and strength of the brand
  • Aesthetic of the proposed project
  • The proposed project and its target market
  • Social media presence
  • Diversity and inclusion considerations

Step 4-Pitch sessions:

The organisations that make the shortlist to stage 4 are invited for a pitch session,to allow further explanation of their proposed project and additional assessmentsby the panel members.The aim of this stage is to see how well the applicants understand their organisation,finances,project,and sector.

The viability and sustainability of the proposed project will also be considered.

Stage 5-Due Diligence:

At this stage the evaluation team will be looking to better understand the organisation's structures in terms of legal, financial management, team structure, tax structure and compliance and KYC(Know your customer) details.The evaluation team will also perform a risk analysis on organisations who have made it through to this stage.

Stage 6- Contracting:

Applicants who have made it through due diligence are considered successful applicants.They are called for a series of conversations about project milestones,eligible expenses and contracting.Once the contract is signed,fund disbursement and project implementation can begin.

Application Timeline for application evaluation

Any date changes or updates will be made available on the Ignite Culture webpage

Evaluation Milestone Date Time
Open 2022 call for applications 6th July 2022 12PM(Noon)EAT
Online information sessions July 2022  
Deadline for Submission of applications

7 September 2022

11:59PM EAT

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